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What Helps Chronic Back Pain

Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief

Ozone therapy helps patients with chronic back pain

When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.

Getting Started With Active Physical Therapy

At Physicians Neck & Back Center , active physical therapy is at the center of our spinal strengthening programs for over 30 years.

At PNBC, our doctors and rehabilitation specialists partner with you to design a program just for you. Long-term pain management and healing is more likely when the therapy is based on your situation and preferences. Our programs are not only based on your back pain levels, but also your mobility, current level of strength, your clinical testing results and evaluation outcomes.

The equipment youll use is highly specialized. You wont see this stuff at your local gym. Its engineered to target the exact areas back pain sufferers need to focus on. For many people, strength, endurance and mobility-promoting exercises help create a pain-free and healthy body. These exercises can also promote longevity.

Of course this also means your program might change as you progress. And it can be adapted to meet your immediate and future needs. It all depends on your progress and goals.

Want to learn more about PNBC? Watch this short video.

What Can I Do About Acute Back Or Neck Pain

The key to recovering from acute back or neck pain is restricting your activity and taking over the counter medications, because most back pain is related to muscle strain. In most cases, acute back pain will go away on its own over a period of days. Here are some tips that will help you recover:

1. Take it easy If you think you’ve hurt your back, ease up on the pressure you’re putting on your back. Many people actually have little choice in the mattertheir back pain will force them to drop to their knees or “freeze” in a bent-over position. Others will be able to function somewhat normally, but with uncomfortable pain. Contrary to popular belief, studies on acute back pain actually show that a few days of restricting your activity, and taking the appropriate over-the-counter medication, is all that many people really need to allow the strained muscles to relax and unbind. However, it is important to talk with your health care provider before taking any medication, especially if you are taking other medications or have a chronic medical condition.

2. Ice, then heat Remember this rule: “Ice first for 48 hours, then heat.” Ice and heat can alleviate local pain that comes from muscle and ligament strain. Ice slows swelling and inflammation and acts as a local anesthetic, but after 48 hours, it loses its effect. Using heat afterwards increases blood flow to the deep tissues and relaxes muscle spasms.

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How Is Back Pain Diagnosed

Your doctor or healthcare clinician will:

  • ask about your back pain, including:
  • the potential causes or triggers
  • the type of pain for example, burning or stabbing pain
  • whether the pain radiates
  • whether you have had back pain before
  • things that make your pain worse
  • things that make it better
  • conduct a thorough physical exam.
  • Your doctor may refer you for some tests if they think there may be a more serious cause for your back pain.

    However, in most cases of back pain, imaging is not useful and is not recommended. Unnecessary tests can be expensive, and some scans involve exposure to radiation that is better avoided if the results will not help with your treatment.

    A thorough examination by your doctor will decide whether more investigations are appropriate or will be helpful in developing a treatment plan that is right for you. It is important to know that many investigations show changes to your spine that are likely to represent the normal passage of time, not damage to your spine.

    For more information about questions to ask your doctor before you get any test, treatment or procedure, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

    Preventing Pain And Injury

    Chronic Back Pain Doesnt Have to be Your Story

    Posture. Using correct posture and keeping your spine in alignment are the most important things you can do for your neck and back . The lower back bears most of your weight, so proper alignment of this section can prevent injury to your vertebrae, discs, and other portions of the spine. If you have back or neck pain, you may need to make adjustments to your daily standing, sitting, and sleeping habits and learn proper ways to lift and bend. Your workspace may need to be rearranged to keep your spine from slouching. Because extra pounds can make back pain worse, you should maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height and body frame.

    Exercise. Regular exercise is important to prevent back pain and injury. A program of strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercises will improve your overall fitness level. Research has shown that people who are physically fit are more resistant to back injuries and pain, and recover quicker when they do have injuries, than those who are less physically fit .

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    What Are The Special Considerations For Sciatica

    Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. Symptoms include pain that travels down this nerve from your back through the buttocks and down one leg, sometimes even to your foot.

    Sciatica usually stems from compression in the spine. But your doctor should also consider whether it might be caused by a tiny muscle called the piriformis, located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. The piriformis is right under the sciatic nerve and can cause similar problems if it spasms. A pain management specialist can diagnose this issue and relieve the muscle tension with an injection.

    Back Pain And Pregnancy

    Back pain during each trimester of your pregnancy isnt uncommon several causes can be to blame. However, you should be sure to talk to your doctor about what youre experiencing, in the event the pain may be part of a bigger problem.

    Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing back pain during pregnancy:

    Shifting center of gravity

    As your baby grows, the center of your bodys gravity moves outward. Your spine and back arch to make up for the change in balance. This put extra stress on the lower lumbar spine.

    Weight gain

    Weight gain can be a healthy part of pregnancy, but even the little bit youre likely to gain during those 9 months can put more stress on your back and core muscles.


    As your body prepares to deliver the baby, it releases hormones that loosen the ligaments that stabilize your pelvis and lumbar spine. These same hormones can cause the bones in your spine to shift, too, which may lead to discomfort and pain.

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    Spinal Manipulation By Chiropractors Works About As Well As Exercise Or Over

    Passive therapies can also play a role in helping people manage back pain, though theres no silver bullet among them, and their effects also tend to be modest and short-lived. The research base for these alternative therapies is also generally weak: Theres a lot of variability among the practice styles and programs on offer, even within one category of treatment like massage. It can be difficult to blind the patients to the treatment they are receiving, and the people who seek out particular therapies acupuncture, massage are probably more amenable to them, which may bias the results. With that said, heres what we know.

    Spinal manipulation, the cranking and tweaking on offer when you visit a traditional chiropractor, is among the most popular approaches to back pain. Practitioners lay their hands on the patient and move their joints to or beyond their range of motion a technique thats often accompanied by a pop or crack.

    There is some evidence the approach can help people with chronic back pain but not any more than over-the-counter painkillers or exercise, and you need to take precautions when seeking out a chiropractor.

    The Cochrane review on acute pain found that spinal manipulation worked no better than placebo. So people with a short episode of back pain should probably not bother seeing a chiropractor.

    How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last

    Can yoga help chronic lower back pain?

    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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    Studying Mbct For Chronic Pain

    To pilot test whether MBCT was better at relieving chronic low back pain than other commonly used therapy approaches, researchers had 23 people attend MBCT classes, while another 23 received mindfulness meditation training and 23 more underwent cognitive therapy. Those who didnt receive MBCT were given the option to try it once the study was over.

    Everyone received 8 weeks of instruction and were asked to do at-home practices for 45 minutes per day, 6 days a week. Their pain experiences, mood, physical functioning, and medication use were evaluated immediately after training, and 3 and 6 months later.

    Following training, participants in all three groups reported significant results:

    • Improved physical function

    Improvements in pain interference over time were greater in the MBCT group than in the cognitive therapy or mindfulness groups alone. For physical functioning, both the MBCT and cognitive therapy groups showed more improvement over time than adults in the mindfulness meditation group.

    Improvements in pain interference over time were greater in the MBCT group than in the cognitive therapy or mindfulness groups alone.

    Researchers also checked to see if opioid use might differ for those whod received MBCT training versus cognitive therapy or mindfulness meditation instruction. There were no significant differences by therapy type in opioid medication use from before treatment to after treatment or 6 months later.

    Manage The Stress In Your Life

    Pain triggers the release of stress hormones that make muscles tighten up. Muscle tension reduces blood flow to tissues, bringing them less oxygen and fewer nutrients. When this happens, you feel pain, explains Dr. Welches.

    You cant avoid stress, but you can learn to manage it. Cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation are excellent tools, he says. Skilled therapists can change the way you perceive stress. Meditation can reduce anxiety, provide a calm sense of focus and reduce pain.

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    Common Low Back Pain Treatment

    Its common to treat back pain with painkillers. While this may be an easy back pain remedy, do your research first. Before you take prescription pharmaceutical pain medications or reach for over-the-counter pain relievers, its important to understand the dangers they pose. This is especially important if taken for long periods of time or in the wrong dose, as they come with a whole host of side effects that can be dangerous. Most patients we meet verbalize that they dont want to rely on daily medications, either over-the-counter or prescription based. While medications provide temporary relief, painkillers and muscle relaxants only cover up the symptoms. In our experience, this does not treat the cause, nor is it a long-term solution for chronic back pain. Thats where we come in.

    Dont lose hope! We treat many patients successfully with our state-of-the-art spinal decompression technology and upper cervical care.

    Want help with your lower back pain symptoms? Call our office today at or request an appointment here.

    Chronic Back Pain: A 10

    How to Treat Chronic Back Pain

    More than 80 percent of people with chronic low back pain who received a single, 10-minute pulsed radiofrequency treatment are pain-free after 1 year, a new study reveals.

    The new and minimally invasive treatment was tested on 80 people who had chronic low back pain that is, low back pain lasting for at least 3 months due to a herniated disk.

    A herniated disk, which is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disk, occurs when the disks between the spines vertebrae protrude, or herniate. This can pinch the spinal nerves and cause pain, particularly in the lower back.

    The nerve root is a sensitive structure that when pinched becomes inflamed and causes pain, says lead study investigator Dr. Alessandro Napoli, of the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy.

    The body reacts with muscle constriction, which decreases the distance between vertebrae, and a vicious cycle is created.

    For 90 percent of people with back pain because of a herniated disk, symptoms will pass within 6 weeks. But for the remaining 10 percent, it is unlikely that current medical treatments alone will alleviate pain. In severe cases, surgery to ease nerve pressure is the best option.

    Theres a big gap, says Dr. Napoli, between conservative treatments for disc compression and herniation and surgical repair, which can lead to infection, bleeding, and a long recovery period.

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    % Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief

    As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.

    Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.

    Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.

    Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then it’s time to see a doctor.

    However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:

    Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:

    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.

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    What Causes Chronic Lower Back Pain

    There are several causes of lower back pain, but most cases are due to a mechanical injurystraining a muscle from lifting something that was too heavy. Other examples of mechanical injuries include a herniated or bulging disc caused by a car accident and arthritis caused by wear and tear of the spinal bones over time. When pain lasts more than 12 weeks, it is defined as chronic. While most injuries to the lower back heal completely, approximately 20% of the time the acute injury turns into a chronic pain condition that lasts for a year or more. An accurate diagnosis is important for ruling out other sources such as inflammation, fractures, infections, and cancer.


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