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What Is Good For Lower Back Pain Relief

What Causes Lower Back Pain

7 Best Lower Back Pain Relief Treatments – Ask Doctor Jo

Many injuries, conditions and diseases can cause lower back pain. They include:

  • Strains and sprains: Back strains and sprains are the most common cause of back pain. You can injure muscles, tendons or ligaments by lifting something too heavy or not lifting safely. Some people strain their back by sneezing, coughing, twisting or bending over.
  • Fractures: The bones in the spine can break during an accident, like a car crash or a fall. Certain conditions increase the risk of fractures.
  • Disk problems: Disks cushion the vertebrae . Disks can bulge from their position in the spine and press on a nerve. They can also tear . With age, disks can get flatter and offer less protection .
  • Structural problems: A condition called spinal stenosis happens when the spinal column is too narrow for the spinal cord. Something pinching the spinal cord can cause severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain. Scoliosis can lead to pain, stiffness and difficulty moving.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to cause lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis causes lower back pain, inflammation and stiffness in the spine.
  • Disease:Spine tumors, infections and several types of cancer can cause back pain. Other conditions can cause back pain, too. These include kidney stones and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes the vertebrae in the spine to slip out of place. Spondylolisthesis leads to low back pain and often leg pain as well.

Should I See A Chiropractor For My Back Pain

Spinal manipulation is used by chiropractors and osteopathic physicians to treat low back pain in selected patients. Spinal manipulation applies hand pressure to areas of the low back to relax irritated muscle and lessen the intensity of the pain.

Traction, using pulleys and weights to lengthen and stretch the spine can result in temporary relief. Both techniques will not treat any underlying causes of back pain, but rather offer a temporary relief from lower back pain.

When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency

Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:

  • Patient is a child
  • Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
  • Pain interrupts sleep

While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.

Recommended Reading: Can Urgent Care Help With Back Pain

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.

Start Treating Your Sciatica And Back Pain

Lower back pain remedy: an illustrated guide

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.

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Sleep On A Quality Mattress

Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.

If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:

  • A history of cancer or a recent infection
  • A recent fall or other accident
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
  • Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.

Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.

Causes Of Pain: Fatigue Injury Illness

In relatively healthy and young people, fatigue and muscle overstrain are the most common cause of unpleasant sensations in the lower back. Then, after a short rest and taking a warm bath, the discomfort passes. Suppose it is a severe and sharp pain in the lower back that has arisen acutely over time. In that case, the causes may be musculoskeletal system diseases, spinal injuries, or problems with peripheral nerves.

Possible lower back pain of a primary nature usually causes diseases associated with skeletal muscles or the spine. It includes osteochondrosis with its progressive degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs. Another cause may be a disease such as spondyloarthritis joint lesions between the vertebrae.

The causes of pain of a different nature are secondary. They can be provoked by scoliotic deformity of the spinal column, infectious diseases localized in the bone tissue of the spine, for example, osteomyelitis or tuberculosis lesion. Often, pain is a symptom of a spinal injury, even if it seems insignificant jumping from a height or falling on your back threatens fractures. Many other reasons can lead to back and lower back pain, which a doctor can understand. The patient needs to relieve his condition during treatment, especially during rest or night sleep.

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What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.

Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:

  • Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
  • Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
  • Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
  • Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.

Chronic Conditions That Cause Back Pain

The Best Exercise for Quick Lower Back Pain Relief

Conditions that can lead to chronic low back pain include spinal stenosis, spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the normal spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes. Spondylitis is chronic inflammation of the spine. Fibromyalgia is a muscle disorder that features chronic muscle pain and tenderness.

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Types And Causes Of Pain

Most back pain is one of four types, said Dr. Christopher Maher, director of the musculoskeletal division at the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney in Australia.

One form of back pain, called sciatica, occurs when nerves in the spinal column are pinched.

In spinal stenosis, the open spaces in the spine narrow, which can also put pressure on spinal nerves. Others experience back pain due to infections, fractures or serious diseases such as cancer. In total, about 50 to 60 rare diseases can cause back pain, Maher said.

But the most common form, which accounts for about 90 percent of all cases, is what’s called “common nonspecific back pain,” which means “we’re not sure what causes the pain,” Maher told Live Science.

Twisting or lifting a heavy load the wrong way can sprain or strain the muscles and ligaments in the back, causing acute back pain. In addition, the cushiony discs between the backbones, or vertebrae, tend to disintegrate with age, reducing how much shock absorption they can provide, though doctors don’t agree on how much this causes back pain.

There are several risk factors associated with chronic back pain. Smoking, being physically inactive or being overweight can all increase the risks of back pain, Maher said. People who frequently lift heavy objects are also at risk.

People who report a lot of psychological distress due to a stressful work environment or poor social support also tend to feel more chronic back pain, he said.

Find Back Pain Relief: Lighten Your Bags

Carrying an overstuffed purse, briefcase, or handbag can strain the low back. If you must carry a heavy load, consider using a wheeled briefcase instead. By reducing the amount of weight you’re carrying, you reduce the amount of pressure on the spine. Help keep your kids’ backs healthy by making sure their backpacks are not overloaded. A heavy backpack could mean future back pain for your little ones.

Also Check: Is Stretching Good For Lower Back Pain

Low Back Pain Symptoms: Does Your Back Hurt

Low back pain symptoms range from sharp and stabbing to a dull ache. The pains can be constant or intermittent and positional. Acute low back pain can appear suddenly after injury. Chronic back pain is defined as pain lasting more than three months. Consult a doctor if you have prolonged back pain longer than 72 hours.

What Are Some Complementary Alternative And Emerging Treatments For Lower Back Pain

Right Sided Lower Back Pain Relief

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.

Read Also: How Do I Treat Back Pain

Heat And Cold Therapy

Heat and cold therapy can be achieved easily by things you already have in the home, for example a hot water bottle or by using a bag of frozen peas.

If youre suffering from an acute injury or swelling, then cold therapy is better. If youre treating muscle stiffness or chronic pain then heat therapy will be more soothing and effective.

However many medical professionals suggest alternating between hot and cold therapy.

Heat and ice can be used together in an alternating pattern to create a pumping action in the circulatory system by restricting circulation to reduce swelling and then increasing circulation to a particular area.

They go on to describe the benefits of using both therapies:

This alternation between heat and cold may result in an improved range of motion and expedited pain recovery. This type of therapy is typically used when an injury is at a week or longer maturity, and heat or ice alone has not worked.

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Help Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain

3 Exercises for Stronger Lower Back (low back pain and sciatica relief)

Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.

Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.

Recommended Reading: Can Back Pain Go Away On Its Own

Home Remedies For Fast Back Pain Relief

Back pain is a common problem that can interfere with a persons work and personal life. Fortunately, many home remedies exist to help relieve bothersome back pain.

Lower back pain is a widespread problem, causing more global disability than any other condition. Up to 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain at least once in their lives.

People can also experience pain in other areas of the back, including the middle and upper back.

The back muscles and spine support much of the bodys weight. A person uses the muscles for everyday movements, including sitting, standing, and walking.

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may help relieve pain. For those who wish to try home remedies, some of the following treatments might help:

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.

Doing regular exercise alongside these stretches can also help keep your back strong and healthy. Activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are popular choices.

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