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How do you treat a cyst on the spine without surgery?

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Quick Answer

Non-surgical treatment options for a cyst on the spine include injections, observation and activity modifications and general medication for pain relief. Physical or occupational therapy is also another non-surgical treatment option.

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When medications are used as treatment for synovial cysts, the primary aim is to relieve pain and discomfort that a patient feels, notes the American Center for Spine & Neurosurgery. Some over-the-counter medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Other pain reducing medications are muscle relaxants and anti-seizure pain medications like Topamax, Lyrica, and Neurontin. In addition, rest is an effective pain reliever for short periods like a day or two, notes Spine-health.

Injection treatment reduces pain by suppressing inflammation. There are two injection treatment options of synovial cysts. There is a facet injection and an epidural injection according to Spine-health. Facet injection is done by draining the cyst through a facet joint that is entered with a small needle. On the other hand, epidural injection involves injections around the cyst with steroid in the epidural space. Epidural injection can either be diagnostic to determine the problem cause or therapeutic to provide long term or short pain relief, states the American Center for Spine & Neurosurgery.

Physical therapy can help prevent recurrent injuries and decrease swelling, promotes healing and increase strength. Examples of such treatment include application of ice, heat, and electrotherapy as noted by the American Center for Spine & Neurosurgery. Additionally, observation and activity modification can also help to deal with the pain since certain positions normally cause the pain.

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