When you can’t move without experiencing pain, even simple, everyday tasks can become daunting. And after days or weeks without relief, you might be ready to try anything that will make you feel better. 

Common pain “solutions”

A common treatment intervention for musculoskeletal pain—or pain in your bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, tendons or ligaments—is an injection. However, recent research published has shown that corticosteroid injections for some kinds of pain were no more effective than placebo for reducing pain and improving functionality.

Another common intervention is imaging, typically X-rays or MRIs. While imaging can occasionally help confirm a diagnosis, it’s just as likely to uncover unrelated abnormalities that lead to increased surgery rates, decreased overall perception of health, and lead to behaviors that could give rise to chronic pain.

What’s more, millions of Americans are prescribed opioids for chronic pain even though research shows the risks of opioid use outweigh the benefits. And, despite more than 1.5 million people undergoing surgery for back pain in the U.S. each year, research tells us that only about 5% of people experiencing back pain need surgery at all.

According to guidelines…

If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. Understanding the benefits, risks and limits of what each of these interventions can do, and how they can work as part of a comprehensive treatment plan is complicated. Where do you even start?

When it comes to musculoskeletal pain, medical guidelines recommend conservative therapies as the first line of treatment. Conservative therapy refers to non-invasive treatments, such as hands-on manual therapy from a physical therapist or chiropractor, acupuncture, regular movement interspersed with short periods of rest, over-the-counter medications for pain management, and other similar interventions.

For example, in research published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, research showed that for plantar heel pain, physical therapy and dry needling—both conservative therapies—were more effective in both reducing pain and increasing function in the long-term (longer than six weeks) than other more invasive treatments. 

Start with Orthology.

Orthology can help you navigate Orthology providers are specialists in the types of conservative therapies—hands-on manual therapy, spinal manipulation, dry needling and more—that medical guidelines recommend for getting you back to living pain-free in the long term.

And, if it turns out you do need additional care, Orthology providers are expert diagnosticians who work with a network of other best-in-class clinics, doctors and surgeons. Our team will help you navigate your care as seamlessly and cost effectively as possible, so you can get back to doing what you love.