What Should I Think About When Deciding About Treatment
You and your health care professional can discuss what might be best to treat your low back pain. Here are some things to think about. Be sure to share your thoughts with your health care professional.
- How does your low back pain affect your daily life?
- What are your goals for treatment?
- Which treatment feels like the best fit for you?
- Which possible side effects of treatment concern you?
- How might the cost of treatment affect your decision?
- How much time do you have to spend on treatment?
Ask your health care professional
- Which treatment do you think may be best for me? Why?
- What may help my low back pain in the short term?
- What may help my low back pain in the long term?
- Might medicine help my low back pain? If so, which one?
- What side effects should I watch for? When should I tell you about them?
- Might nonmedicine treatments help my low back pain?
- How long might it take for the treatment to start working?
- Is there anything else I can try?
What Is Low Back Pain
Low back pain may be dull and aching or sharp and stabbing. The pain may be mild or severe, and you may feel tingling or burning. You may also have pain in your legs.
You may feel stiff, and it may be hard to stand up straight or move your lower back. Low back pain can make it hard to do your daily activities.
- Acute low back pain lasts for 4 weeks or less
- Subacute low back pain lasts between 4 weeks and 12 weeks
- Chronic low back pain lasts for 12 weeks or longer
Often, it is hard to know the exact cause of low back pain. There are many possible causes. One possible cause is a strain or tear in the muscles or ligaments that support your back. Low back pain can also be caused by a muscle spasm in your back.
Your health care professional may talk with you about your history of low back pain and may do a physical exam. Both can help rule out any serious conditions that may be causing your low back pain .
What Are Some Common Lower Back Pain Causes
The causes of lower back pain are sometimes viewed as being mechanical, organic or idiopathic. Sometimes spinal conditions are congenital or acquired meaning the disorder develops later in life.
- Mechanical lower back pain is often triggered by spinal movement and involves spinal structures, such as the facet joints, intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies , ligaments, muscles or soft tissues.
- Organic lower back pain is attributed to disease, such as spinal cancer.
- Idiopathic refers to an unknown cause.
These are some of the things your doctor might look for or rule out when you schedule a visit for back pain.
The common symptoms of lower back pain.
Sprains and strains. Ligament sprains and muscle or tendon strains are the most common causes of lower back pain. Theyre often related to overuse.
Degenerative disc disease. While the name sounds worrisome, it just means you have a damaged disc causing pain. Over time, discs become thinner and flatter due to wear and tear. That leaves them less able to cushion the vertebrae and more likely to tear .
Herniated disc. The protective covering on intervertebral discs can tear over time. When this happens, the soft inner disc tissue may push through the outer layer. A disc that bulges or slips out of place is known as a herniated disc, bulging disc, or slipped disc. The herniation may press on nerve roots, leading to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the area that the nerve serves
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Is It Time For Back Surgery
Back surgery is often a last resort when all other treatment options have been tried. Surgery may be considered an option to relieve pain caused by serious musculoskeletal injuries or nerve compression resulting from vertebrae shifting or collapsing.
Back surgeries often have a long recovery period, and some patients may lose mobility and flexibility post-surgery. It is also important to note that not all surgical procedures are successful. As such, it is important for patients to talk with their physicians and know all of the risks associated with a procedure before undergoing back surgery.
What Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain Actually Work
Unless youve had a major injury, such as a fall or car accident, you probably dont need to rush to the doctor for back pain. You may want to try these simple self-care strategies first.
Avoid bed rest. When lower back pain strikes, people often think complete rest will relieve back pain. However, a review of many clinical studies found that patients who retreated to bed actually experienced more pain and recovered more slowly than patients who stayed fairly active
Use ice and/or heat. Many people find that using ice or cold packs for periods of up to 20 minutes at a time helps reduce pain and swelling. Always wrap ice or a cold pack in a thin towel before putting it on your body so you dont injure your skin. You may also find that heat, such as a heating pad or warm bath, eases pain. Ice is recommended in the first 48 hours after injury then you can try a combo of ice and heat.
Try over-the-counter remedies. Short-term use of OTC pain relievers, such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen, may ease your lower back pain. Also consider OTC creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin. They stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain.
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Acupuncture For Back Pain
Acupuncture is a therapy that targets energy points called meridians which benefit the nerves and muscles of different parts of the body.
Likewise, there are certain meridians that focus on treating back pain. These might include points at the back of the knees, lower back points, foot points, hip points, hand points or stomach points for lower back pain.
Points on the head, shoulders, neck and upper back include treating pin for upper back pain
Stimulating these points activates some parts of the nervous system. Acupuncture also offers pain relief for neuromuscular issues like Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Post-surgery recovery, musculoskeletal pain, TMJ and Sciatica.
What Else Can You Do When Antibiotics Fail
When it comes to the best treatment for recurrent chronic UTIs there are two main camps.
Some physicians prefer a long-term antibiotic treatment protocol, frequently prescribing a variety of antibiotics over the course of several months .
Others advocate for the mindful use of antibiotics and focus on correcting underlying dysbiosis as the main reason for recurrent UTIs. In fact, we are still learning about the human microbiome and the effect bacteria have on our health and it seems less and less probable that antibiotics alone could solve chronic issues.
Moreover, antibiotics were developed when we thought that a healthy bladder is sterile which we now know is far from the truth.
What is the best approach to cure a chronic UTI? Here is a selection of posts that can help you to get up to speed:
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How To Relieve Back Pain Naturally
Our back is a complicated and complex structure of bones, ligaments, joints, and muscles. whether you strain your muscles, rupture the disks or irritate your joints, you might get severe back pain. while most sports accidents or injuries can cause a painful back, sometimes even the most simple movement, such as picking up a pen from the floor, can lead to this condition. In addition to all that, obesity, poor posture, psychological stress, and arthritis will also lead to unnecessary pain in the back area.
According to research, about 80% of all Americans will suffer from low back pain at least once in their lifetime. Back pain is more common among adults between 35 to 55 years old. There are many causes of back pain, including blood vessels, internal organs, infections, daily activities, poor posture, or tension.
Lower back pain usually disappears with good care at home. With so many over-the-counter products available and methods to relieve back pain, heres how to choose wisely. Low back pain is a common problem. This is the fifth most common reason why people see a doctor. But experts say that many cases of back pain do not need to be treated by a doctor.
Back pain is usually classified into two types:
- Acute Pain occurs suddenly and persists for up to three months.
- Chronic the pain remains gradually over a longer period and causes long-term problems.
Alternative Back Pain Treatments To Try Before Choosing Surgery
If you deal with back pain, you know it can make you feel miserable. Whether its persistent low back pain or spasms, an aching neck, or sciatic nervepain shooting down your legs, chronic back pain can sideline you from work and your favorite activities.
Unfortunately, back pain is quite common. Eight in 10 people deal with some type of back pain during their lives. Low back pain in particular is responsible for 2.6 million visits to the emergency room each year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Despite a wealth of research in recent years about how to treat back pain, too many patients still receive unnecessary and often excessive treatment. Instead of being urged to continue to work and stay active, which has been shown to be effective, patients often are told to take time off to rest, referred for scans and surgery, and prescribed painkillers, including opioids.
Fortunately, there are many alternative treatments for back pain, many of which are easy to do at home and affordable, with no doctors prescription necessary.
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How Do I Know If I Need Antibiotics To Treat My Uti
Once you have a UTI, home remedies and OTC medications will not cure a UTI. You will need antibiotics to cure your UTI. Once you start antibiotics, symptoms usually clear up in 2-3 days.
Even though the symptoms should clear up quickly, you should still take all the antibiotics your doctor prescribes for you. If you dont, the infection could come back even stronger the next time.
For an uncomplicated UTI, these antibiotics are prescribed most often:
How To Relieve Back Pain With Stuart Mcgill Phd
Welcome back to the Healing Pain Podcast with Stuart McGill, PhD
Were discussing the evaluation and treatment of lower back pain with Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. McGill is a Professor Emeritus from the University of Waterloo where he has many years of experience. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the cause and mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate people living with pain, and how to enhance both injury resilience and performance. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, medical groups, and lead athletes and teams from around the world. His work produced over 240 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, several textbooks and many international awards. On this episode, well discuss some of the more common truths and myths about back pain, how to effectively assess low back pain, lessons you can apply treating lower back pain in the average person, as well as with high-performing athletes and whether or not surgery is indicated for people with lower back pain. Lets get ready and lets meet Professor Stuart McGill.
Massage Therapy For Low Back Pain
Studies have shown that massage treatments can help relieve chronic low back pain. Massage treatment can restore people to their usual activities of daily living and lessen pain. Massage therapy is limited, and would not be the most effective solution for patients with spinal complications, injuries, or disk problems since massage focuses on the release of muscle tension and not on the structure of the spine itself.
More Advanced Care Options
Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:
Implanted nerve stimulators
- Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
- Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.
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Core Muscle Exercise The Right Way
Muscle tightness is one of the causes of low back pain. Notably, hip flexors, quads, and Hamstrings may shorten with time and thus cause muscle stretching and consequently lead to back pain.
During the day, your back and abs support the lower pain. However, the muscles in these regions might not stretch enough.
For a start, use an exercise ball for about 30 minutes and sit upright on it to stretch your core.
You can use a mart or a carpeted floor for the core muscle exercises. Ensure to take deep and free breaths while exercising.
Your exercise should target the core and the muscles to relieve spasm and tension, causing intense back pain.
Ensure to focus on the transversus abdominis, which are the most profound muscle in your abdominal, and which you can feel contracting whenever you cough.
Core exercises build core muscles and abs include abdominal crunch, bridge, and segmental rotation, Superman, modifies plank, side plank, single-leg abdominal press, and other modified plank variations.
However, if you are worried about how to squeeze time for exercise, 20-30 minutes will be enough to stretch your core.
Further, consult a doctor on your fitness levels and then start a Daily Stretching Routine.
Remember to stand beside your work desk and stretch backward during the day. Also, you can do yoga in addition to spreading your legs.
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Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Is this not another way of saying go see a shrink?
Well, its just talking, right?
If just talking can help you overcome that pain by helping you view things differently, what do you loseespecially if it does work?
A study titled The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Treatment for Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis was carried out to determine the effect of CBT on people with low back pain.
A total of nine databases were searched and randomized controlled trials found and reviewed.
The conclusion of the study after the review was that CBT had a positive long-term effect in the areas of pain reduction for patients with low back pain regardless of age and duration of the condition.
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Hot Or Cold Therapy For Low Back Pain
Hot or cold packs may help ease pain and reduce symptoms. The soothing relief from heat, or the dulling relief from a cold pack, is only temporary and will not treat more serious causes of back pain. However, they may provide greater mobility for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing them to get up and get moving.
Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or intravenously .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
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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.