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How To Deal With Back Pain

Acute Back Pain: Short

How to deal with chronic back pain | Midday

If your back pain is acute, it probably means your pain came along suddenly. Things like stress, strenuous exercise, an awkward movement or lifting something wrong can all contribute to acute back pain.

Most back pain is diagnosed as acute. With acute back pain, the pain lasts no longer than six weeks. And in most cases, the underlying cause of the pain doesnt pose a serious or long-term problem.

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All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Back Pain

Back pain may be experienced anywhere along the spine from the neck to the buttocks. In some cases, pain may also be felt in one or both legs. Its common to be a bit restricted in daily activities such as bending, lifting, sitting and walking while youre experiencing back pain.

Movement of your torso may be limited by back pain. There may also be tenderness when pressure is applied to the joints of the spine. Reduction of reflexes, strength and sensation in the legs can be a sign of nerve compression.

Its common for people with back pain to feel distressed about their recovery. People with persistent back pain can develop fear of movement and activity , worrying that it will make things worse or increase their pain. Living with persistent back pain may also lead to mood issues, such as anxiety, irritability, frustration and depression.

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How To Deal With Back Pain As You Age

This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 6,492 times.

One of the more common health complaints among people as they age is back pain. When you are experiencing back pain, it can limit all sorts of activities. Chronic low back pain can be caused by the aging process because your bones lose strength, or the bones and discs in your spine wear down over time. Back pain is often caused by stiff joints that limit your mobility. Taking care of your back and resting can relieve pain at home. If your back pain worsens over time, consider seeing a doctor or chiropractor for treatment.

Enhance The Kinetic Chain

How to deal with back pain while running (1)

A majority of lower back pain is earned over time, and is not just an anomaly as many fool themselves into believing. That means that your mobility and movement patterns have probably been dysfunctional for a long time, and have been getting progressively worse with every single faulty rep. Get your foot off the damn break before you hit the gas!

The jaw dropping bioengineering of the human body provides many answers to why we get injured. This is most apparent in the Joint By Joint Theory, popularized by Grey Cook and Michael Boyle. This theory states that joints alternate between mobility and stability as their primary function. The lumbar spine is no exception. It primarily serves as a set of stability joints, and is surrounded by the thoracic spine and hips, which are primary mobile joints.

To get our bodies back to equilibrium, a strong prehab-rehab emphasis must be placed on stabilization of the lumbar spine, which we will cover later, and mobility work for the thoracic spine and hips.

Putting a focused effort on increasing hip mobility and range of motion can be manipulated by the positioning of the spine in movement. While your primary goal of training is protecting the spine, keeping it in a vertical position decreases the likelihood of buckling and reinjuring yourself.

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Know Your Otc Medications

Nonprescription pain relievers can help with muscle aches and stiffness. The two main types of over-the-counter options are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

True to their name, NSAIDs help lower inflammation that can lead to swelling and tenderness. But acetaminophen does not relieve inflammation. You can reach for either type of pain reliever for occasional back pain. NSAIDs may work a bit better, Hemani says, if you have arthritis of the spine or other inflammatory conditions.

One Back Pain Treatment You Probably Dont Need

Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and going under the knife may seem like the quickest, easiest fix to bring relief. But the truth is, many people dont need surgery for lower back pain management, Dr. Park says.

If your back pain is musculoskeletal, you will not require surgery, but if its a pinched nerve thats due to a disc herniation or something else, you may need to have surgery, he says. But even in those people, when you go through a six-to-eight-week course of treatment that includes physical therapy and activity modification, 85 to 90 percent of the time, they wont need surgery.

However, if you try the treatments above and dont see any improvement or still feel pain, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pain management specialist, as more specific tests or treatments may be required to get to the bottom of whats going on.

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Supplements And Herbal Therapies

Looking for a natural way to manage your back pain? You might consider supplements or herbal therapies. Here’s what Grossman advices for her patients:

When considering supplements and herbal therapies, always talk to your doctor first about potential risks and side effects, interactions with other medications, and which therapies may benefit you.

Aquatic Therapy And Whirlpools


Physical therapists often recommend aquatic therapy including exercises done in warm, therapeutic pools for back pain. The buoyancy of the water helps alleviate strain on the joints to encourage strengthening and gentle stretching of the muscles. Even floating in warm water can help relax muscles and release tension as well as increase circulation, according to the Arthritis Foundation. With home whirlpool baths, try aiming the jets directly at your sore spots for a soothing underwater massage.

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Chronic Back Pain And Mental Health

Back pain is a very common health problem its estimated that about 80 percent of Americans will experience it at some point in their lifetime. A smaller proportion will develop chronic back pain, or pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. About 20 percent of people with low back pain will have chronic back pain symptoms after a year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Chronic back pain can be caused by a vast range of medical problems, from injuries to illnesses such as arthritis and spinal stenosis. It feels different to different people, depending on the cause, the area affected and the individual. For some people, the pain may feel like a mild, persistent ache. For others, its constant agony.

One big factor in the severity of chronic back pain is your emotional response to it. If you stress about or fixate on the pain, you may perceive it to feel much worse. This can lead to more stress, as well as:

  • Depression
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep troubles

These problems can then feed back into the pain. Altogether, they may greatly affect your relationships, your work, your ability to function and your overall quality of life.

To begin feeling better, the single best step you can take is to reach out to your doctor. They can screen you for mental health issues, begin treatment for your psychological and physical troubles and refer you to specialists who can help.

Treating A Pulled Back Muscle In 8 Steps

No matter where a pulled muscle is in the body, the steps to treat it are generally the same. However, its important to talk to a medical professional before treating an injury because symptoms of other injuries, such as disc problems or a broken bone, may resemble strains and sprains. After talking to a professional, try the following steps:3

  • Apply cold. Cold helps reduce inflammation, which is the primary source of pain in the first few days. The faster you can apply cold to a pulled back muscle, the faster you may reduce pain, help control swelling, and start the healing process. Apply a cold pack for 15-20 minutes as soon as the injury occurs. Take a break of at least 20 minutes between each cold application.

  • Use compression. Applying compression bandages or using an active compression system may help reduce swelling and edema so the damaged tissues can repair themselves more quickly.

  • Rest. Right after a muscle strain, it is important to limit your activity level and avoid movements that increase pain. After the initial pain subsides, returning to previous level of activity may help prevent the muscles from growing weak.

  • Stretch. According to Kojo Hamilton, MD, as you return to activity, gentle stretching exercises may improve tissue healing by bringing more blood flow to the injured area. Applying heat to the area prior to stretching may also be beneficial. Ask a doctor about the right stretches for your condition.

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    Dont Slump Over Your Desk

    When sitting in an office chair, use the same good posture techniques you use when standing. Its critical to keep good posture and support your back when sitting down, especially if you do it for several hours per day. Choose a quality chair that provides firm support for your lower back, and make sure your knees are a little higher than your hips when you sit.

    Best Ways To Deal With Back Pain

    How To Deal With Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Back pain is one of the most common health complaints among people of all ages, and it can be caused by all kinds of things. Injuries, heavy lifting, excessive exercise, bad posture, and other factors might all be the root cause of your back pain but whatever happens to be causing it, its vital to take action and deal with it now, before it gets worse.

    The leading cause of disability is back pain, and if left untreated and unattended, it can become more pronounced and debilitating, interfering with your sleep, making some of your favourite activities much harder to enjoy, and contributing to higher levels of stress as well. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take in daily life to deal with back pain and minimize its impact.

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    Look Into Getting A New Mattress

    How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.

    Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.

    How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

    A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.

    Tests include:

    Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.

    Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.

    Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.

    Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:

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    Chronic Back Pain: Long

    Chronic back pain, on the other hand, can be serious. Chronic pain is serious because the symptoms are strong enough to impact your health, mobility and quality of life for an extended period of time.

    While chronic back pain can come on suddenly, it usually builds gradually and lasts more than six weeks. Chronic back pain can also be recurrent, meaning itll go away at times but regularly come back.

    What causes chronic back pain? Chronic pain can be triggered by a new injury, but underlying conditions are usually the real cause. Muscle deconditioning is one of the most common contributors.

    Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief

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    When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.

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    Answers To Common Back Pain Questions

    More than eight in 10 people will experience upper, mid, or low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the most common back pain. In most cases, the pain goes away over time. If your back pain is severe or does not improve, you may need medical care. Here are answers to some common questions about back pain and tips on when to seek help.

    Medication From The Store

    There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.

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    How Pnbc Helps You Heal Your Back Pain

    What many people dont realize about chronic back pain is that it can often be solved without surgery. Yes, sometimes surgery is the suggestion but only after non-surgical options have stopped working.

    At PNBC our spine strengthening program focuses on active physical therapy which focuses on movement-based activities. This is a proven method for healing chronic back pain just ask any of the 200,000-plus patients weve worked with over the past 30 years.

    Through this program, youll do an intake with a doctor or physical therapist who specializes in spine care and chronic pain. Theyll work with you to determine the best pain management treatment plan. Then youll work one-on-one with a physical therapist.

    Most programs are six to 12 weeks long, and your therapy happens at one of our facilities that features state-of-the-art medical exercise equipment. As part of your care, youll learn about what chronic pain is and how the brain processes it.

    Youll also focus on body mechanics such as proper lifting, standing and sleeping all the things that can contribute to back pain but you probably dont think about. And as you progress, youll learn how to continually improve and maintain your back strength on you own so you can keep back pain at bay long-term.

    Want to learn more about PNBC? Watch this short video.

    Think PNBC is right for you? Schedule a consultation appointment.

    What To Take For Back Ache

    How to deal with back pain

    Treating Muscle Spasms

    If muscle spasms take place, your bodyâs smooth muscles will contract due to the action of the ANS. This can signify a muscle tear. To solve the problem, straight the back moving back and forth to break the cycle of the spasm. But if exercise is causing pain, avoid it by seeing a doctor who can guide you regarding further treatment.


    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can also be taken for pain relief. These pain killers like aspirin and ibuprofen ease inflammation and pain by blocking chemical level enzymes. OTC drugs like these ease pain by controlling it at a chemical level. Aspirin should not be given to children, though adults can take it.

    Other Medications For Pain

    Depending on the type of back pain one suffers from, doctors can recommend OTC pain relievers as discussed above. In case these over the counter pain relievers don’t dispell pain, doctors can suggest prescription NSAIDs.

    Muscle relaxants can also be prescribed. If mild or medium back pain does not get enhanced with OTC pain relief medication, doctors can prescribe a muscle relaxant. Then, there are topical pain relievers. These are creams, ointments or salves that are rubbed into the skin at the site of the pain. Narcotics containing opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone can be used for shorter time periods under medical supervision.

    Ice Helps

    Heat Eases Pain

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