- Common Lower Back Pain Symptoms
- Over-the-Counter pain Medication
- Muscle Relaxants
- Heat and Cold Packs
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Chiropractic Manipulation
- TENS Units
- Alternative Treatments
- Active Lower Back Pain Treatments
- How to Prevent Back Pain
- Do Not Forget the Simple Things
At some point in life, most people will suffer from back pain, especially on the lower back. The fact that they spend most of their time seated at a desk does not help the situation. Lower back pain can sometimes become so severe that you have to see a doctor.
Common Lower Back Pain Symptoms
Various symptoms of such inflammation include:
Dull, Aching Pain
This pain usually stays within the low back and is characterized by a dull and aching rather than stinging or sharp pain. You can also notice mild or very painful muscle spasms, aches in your hips and pelvis, and low mobility.
Constant sitting puts pressure on the disks, leading to low back pain to become worse afterward. Stretching and walking can help get rid of the low back pain but resuming your sitting position may make symptoms to reappear.
Pain that Travels to the Buttocks, Feet and Legs
Sometimes, low back pain can include a sharp, tingling, or numb sensation that travels down the thighs and into your feet and legs, also known as sciatica. This could be as a result of a herniated disk, which is also known as slipped disk, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. The inflammation is usually felt only on one side of the body.
Pain that is worse after waking Up and Better after Moving Around
Most people with back pain claim to experience symptoms that are worse early in the morning. After moving around, the symptoms reduce. Early morning back pain is due to the stiffness that is usually brought about by resting for long periods, decreased blood flow while sleeping, and maybe, your mattress quality.
There are numerous causes of back pain, one being muscle strain due to poor posture, injury, or other spinal conditions that include:
- Herniated Disc
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Lower back pain can be acute at the beginning due to an injury, but it sometimes becomes chronic and requires the doctor’s intervention. Before you can decide on the mode of treatment, it is wise to visit a professional spine specialist who will discuss with you the best treatment for your specific problem and medical history.
Your goals of managing pain in the lumbar spine include:
- Ensuring there is no further injury or stress to your spine by avoiding activities that might cause you harm. Also, improving your posture helps.
- Getting sufficient pain relief so that you can actively participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Having the ability to remain productive both at home and work
Before you think of going for surgical options to alleviate back pains, you should discuss with your doctor the available non-surgical pain treatments.
There are numerous non-surgical options for pain treatment of the lumbar spine. The commonly used ones include:
Over-the-Counter pain Medication
They are also referred to as painkillers. Occasional use of nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs can actually help you manage lower back pain. They are not used for long-term pain as they might become addictive to the user.
These are medications that act as depressants of the central nervous system and raises the movement of tense muscles, suppressing pain from tight muscles or spasms. Muscle relaxants do not play any role in managing chronic pain.
Heat and Cold Packs
Alternating cold and heat packs can help alleviate lower back pain and inflammation around that area. They help relieve muscle tension making them very useful. The only downside is that they don’t offer a permanent solution;they will only work for a short time and once you stop using them, the pain come back. You can also not walk around with cold or heat packs on your back
Epidural Steroid Injections
This is where steroids get administered directly into the dural sac that encloses the spinal cord through an injection. The medical expert uses fluoroscopy, which is a live x-ray to guide the needle to the right area. This injection is meant to relieve you of the pain temporarily by minimizing inflammation around the affected nerve root.
Some medical treatments are often combined with other methods. For example, getting an epidural steroid injection will offer you some relief to participate in physical therapy.
Manual manipulation by a chiropractor or any other health professional can help offer lower back pain relief by removing pressure from the sensitive neurological tissue, increase the motion range, bring back blood flow, minimize muscle tension, and stimulate endorphin release that often acts as natural painkillers.
They accomplish this by using hand thrusts of alternating speed and apply force to adjust your spinal structures.
These are devices that are used to offer gentle electrical stimulations that overpower the painful signals sent to your lower back.
If you have an acute lower back pain, an ultrasound might help by warming the area. This usually brings blood flow and healing properties to the affected area.
There also exist some non- medical options that can be used to treat lower back pain. These are also known as alternative or complementary care. Do not confuse them with traditional methods as many people swear by them as great pain relief options. They include:
This is an ancient Chinese medicine that is meant to stimulate those points in the body that are thought to correct the body’s “qi,” which also means life force. It is widely believed that having the proper qi lowers pain and body discomfort.
During an acupuncture session, thin needles get placed on the skin for about 60 minutes. Some people have sworn that acupuncture has helped them get relief from pain.
When you get a massage therapy on the lower back, it can eliminate the muscle spasms that are usually responsible for lower back pain. Massage is also meant to improve blood flow to the lower back, which translates into speedy healing by bringing more nutrients and oxygen to the affected muscles.
Through meditation, you can reduce your perception of pain and reduce depression, sleep problems, and anxiety that are usually connected to chronic pain. To reduce pain, you need to exercise meditative techniques that involve deep breathing exercises and have an altered focus approach.
This involves stretching exercises meant for relaxation. By learning how to do different yoga poses that target the lower back, you will experience reduced pain. Yoga also helps eliminate stress since it has a calming effect that leaves you completely relaxed.
Active Lower Back Pain Treatments
There are various back exercises and physical therapy that usually enclose combining stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic workouts.
If you are overweight, you can reduce your levels of back pain by reducing the stress levels on your lower back’s ligaments and muscles. An overweight person with a herniated disk or degenerative disk disease is at a much high risk of suffering from back pain. This is because excessive weight causes stress to these muscles, which translates to chronic back pains.
People who smoke have poor blood circulation. This is the reason your doctor might recommend that you quit smoking if you want to reduce your back pains. Daily tobacco use is usually linked to chronic lower back pain.
If you practice the proper lifting techniques, have supportive footwear, ergonomic furniture, and always avoid static posture for long periods, you can manage to get the pressure off your lower back.
How to Prevent Back Pain
At a particular time in your life, you will suffer from back pain. It might be hard to prevent the inflammation or injury. However, the following things can help you keep your back healthy:
Eating a healthy diet will help strengthen your bones and muscles. Always have a healthy and balanced meal and you will be surprised how easy it is to rid yourself of certain problems like back pain.
Use Good Body Mechanics
Always pay attention to how you lift, sit, and stand. Ensure your back is always straight and shoulders back. If seated, keep your knees bent and your feet should remain flat on the floor. Refrain from twisting movements and do not over-reach.
Have your knees bent when lifting and let your leg muscles help you to balance the load.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity adds stress to the structures of your lower back.
Pick Sports Carefully
Go for sports like swimming and biking. These will not put pressure on your spine or at any risk of injury.
As discussed above, stretching exercises will help in keeping your joints flexible and strengthen your back muscles.
Practice Safety Measures to help Avoid Falls
Some of these measures include wearing proper fitting shoes and keeping your stairs and walkways clear of clutter.
Maintain Good Posture
Whenever you feel sore or stiff; change your posture and body mechanics. Your body will usually warn you through pain when your posture is poor.
Tobacco is bad for your blood flow, especially that to the spine.
Do Not Forget the Simple Things
There are several simple things that you can do to help with the pain. They include:
- Ice application, heat therapy, and moist heat are easy options that might offer you back pain relief
- Instead of spending the entire day sitting at your desk, choose to stand
- Get a proper massage from a qualified masseuse. It might just be the answer to all your back problems.
- Doing regular stretching exercises can help prevent occasional pain. Your therapist can help you come up with the best routine.
This shows that you can actually manage back pains without going for a surgery. You will even find useful YouTube videos like this one that will show you how you can actually get rid of back pain through non-surgical methods. The video has a lot of useful information that will clear any doubts you might still have.
Nonsurgical Treatment of Lower Back Pain
Mostly, those who suffer from acute back pains will recover in a matter of few weeks after the non-surgical treatment. However, if you suffer from a chronic lower back pain, it would be wise to go for a surgical treatment.