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.
Home Treatment For Lower Back Pain
There are a number of at-home options to treat pain in your lower back:
- Relax. Sometimes just sitting down will relieve enough of the pressure from your lower back to reduce the pain significantly.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These over-the-counter pain relievers include ibuprofen and naproxen . You can purchase NSAIDs here.
- Exercise and stretching. Although exercise is often good for addressing lower back pain, consult with a professional. Some exercises can make the pain worse. For example, avoid toe touches and situps, but try hamstring stretches. Generally getting into better physical health will help reduce lower back pain when standing and doing other everyday activities.
- Stand and sit up straight. Your posture is important for proper weight distribution. Standing and sitting up straight will help.
- Get supportive shoes and orthotics. Get shoes or shoe inserts that help keep your feet in a neutral, supported position.
- Mattress support. Find a mattress that gives you better support than your current one.
- Use heat and ice. As soon as the pain starts, put an ice pack on your lower back for 20 minutes several times a day. After 48 hours, alternate using ice and heat.
- Avoid heavy lifting. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must, keep your back straight and bend your legs so the leg muscles do the majority of the work.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, getting to a healthy weight will improve strain on your back.
How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Your provider may order:
- Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
- MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
- CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests for low back pain may include:
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Remedies To Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast
We all want to know the best way to relieve lower back pain fast. At best, backache can be frustrating, perhaps draining. At its worst, this kind of discomfort can be utterly debilitating. If you have ever awakened with a terrible backache, you may have also learned how quickly such an ailment can derail your day, your week, or even several months or years.
Fortunately, there are remedies to combat that ache. From exercising to getting better sleep to reducing your stress levels, you can choose from a variety of strategies. The next time you have a backache , consider the following methods of back pain relief. Remember to discuss at-home back pain remedies with your doctor before you make use of them.
Deadlifting And Your Lower Back
You see, for many people, having a sore lower back after deadlifting just kind of goes with the territory.
Indeed, if you do a Google search for lower back pain deadlifts, youll find lots of people talking about this very topic.
The problem is that many of them are further perpetuating the myth that your lower back is somehow supposed to hurt after deadlifting.
Take a look at this thread on Bodybuilding.com, entitled Lower back sore after deadlifts?
Youll notice that many of the people who chime in seem to think its normal to have lower back soreness after deadlifting.
In fact, the very first comment tries to reassure the initial poster, claiming: Yes very normal, Im sometimes sore for 2 days after I do deadlifts.
Wow, 2 days after, really?
Let me make this unequivocally clear: your lower back should not be sore for days after deadlifting!
It should not be sore for hours after deadlifting.
And it should definitely not be sore while youre deadlifting.
The truth is that if it is sore, you are simply doing it wrong. Much like I used to do.
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What Is Feed & Follow
You will notice the ability to follow health tags, physicians, wellness professionals and healthy lifestyle brands in the platform. Following enables all of the content any professional posts to show up in your personalized health feed. This is a unique, unprecedented opportunity to continually engage with your physician, receive medically reviewed information specific to your needs and receive content updates and promotion information important to you. This, like a fine wine, will become better and more robust over time!
Beware Of Negative Heels
Non-orthopedic flip-flops, while not good for your feet, are acceptable for a quick walk down the block or at the beach, but they arent recommended all-day footwear, especially if you already experience back pain.
Fu explains that most flip-flops effectively lower your heel below your toes, creating a negative heel. Although she notes that they do offer some cushion, she labels it a false sense of cushioning, because the sole of a flip-flop is typically not thick enough to absorb the shock of each step.
House slippers present all the same issues as flip-flops which Butts refers to as the worst thing for your back but of course few people are wearing slippers while out and about. So as long as youre wearing slippers only in the house, you dont need to worry too much about them.
Fu cautions against anything thats a negative heel. That includes flat types of loafers and ballerina-type shoes with a very flat sole. These type of shoes will rotate your pelvis in a way that can worsen back pain, she says.
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S To Reduce Back Pain
No type of back pain should be overlooked.
Your whole body relies on the health of your back and spine so you want to make sure you treat your pain the right way the first time.
Most pain will go away quickly but if it continues for more than a week or two then you need to seek medical attention.
In this blog, we take a look at 6 important steps to take immediately after experiencing back pain.
We use our back every day to complete regular activities such as sitting up, lifting, and reaching.
Your back is in use all day long making the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in your back work hard.
That’s why the health of the muscles is very important.
These three soft tissue structures need to work synergistically for you to function without pain.
Since they are in constant motion it is common for them to tear, pull or get over-stretched.
And if you’ve ever had a back strain, you know they are nothing to joke about.
When someone says their back is sprained they mean the ligaments are overstretched or torn. Now if they say it is strained then that means a muscle or tendon was overstretched or torn.
People tend to use back strain and back sprain interchangeably but they are in fact different and because of that, the course of treatment and length of that treatment differs also.
Either injury can happen so fast and is easy to do.
Signs that you have torn, strained, or pulled a muscle in your back:
- A sore or tender lower back
Arthritis Of The Spine
Arthritis of the spine the slow degeneration of the spinal joints is the most frequent cause of lower back pain. All of us experience wear and tear as we age, and it is normal for your lower back to start acting up as you get older. As the cartilage breaks down between the spinal joints, surrounding tissues may become inflamed. The inflammation and the thinning of cartilage increase friction in the joints, which may cause pain in the lower back.
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Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
What Is Active Physical Therapy
Active physical therapy involves movement-based activities like: stretching, range of motion exercises, and targeted spine strengthening and conditioning exercises.
The movements and exercises are designed to address those underlying causes of chronic back pain so you can strengthen your back, condition your muscles and improve your mobility.
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What To Do For Chronic Backpain Can You Get Pain Relief Without Surgery
Surgery can be an effective option for long-term pain relief. But theres not a lot of data to support that surgery is the best solution for curing back pain.
Generally, surgery is only recommended after non-surgical treatment options have stopped working.
The best treatment for chronic back pain is movement, which may sound weird. When your back hurts, you usually think its time to take it easy. So, you avoid certain activities or movements because you think it will help you heal faster.
But the less you move the more youll experience that muscle deconditioning and your pain will probably get worse.
So, how do you heal your chronic back pain? You need ongoing active physical therapy.
Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain When Sitting
In addition to improving your posture when sitting, try these at-home remedies for lower back pain:
- Change your position. Consider a standing desk or one thats ergonomically designed to help you maintain good posture by allowing you to adjust the height of your monitor.
- Apply ice.Cold helps reduce inflammation that may be affecting your back. Leave the ice pack on for about 20 minutes, and then remove it. You can do this every hour or so.
- Use a heating pad. After any inflammation is under control , many people find heat soothing. It also promotes healing by bringing blood to your back.
- Take over-the-counter medication.Pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce discomfort and swelling.
- Use a support. Placing a rolled-up towel or special lumbar pillow at the base of your spine while sitting will help you remember to sit up straight and provide you with some stability.
- Get a massage. This can help loosen and relax tight muscles.
- Consider yoga.Yoga is known for its ability to stretch and strengthen the body. Many programs allow for modification of the poses as needed.
There are several exercises that will help strengthen your lower back. Try these three stretching exercises to help make your back stronger and better toned:
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Other Types Of Diagnosis
- A chiropractor will diagnose through touch, or palpation, and a visual examination. Chiropractic is known as a direct approach, with a strong focus on adjusting the spinal joints. A chiropractor may also want to see the results of imaging scans and any blood and urine tests.
- An osteopath also diagnoses through palpation and visual inspection. Osteopathy involves slow and rhythmic stretching, known as mobilization, pressure or indirect techniques, and manipulation of joints and muscles.
- A physical therapist focuses on diagnosing problems in the joints and soft tissues of the body.
Minimalist Shoes Usually Not Recommended
Minimalist shoes sometimes called barefoot shoes because of their very thin soles are not good for your back, says Fu. Those who already have back issues typically find these types of shoes do not help alleviate those problems and may cause some back pain.
Again, these shoes will rotate the pelvis differently than shoes with a thicker sole. For what its worth, Butts notes that when it comes to wearing minimalist shoes, its up to each person to decide whats comfortable for them.
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Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.
Improper Posture Or Body Mechanics
Bad habits can stress your spine and strain the soft tissue surrounding it. And over time, this repeated stress can break down the structural components of the spine.
While posture or body mechanics are part of every movement you make , your work environment can have a big impact.
If your job requires regular lifting or repetitive movement, proper mechanics are your best defense against chronic back pain.
For office workers, when you sit at your desk for long stretches without stretching, it can cause your hip flexors to tighten. Over time, this can cause hips and hamstrings to weaken, leading to lower back pain.
If you notice yourself hunching over your keyboard several times per day, you may be developing kyphosis. This excessive curving of the spine is often associated with chronic back pain.
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How Are Back Injuries Treated
Your doctor will examine you to check whether the nerves from your spinal cord are working properly. Make sure you tell them if you have any problems with going to the toilet.
Most minor back injuries get better by themselves within 6 weeks. Usually you will not need any other tests or treatment. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists recommends that an x-ray for low back pain is only needed if you have other significant symptoms such as problems with bladder and bowel control, severe pain or weakness or numbness in one or both legs. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
The most important thing you can do is to continue to stay active. A common myth is that bed rest will cure back pain. In fact, bed rest slows down the recovery period and can add to your pain.
You can help ease injuries to your back by:
- using cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time every 3 to 4 hours for the first day these will ease pain and swelling
- using warmth after the first day showers, baths or hot moist towels can help ease pain and help recovery
- avoiding activities involving bending, lifting and twisting until you feel better
Depending on your job, you may need time off work to allow your back to heal.