Many treatments have been developed for the treatment of back pain. According to Mayo Clinic, at-home remedies include rest and the application of either heat or cold packs, depending on which brings the most relief to the patient. Medical treatments can be organized into categories: drugs, manipulation and surgery.
Apart from common analgesics, drug treatments for back pain often work by relaxing the muscles of the back and reducing strain. Some muscle relaxants are available over the counter, while others are potentially habit forming and require a doctor's prescription and supervision for safe use. Manipulation is commonly administered in the form of either massage therapy or chiropractic care. Surgical interventions are usually only considered after other treatment approaches have been exhausted, according to WebMD. One common form of back surgery is a laminectory. This procedure is done to relieve pressure on the nerves of the back and may involve partial removal of bone spurs, normal bone that is pressing on nerve tissue, or tendons that have been increasing pressure in the back. The most common surgery, however, is spinal fusion. Spinal fusion reduces pressure on back nerves by permanently joining two vertebrae. This restricts motion and prevents the area from twisting or stretching, which can reduce pain.