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What is compressed spine treatment?

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Quick Answer

Treatment for a compressed spine, also known as spinal cord compression, involves nonsurgical options such as pain medication, back braces and activity moderation, according to WebMD. Severe spine compression may require spinal fusion surgery or surgical procedures such as a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.

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Full Answer

Physicians typically try to treat a compressed spine nonsurgically to reduce pain and discomfort immediately, explains WebMD. Surgical options are reserved for patients who do not experience any pain relief despite rest, pain medication, modifications to activity and the application of a back brace.

Nonsurgical treatments often begin with nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, designed to reduce swelling and pain caused by a compressed spine, explains John Hopkins Medicine. Patients are usually concurrently participating in strengthening exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist. Therapists assist patients with exercises to strengthen leg muscles, the back and the abdomen to relieve pain from a compressed spine. Physicians may also recommend discontinuation of strenuous activities such as sports, lifting or aerobic exercise while treating a compressed spine.

Patients with severe pain may opt for surgical treatments that remove spurs or widen spaces between vertebrae, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Surgeons can also fuse some of the vertebrae together to stabilize the spine.

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