Got pain? Find out your minimally invasive options
Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something isn’t quite right. But if you’ve been experiencing pain for longer than 12 weeks, then you have chronic pain. Not to worry, however, because you have options.
“Many people put off seeking help for their pain, because they fear they may need surgery or a serious procedure,” says Dr. Chad Ermis, DO, physical medicine & rehabilitation physician at Aurora Medical Center – Bay Area in Marinette, Wis. “Fortunately, chronic or not, we live in a day and age of minimally invasive procedures that can provide much-needed relief from various kinds of pain.”
Dr. Ermis shares some of these pain-relieving procedures and techniques, some of which you can even do at home:
- Ice/heat and rest. It’s the tale that’s old as time: Try alternating between heat and ice on the area of pain. Sometimes this help to relax muscles and tissues, allowing them to heal.
- Yoga and tai chi. If back pain is what you’re battling, then mind-body exercise may help to stretch muscles and strengthen the mind, as both yoga and tai chi are excellent for spinal health.
- Physical therapy. If the previous two just aren’t cutting it for you, physical therapy may be the way to go. A physical therapist will work with you to identify the issue, then assist with therapy to heal the injury and provide education on prevention.
- Acupuncture. This ages-old tested-and-proven procedure involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into the skin at specific points for optimal pain relief. Acupuncture releases endorphins, possibly killing your pain naturally.
- Injections. There are different types of injections to help treat pain that are less invasive than surgery, yet last longer than oral painkillers. Injections are especially helpful for neck, back, joint and nerve pain.
And there are even more treatment options available. Dr. Ermis recommends talking with your doctor about what kind of pain-relief remedy might be best for you including spinal cord stimulation, pain pumps and vertiflex.
“Pain is not only an inconvenience, but it’s also a hindrance to you enjoying your life,” says Dr. Ermis. “Take your pain seriously, and don’t put off seeking care because of the pandemic. Our physical therapists and all of our team members take your safety seriously, especially for these kinds of hands-on procedures, with enhanced cleaning and masking to protect you. Don’t let COVID-19 prevent you from getting the care you need.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.