Friday, November 25, 2022
HomeTrendingWhat Can I Do To Help Back Pain

What Can I Do To Help Back Pain

Lower Back Pain: Is It In Your Genes

How to Fix Your Lower Back Pain for Good

One of the main reasons a person develops low back pain and another doesn’t may lie in their genes. With disc degeneration, Andersson says, âIf you take twins — one who is doing heavy physical work and one who is doing desk work — and you compare their MRI exams, they are essentially identical. This tells you that genetic factors are very important.â

If you have chronic low back pain, you’ve likely inherited the tendency, and you’re probably hardwired for it. The lower back contains sensitive receptors called nociceptive fibers, which send pain signals to the brain. “Some people have a lot of nociceptive fibers — for example, in their discs — while others have relatively few,” Wisneski tells WebMD. That may be why one person can lift heavy weights many times and never experience low back pain, while another who barely lifts anything is in constant agony.

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.

Surgery As A Remedy For Pain

Many people who suffer from scoliosis-related pain choose spinal-fusion surgery out of fear. Some think it might be the only option to alleviate their pain, or they feel surgery is a preemptive strike against increasing pain levels associated with aging.

I respond to these concerns by pointing out to my patients that surgery is neither their only, nor their best option. While surgery can be successful in terms of making the spine straighter, it can have a big cost in terms of flexibility, functionality, and overall body health. Often, pain at the fusion site or infection can also be prevalent and lead to further complications and subsequent surgeries.

Surgeons do their very best to minimize negative outcomes and surgical side effects, but the bottom line is that spinal-fusion surgery is costly, invasive, and has the potential to affect the body in numerous negative ways.

You May Like: Does Aleve Work For Back Pain

What Exactly Is The Lower Back Anyway

Your lower back is known as the lumbar region of the spine. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do: The lumbar spine carries the weight of your entire upper body, plus biomechanical stresses that occur with movement.

The lumbar spine has five vertebraebackbones. Each vertebra has a large disc cushiony gel wrapped in a tough membrane on its front side that acts as a shock absorber. Each vertebra also has two cartilage-lined facet joints on its back side. Working together, discs and facet joints allow the spine to safely bend and twist.

Your lower back also includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are strong bands that hold the vertebrae and discs together. Tendons attach muscles to the vertebrae. These structures help limit excessive movement that could harm the spinal cord.

Are You Making Your Back Pain Worse

Prevent Back Pain: Exercises To Help Strengthen Your Back

Don’t be guilty of exacerbating your already achy back. Try these tips for preventing added low back pain:

  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes if you are on your feet all day.
  • Don’t slouch when standing or sitting.
  • At home or work, make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height.
  • Warm-up and stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
  • Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy and don’t twist while lifting.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, and keep off the extra weight.

Also Check: Will Aleve Help With Back Pain

How Diet Affects Back Pain

The research is not all in, but theres significant evidence that points to the anti-inflammatory properties of certain foods and their link to reducing back pain. As we know, following a healthy diet is closely related to healthy bones and organs, and ultimately a healthy body. If youve been experiencing back pain, adding foods into your diet that squash inflammation can help you find back pain relief.

Put Out That Cigarette

We all know smoking is a serious health risk, and smokers are also more likely to experience back pain than nonsmokers. One reason for this is that nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks in the spine. This can cause them to dry out, crack, or rupture. Smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which causes a reduction in nourishment to the muscles and tendons in the back. An unhealthy, weak back is more vulnerable to accidental strains and pulls that cause back pain.

Also Check: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain

When Surgery May Help

Most back surgeries are done to treat nerve pain from herniated discs. Surgery might be an option when a disc problem causes pain in your leg that prevents you from doing everyday tasks. You may have pain, numbness, or tingling through your buttock and down the back of your leg or in the front of your thigh.

Other problems that may require surgery include:

  • A spinal fracture caused by an injury.
  • An infection in your spine.
  • A problem that causes your spine to be unstable.
  • A tumor in your spine.
  • Loss of feeling or weakness in your back or legs that gets worse over time.
  • Loss of control of your bowel or bladder.

Having surgery for a herniated disc or another back problem is a big decision. Talk to your doctor about it.

Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:

How to relieve upper back pain with exercises
  • Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
  • Behavioral approaches include:
  • Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
  • Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation involves wearing a battery-powered device which places electrodes on the skin over the painful area that generate electrical impulses designed to block or modify the perception of pain
  • Physical therapy programs to strengthen core muscle groups that support the low back, improve mobility and flexibility, and promote proper positioning and posture are often used in combination with other interventions
  • Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.

    Also Check: Advil Good For Back Pain

    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.

    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.

    Read Also: Back Pain Cleveland Clinic

    Start Treating Your Sciatica And Back Pain

    If you are referred to a physical therapist for your back pain, he or she will likely teach you how to attain and maintain proper posture. The slouch overcorrect procedure is a simple way to teach yourself the posture that is required to maintain appropriate spinal alignment.

    Your physical therapist may also use therapeutic modalities to help decrease your pain. While these may feel good, caution should be used many of these treatments have not been proven to effectively decrease pain-and keep it away.

    Physical therapists trained in the McKenzie Method are specialists when it comes to treating people with low back and neck pain. If you can find a therapist certified in the McKenzie Method, he or she will likely perform a thorough assessment of your problem and teach you self-care exercises that can quickly abolish your pain and help you return to your previous level of function.

    This is an exercise program commonly used to treat low back pain and sciatica, or leg pain that is coming from your back. They are listed as a progression. Start with exercise number one, and progress as needed through the exercises. You may not need to perform all of the exercises, but if the first one fails to provide you with adequate relief from your pain, try the second one, and so on.

    Look Into Getting A New Mattress

    The Best Yoga Poses You Can Do in 8 Minutes To Relieve ...

    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.

    Don’t Miss: Advil For Back Pain Dosage

    Accept The Things You Can’t Change

    Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.

    “If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.

    “In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”

    Why Does My Back Hurt

    There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.

    Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.

    Also Check: Aleve For Lower Back Pain

    Carefully Move To A Bed Or Comfortable Flat Surface To Remain Temporarilyimmobile

    That spasm that you have is a nasty but very clear warning sign that you must not continue to move. Your body is literally locking up to guard you against injuring another part of your back that is weakened or injured.

    Although this locked up muscle may hurt as it tightens, it is not usually the source of the injury.

    By laying down, you can help to stop triggering these muscles and can reduce the intensity and duration of the pain.

    You can lie on the floor using cushions and pillows as a support and just be patient. Its better for you to focus on being somewhere calm so you can make yourself the priority.

    Remember though that this is only a temporary measure as prolonged immobility could make things worse.

    Did your contraction happen while reaching for, or lifting something? Did it happen just out of the blue and during a very simple activity? If so, you should follow this One Simple Rule to help reduce your chances of back spasms.

    Remedies For Scoliosis Pain

    How to Prevent and Reduce Muscular Back Pain

    Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, weve learned a lot about the power of scoliosis-specific chiropractic treatment and pain management. Not only does our chiropractic-centered treatment approach have positive results in terms of managing the conditions progression and achieving a reduction, it also provides our patients with a lot of relief and helps restore function.

    Read Also: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain

    Support Your Body In A Warm Pool

    The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy the benefits of exercise with less pain. Exercising in water also helps regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, relieving pain.14

    If you prefer warmer pools, look into water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools. Water therapy exercises are often done in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy pool temperatures are often more than 90 degrees.

    See Water Therapy Exercise Program

    Risk Factors You Can Change With Lifestyle Changes

    • Not getting regular exercise
    • Doing a job or other activity that requires long periods of sitting, heavy lifting, bending or twisting, repetitive motions, or constant vibration, such as using a jackhammer or driving certain types of heavy equipment
    • Smoking. People who smoke are more likely than people who don’t smoke to have low back pain.
    • Being overweight. Excess body weight, especially around the waist, may put strain on your back, although this has not been proved. But being overweight often also means being in poor physical condition, with weaker muscles and less flexibility. These can lead to low back pain.
    • Having poor posture. Slumping or slouching on its own may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. “Good posture” generally means your ears, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line. If this posture causes pain, you may have another condition such as a problem with a disc or bones in your back.
    • Being under stress. Stress and other emotional factors are believed to play a major role in low back pain, particularly chronic low back pain. Many people unconsciously tighten their back muscles when they are under stress.

    Read Also: How Much Advil Can I Take For Back Pain

    Rub On Medicated Creams

    Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.

    Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone to apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.

    âIt’s not going to be a mainstay at providing significant relief, but it can calm things down,â Ray says.

    Medication From The Store

    Back Injury Treatment

    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.

    Also Check: Aleve Or Advil For Lower Back Pain

    Coping With Chronic Back Pain

    Low back pain can take a toll on your mental health. You may feel fear, frustration, and anger or have depression and anxiety because of ongoing pain. Those common reactions can make your pain last even longer. If pain is starting to get you down:

    • Let people know when you need a helping hand. Ask family members or friends to help out with physical tasks you can’t do right now.
    • Be honest with your doctor about your pain. Ask for a referral to a counselor or pain management specialist. A prescription antidepressant or antianxiety medicine may also help with chronic pain.
    • Work with your health professionals and your work supervisor to make a return-to-work plan, if needed. Ask for an ergonomic consultation if you need to learn how to do some of your job duties differently to avoid hurting your back again.

    One Man’s Story:

    “I started feeling sad and angry a lot. I didn’t want to do anything. My back was hurting more. I was having trouble focusing on my work. My life just started feeling smaller and smaller.”â Ravi

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular