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How To Help Ease Lower Back Pain

Pain Medications To Treat Back Pain

Quick Lower Back Pain Relief With 3 Easy Steps

A wide range of medications is used to treat both acute and chronic low back pain. Analgesic medications are specially formulated to relieve pain. They include over-the-counter acetaminophen and aspirin, as well as prescription opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDS include ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen sodium. Several others, including a type of NSAID called COX-2 inhibitors, are available only by prescription.

There are also many topical creams or sprays that can dull and soothe low back pain. These are applied to the skin and thus stimulate localized nerves to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Topical analgesics can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow.

What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.

Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:

  • Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
  • Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
  • Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
  • Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.

Don’t Rest An Achy Back

Doctors used to prescribe bed rest for back pain. But now we know that lying still is one of the worst things you can do. It can make back pain worse and lead to other complications. Don’t rest for more than a day or two. It’s important to get up and slowly start moving again. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try swimming, walking, or yoga.

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Whats Causing Your Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is not always a side effect of your menstrual period. However, if you tend to get recurring back pain at the same time every month, you may be dealing with yet another symptom of period pain. Back pain during your period often coincides with menstrual cramps .

Its estimated that up to 50% of women deal with back pain during their menstrual cycle. Though disruptive and annoying, painful periods are generally not something to be super concerned about. However, some cases of severe menstrual cramps and back pain could be due to serious underlying issues. If you have an underlying reproductive condition thats causing you severe pain every month, its important to talk to your doctor. Well go over some of those issues later in this post and help you learn how to recognize their symptoms.

What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain

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The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:

Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:

  • Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
  • Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
  • Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape

Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.

Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.

Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.

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Bonus Tip: Consider Taking A Vitamin D3 Supplement

If your doctor agrees, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D is essential for bone, neuromuscular, and immune system function. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can help reduce back pain by increasing the absorption of calcium in your body and improving bone strength.15

See Calcium and Vitamin D Requirements

Finding the perfect pain relief technique is usually a process of trial and error, making it worth exploring various approaches. Try these natural pain-relieving strategies for your back pain and see what works best for you. Severe pain that is not relieved by self-care must be evaluated by a health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Exercises To Keep Low Back Pain Away For Good

One of the interesting things that youre going to notice during the movement described above is how weak the glute medius is.

If you want to reduce the pain over time and keep it away, youll need to strengthen that muscle.

Here are some exercises to strengthen the glute medius and get rid of this pain once and for all.

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Common Causes Of Squatting Pain

The squat is a very good compound exercise, but it can wreak havoc on your lower back. The lumbar spine is vulnerable to injury, especially if you have weak posterior chain muscles. The most common causes of lower back pain after squatting are

  • Lack of core stability and abdominal strength Lack of glute strength
  • Tightness Improper lifting technique
  • Poor squatting technique: You may not be doing squats correctly which may cause pain in your knees or hips. If you have poor mobility and flexibility in your hip joints then squatting could cause pain even if you are doing it with the correct technique.
  • Overreaching by attempting too many reps or too much weight
  • Wearing running shoes with high arches on a leg workout day. Running shoes have no support for the arch and will cause pain in the feet after heavy squats.
  • Legs Are Too Short The further you are from the ground while you squat down, more pressure will be put on your knees resulting in pain.
  • Squatting too often Before doing squats, warm up properly by walking or running for about ten minutes.

Emotional Effects Of Lower Back Pain

How to Do Squats to Ease Lower Back Pain

Back pain affects everyone differently. In some situations, back pain can be become chronic, which means it lasts a long time. Some emotional factors may increase the risk of back pain becoming chronic, including:

  • believing that physical activity isn’t helpful or having lots of bed rest
  • emotional problems such as feeling depressed, anxious or stressed
  • a lack of social support from family and friends
  • not wanting to play an active role in your treatment

Although you may think your pain is a warning sign to stop you doing certain activities, its important that you keep active to overcome it. If you have any questions about keeping active, talk to your physiotherapist or doctor. They can reassure you that keeping mobile and being positive about managing your back pain are the keys to helping you recover. Exercise will also help to prevent back pain in future.

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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesnt go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.

See your provider if you have:

  • Pain that doesnt get better after about a week of at-home care.
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
  • Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
  • Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesnt go away or if youre unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.

References

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.

Stay updated on the latest science-backed health, fitness, and nutrition news by signing up for the Prevention.com newsletter here.

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The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts

In This Article: | | | | | | | | | |

If youve ever had lower back pain stop you from doing what you want, youre not alone. Lower back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the world. It is a leading reason why people visit a doctor, affecting more than 80% of adults at some point in their lives. According to the Global Burden of Diseasea significant study published in the Lancet medical journallower back pain is also a leading cause of disability.

While severe lower back pain can cause worry, pain severity is not always an indication something is seriously wrong. Photo Source: Shutterstock.

You may not be able to prevent lower back pain, especially as you age and your back loses some strength and resilience. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get relief, no matter the cause of your back pain.

What Is Back Pain

How to relieve back pain: 6 best yoga poses

Back pain refers to pain that you may feel in your back or spine. It is a very common problem: 1 in 6 Australians report having back problems, and 4 out of 5 experience it sometime in their life. While both men and women report that they experience back problems, it is more commonly reported by people 25 years and older.

Back pain can be grouped into different categories. Lower back pain refers to pain felt in the lower part of the spine . Back problems can also affect the upper back , the neck as well as the tailbone .

People experience back pain in different ways. Some people say it feels like a sharp pain other people report aches or spasms. You may feel stiff, or find it hard to turn or bend in certain directions. In some cases, such as sciatica, pain can travel down one or both your legs.

Back pain can impact you physically and mentally. People suffering from back pain may feel irritable or short-tempered. They may worry about whether the pain will control their life and may experience feelings of helplessness.

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What Should I Know About Back Pain

Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.

The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.

As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.

Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.

Signs Of Low Back Pain

Low back pain can be debilitating for so many people.

Unfortunately, pain levels vary for different people. Some people with a high pain tolerance may experience low back pain as a small twinge thats simply annoying. Others, especially those who injure themselves severely, might feel their back pain as the worst pain they have ever felt in their life.

Your low back pain might just start out as you being stiff. Its uncomfortable but manageable. You might feel that stiffness at only one point, or it might feel like that across your entire back. Or, both options are possible depending on the movement you are doing. Once that stiffness becomes pain, it falls into three categories.

Since people experience pain differently, low back pain can be in the form of sharp, dull, or burning.

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Acupuncture For Low Back Pain Relief

Acupuncture can be moderately effective for chronic low back pain. With acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into various points around the body.

Acupuncture practitioners hypothesize that when these thin needles are inserted into the skin and then stimulated by twisting or tapping, naturally occurring chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine are released to relieve pain.

Anecdotal evidence suggests acupuncture can be an effective pain reliever. Further scientific and clinical studies are underway to prove the efficacy of acupuncture therapy.

Gently Stretch Your Joints And Soft Tissues Through Yoga

How to Fix Your Lower Back Pain for Good

Yoga is an effective way to stretch your back, improve the health of muscles and joints, enhance distribution of healing nutrients through blood circulation, and increase the flexibility of the spine.12

See Healing Benefits of Yoga

When you start, perform the stretches slowly and advance only if you feel comfortable without pain. Gradually, you will be able to add more stretches to your routine. An ideal time for yoga is early morningto help loosen your spine and also reduce stiffness and aches in your back.

See 3 Beginner Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

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How Is Back Pain Treated

You can do several things to manage back pain. A conversation with your doctor or physiotherapist can help address any concerns you may have and help you to better understand your treatment. Remember that not all information is trustworthy, so let your healthcare team know about treatments you are considering before you begin them.

Ways to manage back pain include the following:

Strong pain medication is not recommended for back pain. Research shows strong pain medication provides little benefit and can cause side effects such as drowsiness, sedation and/or dependence.

If you have severe back pain and your current medication is not adequately managing it, talk to your doctor about a suitable treatment plan. In some cases, your doctor may suggest an injection that can numb the pain such as an epidural injection, or a surgical procedure, such as a laminectomy to help manage your pain.

There are many other treatments to manage back pain, but they have not been well proven. These include:

  • herbal medicines
  • laser therapy
  • heat and cold therapy
  • electrotherapy

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Workouts That Can Cause Low Back Pain

Most athletic injuries to the back are sprains of the ligaments or strains of the muscles surrounding the spine. Serious conditions or complications can have similar symptoms to those of a routine sprain or strain. The most common sports injuries occur after repetitive overuse of the spine either through twisting, compression, or flexion. High impact sports such as running, football, or volleyball can often cause low back pain. Sports like golf, in which repetitive twisting is often involved, can also cause low back pain.

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Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief

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.

What Should I Do If Back Pain Unstoppable

10 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

Find a squats trainer: Squats trainers have to have a very accurate knowledge of leg training and squatting technique. This is because they will be the one who will be teaching you the proper form and execution of squats. They should also know their training methods and should be able to apply them to your needs.

If you cant afford a personal trainer, there are plenty of options for learning how to squat on your own. YouTube is full of videos about how to do squats correctly.

If you are experiencing and unstoappable back pain while doing squats, stop immediately and consult your doctor or physical therapist. If the pain persists, then see a medical professional as soon as possible.

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