A woman experiencing back pain (highlighted in red).

Back Pain Be Gone: 7 Non-Surgical Strategies for Fast Relief

Back pain can manifest itself in several forms and can affect you at many stages of your life. In fact, almost everyone will experience back pain at some point.

The most common placement of back pain is lower back pain - i.e. pain felt anywhere from the bottom of the rib cage to the top of the legs. In 2017, an estimated 577 million people(7.1% of the global population) experienced lower back pain, with higher numbers among women.

Upper back pain relates to pain felt anywhere between the base of the neck and the bottom of the rib cage - this is the less common of the two.

There are three different kinds of back pain:
  • Acute back pain - sudden pain, lasting between a few days and a few weeks
  • Subacute back pain - can develop suddenly or over time, lasting 4-12 weeks
  • Chronic back pain - can develop suddenly or over time, lasting over 12 weeks/3 months

What Causes Chronic Pain in Your Back?


A black and white image of a man in black shirt holding his back due to chronic back pain.


Chronic back pain can be caused by a whole host of issues and ailments. Sometimes, it can be due to specific actions or events (like in the below) or it will occur because of a specific medical condition.

  • Sprains and strains (to muscle or ligament) which can be caused by strenuous sports, lifting, and general overuse of the spine
  • Herniated discs (sometimes also described as “bulging” or “ruptured” discs) occur when a fragment of a spinal disc is pushed out of the annulus (a ring of fibrous tissue in the spine) and into the spinal canal
  • Fractured vertebrae - caused by trauma to the bone, ranging from falls to car accidents to injury through sports

When exploring the causes and back pain treatment without surgery, it’s important to consider factors unique to you, such as your age and lifestyle.


Conditions That Can Cause Chronic Pain in Your Back


Arthritis of the spine, otherwise known as osteoarthritis, is caused by a breakdown of cartilage in the joints which can be due to normal wear and tear.

Key symptoms of spinal arthritis/osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain in the back and neck areas
  • Stiffness and lost flexibility of the spine
  • Swelling or irritation in affected vertebrae
  • General weakness and fatigue

Two conditions, called “spondylosis” or “ spondylitis” are closely linked to spinal arthritis. Spondylitis specifically describes inflammation of the joints and can be named more specifically as “ankylosing spondylitis” (relating to stiffness) or “axial spondyloarthritis” (relating to the axial skeleton - chest, spine, and pelvis). Meanwhile, spondylosis specifically describes age-related wear and tear to cartilage and/or bones.

(Lumbar) spinal stenosis, sometimes called “vertebral stenosis”, is a gradual narrowing of the spinal cord, which compresses nerves that connect to the legs. Cauda equina syndrome is a severe form of spinal stenosis, which you might have also heard about.

Key symptoms of spinal stenosis include:

  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs
  • Cramping in the calves
  • Loss of some leg function (less common)
  • Loss of bowel/bladder function (less common)

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them more likely to break. This can lead to fractures and/or stenosis.

Sadly, because of the nature of the disease, there are usually no symptoms until a bone is broken. However, symptoms of a breakage in the spinal area might include:

  • Severe back pain
  • Loss of height
  • Spine malformations, i.e. a hunched posture

Sciatica describes pain in the sciatic nerve due to compression or irritation. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back and down each leg to your feet.

Key symptoms of sciatica include tingling, pain or weakness in any of the areas through which the nerve runs: the bottom, backs of the legs, and feet. The pain usually only occurs on one side.

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists and curves. This can cause uneven shoulders and hips and lead to back pain (mostly in adults).

Sacroiliitis refers to inflammation of the sacroiliac joint(s), which joins the pelvis to the lower spine. This condition can lead to pain in the lower back area., which can be aggravated by sitting/standing for prolonged periods, running, and rotating the hips.



The Benefits of Alternative Treatments to Surgery


There are many reasons someone might choose non-surgical options for a medical issue, as the benefits can sometimes be more advantageous than going under the knife.

Surgery can be incredibly invasive and require a long recovery period or the need to be out of action for some weeks or months.

Some people are more susceptible to complications of surgery too, like people with high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, and diabetes. Unlike undergoing an operation, some alternative treatments are much safer.

For others, non-surgical options can be beneficial in the step before surgery to help prepare or while waiting for an appointment to become available.

In short, the benefits of alternative treatments to surgery include:

- No recovery period needed
- Non-invasive
- Sometimes can be safer
- Can go straight back to work if possible
- More convenient
- Affordable

Whatever your reason for exploring non-surgical options, here are just 7 methods to explore…


7 Ways to Relieve Pain Without Surgery


Any form of pain can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable. To overcome this, we’ve outlined seven of the best back pain treatment without surgery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be used to alleviate back pain by improving movement and building strength in the spine. Some key kinds of physical therapy for chronic back pain include exercises to…

  • Strengthen your core
  • Stabilize your lumbar (i.e. lower back)
  • Improve your posture

You should consult medical advice to find the right physiotherapy for your circumstances.


Movement and exercise that engages, strengthens, and supports your back can be great for promoting circulation (which encourages healing) and building strength/flexibility in the muscles around your spine.

The most common examples of exercise that can be beneficial for chronic back pain are walking, swimming, and yoga. As with any chronic pain, it’s important to incorporate these activities slowly and gently, listening to your body and what it needs in relation to duration and intensity.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy has been found to reduce chronic back pain by 50%.

This technology uses infrared light technology to target pain at the source, stimulating your cells’ natural healing processes to reduce pain and aid recovery when used regularly over an extended period of time. It proves particularly effective when used as part of a wider rehabilitation program.

With our handheld, at-home device - the Kineon MOVE+ Pro, you can access this technology on your own terms. It has adaptable modules, a flexible attachment strap, and a convenient size to use either stationary or on-the-go which is a great way to access healing technology in an accessible way.



Acupuncture is an old kind of physical therapy, originating from China, which involves inserting small needles into pressure points of the body to target specific energy.

It’s believed that, by stimulating specific areas of the body, the nervous system is also stimulated in such a way that relieves pain in the spine.

Some target acupuncture areas for back pain treatment without surgery include:

  • Feet, hands, hips, etc. for the lower back
  • Head, shoulders, neck, etc. for the upper back

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is used to release muscle tension in a specific area, i.e. the lower or upper back. It’s also been noted as slowing heart rate, which relaxes the nervous system and therefore promotes healing.

The five most common kinds of massage therapy for back pain are:

  • Swedish massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Myofascial massage
  • Trigger point massage

Mind-Body Practices


This practice combines controlled body movements and breathing as a way of alleviating stress and pain (physical and mental) and boosting general health and wellbeing.

You may be more familiar with example practices than the overall category itself…


Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants are prescription medications that do as the name suggests - help muscles in pain to relax. Most versions have a sedative effect on the central nervous system, reducing the amount of pain signals received/interpreted by the brain. Though helpful in the short term, they should only be taken for 2-3 weeks.

There are several different relaxants available with several requiring prescription. It’s therefore worth doing your own research and consulting professional advice when choosing what might work best for you to alleviate chronic back pain.


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Lifestyle Changes to Be Implemented for Back Pain


Changes to your day-to-day life can be as pivotal in your recovery journey as building small habits that you pick up intermittently for a prolonged period. Examples of such changes might include:

  • Weight loss: reducing pressure and inflammation in the area and your body’s wider systems - nervous, immune, etc.
  • Quitting smoking: it’s thought that smoking’s impact on the arteries has links to back pain
  • Better sleep: sleep deprivation has been linked with inflammation, as the body’s natural anti-inflammatory processes are hindered if you don’t get enough sleep.
  • Nutrition: eating a protein-rich daily diet and reducing consumption of salt, sweets, hydrogenated fats, tea, and coffee.

For more articles on back pain, read:

About Kineon

Bringing the latest advancements in enhanced red light therapy for home use. Our mission is to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.

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