Treating Neck and Back Pain Without Surgery

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Orthopaedic Surgery, Body Pain, Bones, Pain

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Neck pain and back pain are common. In some cases, the pain can limit movement or mobility and can even interfere with quality of life. We highlight several treatment options which do not need major procedures or surgeries. 

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1.Massage Therapy or Hot and Cold Therapy are good options.

These treatments reduce mild pain and inflammation for temporary relief

2. Stretching and physiotherapy also releases tension that cause neck and back pain. There are various back and neck stretch routines to do at home.   

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Mild neck and back pain can be resolved by adequate rest. However, when the pain is not resolved within 2 to 3 weeks, affects lifestyle or if it recurs despite taking painkillers, there are other treatment options. 

3. Annuloplasty, nucleoplasty with radiofrequency neurolysis or facet nerve ablation. 

These procedures are not major surgeries and do not have any surgical incisions or bone cutting. Instead, small injection needles with medication or radiofrequency ablation are used to treat the annular tear, protrusion or bulging intervertebral disc, while reducing the pain and muscle spasm. 

Most patients could resolve their pain within 2 weeks. Once the pain is reduced and the muscle spasm resolved, it is easier to benefit from exercise physiotherapy as well.

However, if the pain is so severe with inability to walk or work, often associated with intractable pain or nerve dysfunction, it might be necessary to consider several types of major surgeries including diskectomy, bone fusion and instrumentation.

Even though we can treat neck and back pain without surgery, prevention is always better than cure. There are various preventive measures to relieve neck and back pain.

  1. Use good posture. When standing and sitting, your shoulders should be in a straight line over your hips. 
  2. Adjust your desk, chair, computer desk, and use of gadgets so that the viewing monitor is at your eye level. It is important that your gadgets are adjusted to make you comfortable.
  3. Quit smoking as it can increase the risk of developing neck pain.
  4. Sleep in a healthy position for complete rest.  
  5. Staying physically active. Increased activity level has many benefits which leads to better health.


This article has been verified medically by Dr Henry Chan, orthopaedic surgeon at HC Orthopaedic Surgery in Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital, Singapore.

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