What Are Some Complementary Alternative And Emerging Treatments For Lower Back Pain
In some cases, doctors suggest therapies that are not considered standard of care. They probably wont be covered by insurance, but they may be worth considering. Examples include:
Platelet-rich plasma . PRP treatments use a small sample of your own blood that has concentrated amounts of blood building blocks known as platelets. Your doctor then injects the PRP directly into a damaged disc. The theory is that PRP injections use your own healing system to accelerate improvement of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP treatment has a longer track record in knee osteoarthritis, but a recent review article in the Journal of Spine Surgery suggests it may have a useful role for back pain, too. PRP needs a lot more research before it can be considered a proven technique.
Stem cells. In this emerging treatment, your doctor injects stem cells harvested from your hip into the intervertebral disc or discs causing your pain. Doing so may lessen pain and the degenerative effects of aging, though, like PRP, more research is needed before stem cells for lower back pain could eventually become the standard of care.
Acupuncture. Your doctor probably doesnt perform acupuncture , but may support you trying it as a complementary therapy. Acupuncture involves careful insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on your body. This may stimulate the release of your natural pain-killing chemicals.
How Your Back Works
The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.
Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.
On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.
The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.
The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.
As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system turns on itself. It attacks synovium the lining of the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis is more common in other joints, it can also affect the spine, specifically the cervical region . Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine is not caused by wear and tear, so its considered an inflammatory arthritis. It may cause back pain even when these joints are not in use. It tends to affect women more than men.
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What Is The Sacroiliac Joint
Your SI joint is where your sacrum connects to the ilium bones, and is located directly above the tailbone and is mostly immobile, allowing only four degrees of rotation. There are manysoft tissues that hold the SI joint in alignment and support movement. Because of the close proximity to your hips and tailbone, the SI joint is still necessary for completing everyday movements as it balances and absorbs shock from walking or jumping in the spine.
The SI joint is a self-locking joint, so it locks whenever you prepare to perform an activity like jumping or running. Since it functions so frequently during daily movements, your SI joint endures a lot of stress and tension.
For your body to perform all of the movements absorbed by the SI joint, you engage your iliopsoas muscles, commonly known as your hip flexors. You can think of theiliopsoas muscles as the puppet masters of your hip and pelvic joints and bones.
Theiliacus and psoas muscles that make up the iliopsoas grab hold of your pelvis and thigh bones and help them engage in movements like sitting, standing, or kicking. These muscles work hand-in-hand with your SI joint to create comfortable movement, but they dont always work as planned.
Floor Exercises For Your Core Muscles
These first 4 exercises will strengthen your lower back, abdominal, and/or pelvic floor muscles. Targeted exercises are useful for these muscle groups, because they may not get much use during daily activities.
This exercise involves a very slight internal movement that isolates and strengthens your core and pelvic floor muscles:
Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
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Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spine the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
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.
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Lasting Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief And Treatments
Joint pain can be a mysterious and difficult type of pain both to diagnose and treat. Sacroiliac joint pain treatments are increasingly complicated because of the complexity of bones, muscles, and other structures that allow mobility in your daily movements.
With more understanding of the anatomical structures in your pelvic area, you can better understand how to implement sacroiliac joint pain exercises and other home remedies for sacroiliac joint pain into your daily life.
Luckily, as you begin to understand how your body works together and connects, implementing home remedies for sacroiliac joint pain can help you manage your discomfort, and get back to doing the things you love.
What Is Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.
Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.
Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy . Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Arthritis
Symptoms of spinal arthritis may differ from person to person. In general, they may include:
Back and neck pain, especially in the lower back
Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck
Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae
Feeling of grinding when moving the spine
Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body
Whole-body weakness and fatigue
Pain and numbness in your arms or legs if the nerves are affected
Although back pain is a common symptom, not all people have it, even those with advanced spinal arthritis. On the other hand, some may experience pain even before arthritis can be seen on an X-ray.
In certain types of spondyloarthritis, eye inflammation may occur, causing pain, watery eyes and blurred vision.
How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
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Treatments How To Ease Lower Back Pain Naturally
#1. Correct Your PostureIf you want to learn how to ease lower back pain, start by paying attention to your posture. Proper posture is essential for keeping your spine healthy and strong. You may be thinking, what exactly is posture and why is it so important?
Posture refers to the way you hold your body while youre standing, sitting, and performing tasking such as lifting, bending, twisting, etc. Proper posture maintains proper alignment of the vertebrae in your spine and helps to maintain your bodys natural spinal curvatures:
Cervical curve Thoracic curve Lumbar curve
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you slouch the muscles and ligaments of your lower back strain in an effort to keep you balanced, which can ultimately lead to lower back pain.
3 Tips for Proper Posture:
1. When standing stand tall with your shoulders back while keeping your head aligned with your body. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart and most of your weight should be on the balls of your feet. Tighten your abdomen, dont lock your knees, and allow your arms to hang naturally at the side of your body. If youre standing for long periods of time, shift your weight periodically from your toes to your heels of from one foot to the other.
3 Popular Massage Techniques:
3 Popular Acupuncture Techniques:
3. Combination practitioners combine elements of TCM and Western medical acupuncture to provide a unique technique for their patients.
3 Popular Spinal Manipulation Techniques:
What Is Arthritis Back Pain
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms. This situation cant be cured.
Almost 28% of the US adults are affected by this condition. Arthritis causes immobilization and reduces flexibility.
Depending upon the body part affected, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatic, fibromyalgia, Enteropathic arthritis, Cervical spondylosis that affect various parts of the body.
One of the common arthritis is spinal arthritis that specifically affects the spine. One of the common symptoms is an intense back pain.
Other types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, neck arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause back pain. So, it is important to properly diagnose your symptoms before taking treatment.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
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Core Exercises To Relieve Back And Hip Arthritis Pain
When you do core-building exercises, you strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and back. Strong core muscles take pressure off your spine and hip joints, which can help reduce arthritis pain and prevent additional joint damage. Strong core muscles can also increase stability and balance for your entire body.
Strength-building exercises are a core part of any exercise program for arthritis. ReadExercising with Arthritis
These 7 exercises will help you stretch and strengthen your core muscles. When exercising, remember: muscle soreness is normal, but if you experience any sharp or severe pain, stop whatever exercise or activity youre doing.
How Back Pain Can Affect You
If you suffer from back pain, you may find it harder to do certain things such as going up stairs and lifting heavy objects . You may also experience tingling and numbness. This can interrupt your daily routine and affect your quality of life.
*GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.20 **GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.11
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Gently Stretch Your Joints And Soft Tissues Through Yoga
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
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
Expert Q& a: Back Strain Or Arthritis
Understand the difference between spinal arthritis and other types of back pain, and try these pain-relieving tricks.
Question: I am a 35-year-old man who has had pain in my lower back for the past couple of weeks, and Id like to know some methods for low back pain relief. Because my mother and an aunt both have arthritis, Im also wondering if I’m developing arthritis, too.
A: It’s possible, but very unlikely, that you have arthritis of the spine. The most common cause of acute low back pain in people your age is back strain. This condition is caused by strain to the muscles or ligaments supporting the spine or a herniation of the lumbar disks . It is not always possible to differentiate between the two causes, nor is it necessary. In the vast majority of cases, the pain improves and subsides over several weeks.
Assuming your problem is simple back strain , the following advice can help you achieve low back pain relief:
Doyt Conn, MD
Emory University School of Medicine
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What Are The Most Common Lower Back Surgery Procedures
Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:
Spinal Fusion. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.
Laminectomy and laminotomy. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.
Symptoms Of Back Pain
Back pain can be felt in many ways. It can vary from mild to so severe that it affects your ability to move.
Back pain can be felt as muscle aches, stabbing pain, pain that radiates down your leg, and reduced flexibility or range of motion.
You may experience back pain as a tingling or burning sensation, a dull achy feeling, or sharp pain.
Back pain may also be felt as pain or weakness in other parts of the body including your leg, hip or the sole of your foot.
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Nondrug Therapies And Lifestyle Changes To Ease Back Pain
Learn how assistive devices, mind-body therapies and healthy choices can provide back pain relief.
An estimated 50 percent to 80 percent of American adults will experience back pain. Whether because of a traumatic accident, a simple injury or osteoarthritis, there are ways to find relief. If you have a type of inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis or non-radiographic axial spondylarthritis, you also need to seek care from a rheumatologist to manage the inflammation that is driving your back pain. But these self-care tips can help to ease back pain.