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.”
Managing Low Back Pain
Manage back pain with regular exercise and professional help as requiredIf you have an attack of lower-back pain that is severe, continuous and not improving, assessment and treatment by a health care professional who focuses on the back or other musculoskeletal problems may help. These practitioners may use both active and passive techniques to help you feel better. Examples of passive techniques that may be used to get you moving include:
- Heat or ice
An active approach, like walking or water aerobics is usually the most effective. Exercise is often the best way to relieve lower-back pain.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Work with an expert. It may help to work with a health professional who can explain which activities are right for you.
Choose exercises you enjoy. Many activities can help relieve back pain. Try to include activities that strengthen the muscles around your trunk, your abdominal muscles as well as those in your lower back. Studies show the following activities help relieve back pain:
- Lifting light weights
Lower Back Pain Treatment Options
, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . Discomfort in the lower back can be chronic or ongoing. It can also be a sudden and brief condition known as acute pain.
Causes of lower back pain include:
Treatment options for lower back pain range widely according to the cause of the condition. Read on to learn more.
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Pain Management For Chronic Back Pain
Pain, especially intractable or chronic pain, used to be something many patients simply had to learn to live with. In recent years, however, researchers have learned a great deal about pain and its physiological and psychological basis, leading to pain management treatments that can provide complete or partial pain relief.
Untreated pain can interfere with the healing process by affecting the immune system and leading to other undesirable results. In cases of back pain, discomfort can impede the rehabilitation process by interfering with exercise and increasing the risk of psychological distress.
This article profiles the profession of Pain Management and the main approaches used to treat chronic pain.
When To See A Doctor
Even though its common, most cases of back pain tend to clear up without the need to see a doctor.
You should see your doctor if your pain:
- is really bad
- lasts for a long time
- stops you from working or doing the things you enjoy
- affects your everyday activities
- gets worse.
You should also see your doctor if you have any changes in sexual function, for example, being unable to get an erection.
If the pain is causing you significant problems and stops you from getting on with normal life and work activities, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions.
These questions will help predict how likely it is that you need further help with your back pain. If you do need further support, your doctor will make a referral to physiotherapy so that you can have treatment early, to help with the pain and return to normal activities.
Its natural to want to know what has caused your back pain. However, specialists may not be able to tell you for certain what has caused your back pain, even after carefully assessing you.
If youre concerned about the cause of your back pain, it can help to talk openly about any worries with a healthcare professional, as reducing any fear may help speed up your recovery.
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Medicines For Muscle Spasm
If youre having muscle spasm, your doctor may prescribe a medicine called a benzodiazepine to relax your muscles. Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed as a short course one tablet up to three times a day for up to five days.
Diazepam is prescribed for a short time because there can be problems with withdrawal symptoms and dependency if you take it for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, difficulty sleeping, confusion, loss of appetite, sweating and heart palpitations.
All medicines come with the risk of side-effects. These are the temporary unwanted effects of a medicine. The main side-effects of taking diazepam are feeling drowsy and being less able to concentrate. Its very important to follow your doctors advice about driving especially if the advice is not to drive. Even if you only take diazepam at night, it can affect your ability to drive the following day.
The Stretch: Bottom To Heel
- Kneel on your hands and knees, placing your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips.
- Now gradually move the bottom backward, making sure the natural curve of our spine is maintained.
- Hold this position for the space of one deep breath and go back to your starting position.
- Repeat the exercise 810 times.
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Improve Your Posture To Reduce Back Pain
Most of us spend a good part of our day sitting down, which may be more harmful than you realize. You can minimize the impact by maintaining good posture. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lined up neatly, like a stack of perfectly aligned blocks. You should keep your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so youre not leaning forward or slumping. This is part of proper office ergonomics.
Many apps and devices exist that can help you enhance your posture. If you work at a computer all day, try the software and app Posture Man Pat. This free app interacts with the webcam on your screen, tracking where your face is relative to your screen. If your posture starts to droop and curve, the app will alert you.
If you are looking to get really tech-savvy, try the Lumo Lift Posture Coach. This wearable device has a sensor that will vibrate when you change your posture from what the posture coach is calibrated to.
How To Use Integrative Therapies And Healing Practices In Back Pain
Many people who suffer from back pain experience either chronic, persistent pain, or chronic pain with occasional episodes of acute pain. Because long term use of oral medications is not optimally effective and has risks of side-effects and dependence, you should consider alternative strategies.
To help reduce acute aggravations and avoid additional pain, it is important to have a maintenance/prevention plan. This should include a regular exercise program with stretching, strength training, and endurance and aerobic activities. Yoga is a good base activity for many people.
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important practice for preventing and maintaining back pain since it decreases the stress on your muscles.
With these behaviors and relationships as a foundation, you should be well positioned to respond to an aggravation or acute flare, should that occur.
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Manage Or Reduce Stress
Stress can trigger muscle tension and painful spasms, including in the back. If long-term stress or a traumatic event seems to have caused back pain, a person can try stress-relief techniques, such as:
- Mindfulness meditation.One study showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction improved back pain. Mindfulness involves being aware of what the body is doing and using meditation techniques to assist with the pain.
- Deep breathing. Taking deep breaths in and out for several minutes can calm the bodys stress response.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. This involves tensing and relaxing muscles in the body, focusing on one muscle group at a time. Lying on their back, a person can start with their feet and gradually move up to the shoulders.
- Guided imagery. This involves focusing on specific mental images to bring about a feeling of relaxation. One study found guided imagery and music helps with work-related chronic stress.
- Yoga. Yoga focuses on particular poses and breathing and can help with relaxation, especially when practiced regularly. One review found yoga to be an effective stress management tool.
Many smartphone apps are available to guide a person through relaxation techniques and meditation.
How Is Low Back Pain Treated
Treatment may include:
- A prevention program
- Assistive devices
Rehabilitation is often a part of treatment for low back pain. Generally, there are 3 phases of low back pain rehab.
- Acute phase. During this initial phase, the physiatrist and treatment team develop a plan to reduce the initial low back pain and source of inflammation. This may include using ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or specialized injections.
- Recovery phase. Once the initial pain and inflammation are better managed, the rehab team focuses on helping you return to normal daily activities while starting a specialized exercise program to regain flexibility and strength.
- Maintenance phase. In this phase, you will learn ways to prevent further injury and strain to the back. You will also learn how to start a fitness program to help further increase strength and endurance.
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In 10 People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Point
WHAT’S BEHIND IT?
There are a number of different things that can cause back pain. Some of the most common causes are:
- Strained back muscles or ligaments
- Bulging or ruptured discs
- Severe scoliosis
Each of these conditions are known to cause pain. See your doctor to get a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan just right for you.
Aleve is indicated for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
When it comes to back pain relief, there’s good news some back pain can be treated without surgery. However, what works for one person might not work or be right for another. So, it’s important to get a diagnosis from your doctor and discuss your treatment options. In the meantime, here are a few things that can provide back pain relief:
We know it can be challenging for go-getters to sit around and do nothing, but bed rest for a day or two at most can be an effective method for relieving back pain.
Exercises and stretches
Proper exercises to strengthen the muscles around the area in pain, and stretching to keep the tendons flexible, can provide relief. Each person’s condition is unique. Please consult with your doctor first to set up a treatment plan and before you begin any exercises.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications, like Aleve, can help ease back pain when used as directed. Just make sure you always check with your doctor before taking any medication.
TIPS YOU CAN USE RIGHT NOW
Best Topical Back Pain Option: Diclofenac Gel
How it works
Topical diclofenac is a back pain gel that you can apply right where you feel the pain. As an NSAID, it works by decreasing inflammation like those that you take by mouth. Since you put it right where you feel the pain, it focuses on that area and has fewer effects in other places.
Its best to use the smallest amount possible that helps the pain. Each product should include a dosing card and instructions to help you measure how much gel to use.
Precautions and side effects
Topical NSAIDs are usually less likely to cause kidney damage and stomach ulcers than tablets. But they can irritate the skin.
Prescription strength available?
The OTC strength is similar to the prescription strength.
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Opioids Have Serious Side Effects And Risks
Over time, your body gets used to opioids and they may stop providing pain relief as well. To get the same relief, you may need to take more and more. Higher doses can cause serious side effects, including:
- Breathing problems and a slow heart rate, which can be deadly
- Confusion and mental disturbances, like moodiness or outbursts of temper
What Are Some Integrative Therapies And Healing Practices To Consider For Low Back Pain
Low back pain most often results from a combination of physical, mental, and emotional factors.
Many people suffering from low back pain have started using integrative therapies: in a 2003 NIH survey, 54 percent of individuals with back or neck pain report using these therapies annually. An integrative approach works well with low back pain, not only to relieve or eliminate immediate pain, but to reduce long-term recurrence and minimize physical limitations.
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Back Exercises And Stretches
Simple back exercises and stretches can often help reduce back pain. These can be done at home as often as you need to.
For information about exercises and stretches that can help, see:
A GP may be able to provide information about back exercises if you’re unsure what to try, or you may want to consider seeing a physiotherapist for advice. Read about how to get access to physiotherapy.
About Chronic Back Pain
Most lower back pain is short-term or acute, lasting for several days to several weeks. But, it often resolves on its own with no residual function loss. Most acute back pain is mechanical, which means theres a disturbance in how the backs components muscle, spine, nerves and intervertebral discs fit together and move.
Chronic back pain, on the other hand, persists for over 12 weeks even if doctors treat an underlying cause or injury. Around 20 percent of individuals with lower back pain end up developing chronic low back pain with symptoms that persist for at least one year.
If youve been suffering from chronic back pain, its important you visit us at the OIP to receive a diagnosis for your condition and start treatment to experience pain relief.
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Take A Relaxing Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, works its way through the skin and into sore muscles. Soaking for about 20 minutes can help to ease sore back muscles, especially after exercise.
When taking an Epsom salt bath, youll want to make sure the water is warm. Hot water can cause muscles to swell and cold water can cause muscles to cramp. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a temperature between 92 and 100°F . Temperatures higher than 104°F arent recommended, especially if you have heart problems.
You can also enhance the soothing results by bringing a tennis ball or other rubber ball thats similar in size, with you in the tub. Put it on the small of your back or midback and move side to side. The effect is like a massage to your back, and it further loosens up tight muscles.
An added benefit of Epsom salt is that its great for your skin. Epsom salts can exfoliate dead skin cells, soften the skin, and reduce areas of itchiness.
Ways To Relieve Back Pain Naturally
There are a wide variety of natural remedies to soothe your back, which can help reduce the intake of medications or provide an added benefit to your existing medical treatment.
Take a look at these natural pain-relieving strategies and find out what works best for you:
Read on to learn more about effective pain-relieving strategies for chronic back pain from natural methods.
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What Is Upper Back Pain
Many people experience pain between their neck and shoulder blades. This is called upper back pain. Upper back pain can be constant or occur only when doing activities. Sometimes upper back pain can be so severe that it interferes with normal life. A doctor can help diagnose and help determine what to do to relieve upper back pain.
Upper back pain is the discomfort experienced between the neck and shoulder blades. If you have upper back pain, you may have symptoms that come on gradually or all at once. This could include:
- Sharp, stabbing sensation
Upper back pain may be caused by several different things like:
- Injury, overuse, or muscle strain
- Poor posture
- Herniated disk
Upper back pain can affect anyone.
Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- 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
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.
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