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.
How Common Is Lower Back Pain
Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.
Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:
- Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
- Weight: People have overweight/obesity or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
- Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
- Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
- Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
- Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
- Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.
Special Considerations When Taking Opioids
Reports of opioid addiction and resulting deaths have made some doctors hesitant to prescribe the medications to their patients. Similarly, some doctors prescribe doses that are too low to adequately manage severe chronic pain. They might do this out of fear that their patients may experience adverse side effects.
Exacerbating the problem is the fact that its quite common for people to develop a tolerance to opioids, which requires increasing the dose to help deliver better pain relief. This makes determining the right dose a somewhat tricky process. All people develop some level of tolerance, and it can become a difficult cycle.
Another problem is that people may resist taking an opioidor take it less often than directedout of fear of becoming addicted to it. This results in less or loss of pain control, which is the purpose for taking the opioid in the first plan. If pain medication is taken as prescribed, it can help you stay ahead of the pain.
The seriousness of opioids addictive potential should not be overlooked or taken lightly. However, opioids are effective medications against pain when they are used exactly as your doctor directs.
Back Pain: Finding Solutions for Your Aching Back. A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School 2014. Accessed July 19, 2017.
Dews TE, Mekhail N. Safe use of opioids in chronic noncancer pain. Clev Clin J Med.2004 71:897-904.
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Icy Hot Extra Strength Back Pain Relief Patch Xl 3 Pack
- It helps relieve muscle sprains
- The adhesive pad offers easy application
- Designed to reduce pain caused by cramps
- This large medicated patch covers the maximum affected area
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Get muscle pain relief that lasts up to eight hours with the extra large, extra strength Icy Hot Medicated Patch. The extra large patch is 75% larger than regular Icy Hot back patches and delivers the same no mess relief that stops pain at the source.
The pain-relieving ointment uses menthol on a breathable adhesive pad made of comfortable fabric that stays in place.
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Back In Action: Updated Treatment Recommendations For Lower Back Pain
That dull ache when you go for your morning jog. A sharp pain when you lift a heavy box. For some people, back pain is just an annoyance that comes and goes. For others, it can be a devastating hindrance to everyday life.
Back pain affects 80 percent of people at some point in their lifetime. Each year, lower back pain causes about 149 million lost days of work in the U.S. and costs $100 billion to $200 billion mostly in lost wages and productivity.As The New York Times reported in February 2017, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society have released updated back pain treatment guidelines that are similar to the evidence-based approaches weve used at UT Southwestern for many years. Many people expect their pain to be treated with a doctors visit and a prescription for medication. But we know thats not how back pain works. And with an opioid epidemic ragingin America, prescribing medication as a first-line treatment for back pain is not the safest approach for patients.
Lower back pain often can be resolved by staying active without pain medication. But there are times when thats not enough. Lets discuss when you might need to visit the doctor and when back pain is manageable at home.
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Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spine the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
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Get Active To Treat Chronic Lower Back Pain
If the pain persists, we recommend scheduling an evaluation from a physical therapist. A physical therapist can teach you how to do special exercises to stretch and strengthen the spine, which should help relieve the pain.
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Relax And Stay Positive
Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain as muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition may make things worse.
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Although it can be difficult, it helps to stay positive and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesnt go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.
See your provider if you have:
- Pain that doesnt get better after about a week of at-home care.
- Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
- Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
- Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesnt go away or if youre unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
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What Causes Lower Back Pain
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.
One Back Pain Treatment You Probably Dont Need
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and going under the knife may seem like the quickest, easiest fix to bring relief. But the truth is, many people dont need surgery for lower back pain management, Dr. Park says.
If your back pain is musculoskeletal, you will not require surgery, but if its a pinched nerve thats due to a disc herniation or something else, you may need to have surgery, he says. But even in those people, when you go through a six-to-eight-week course of treatment that includes physical therapy and activity modification, 85 to 90 percent of the time, they wont need surgery.
However, if you try the treatments above and dont see any improvement or still feel pain, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pain management specialist, as more specific tests or treatments may be required to get to the bottom of whats going on.
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How To Eliminate Sciatica Pain On Teeter
If youre struggling with sciatica pain, youre not alone. This debilitating condition affects millions of people worldwide, and it can make everyday activities extremely difficult. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for sciatica, there are certain treatments that can provide relief. In this article, well discuss how to eliminate sciatica pain on teeter.
Scarring or damage to the nerve is the most common cause of sciatica. Many different methods can be used to relieve sciatica, or to decrease its intensity or length. Many people benefit from physical therapy, chiropractic, and massage therapy, but they must travel, pay for treatment, and pay for insurance. You can stretch and relax your back, hip, and leg muscles by undergoing inversion therapy. Internal spinal disc herniation and slipped discs heal naturally as a result of spinal decompression. There has been evidence that teester Inversion Tables can help relieve sciatic and muscular pain.
Teeter Inversion Tables have been shown in studies to help alleviate sciatica and its muscular or skeletal causes. When you participate in version therapy, you will be able to relax, stretch, and lengthen your back, hip, and leg muscles .
Find The Right Medications For You And Use Them Correctly
Just about everyone gets back pain. In fact, an estimated 80% of people will seek medical attention for back pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time, popping a few over-the-counter pain relievers does the trick. But are drugs the best way to combat regular flare-ups?
“Medication can be a crucial part of managing and treating occasional and recurring pain, and can help you stay pain-free and active, but you have to use the right ones for you, and in the right way,” says Dr. Robert Shmerling, former clinical chief of rheumatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
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Inversion Tables: An Effective Treatment For Nerve Pain
Inversion tables are frequently used as an alternative treatment for a variety of back and muscle pain and stiffness, especially for pain associated with compression or inflammation of the nerves that control movement of the bodys muscles. According to a 2012 study conducted in England, inversion therapy combined with physical therapy proved to be a more effective treatment option for sciatica pain caused by a protruding disk. It may allow for less invasive back surgery. Rest for the pinched nerve is frequently the most effective treatment for those who have a pinched nerve. If you have pinched the nerve in the same location, you may require a collar, brace, or other device to immobilize the area. It should not be used by patients with hypertension, circulation disorders, glaucoma, or retinitis pigmentosa.
Inversion Therapy Tables: A Treatment For Low Back Pain And Sciatica
It is a treatment for lower back pain and sciatica that involves rolling on a table or using an inversion therapy machine. This therapy entails using an inverted table, which allows the patient to hang upside down. It is not necessary to wear inversion boots or hang upside down to complete this treatment. Low back pain and sciatica are frequently treated with insurgency therapy. The use of inversion boots or hanging upside down on an inversion therapy table is not required. The tables inverted traction causes the discs in the spine to relax, allowing pressure to escape. There is an opportunity to reduce back pain and pressure by decomposing the spine. The use of inversion table therapy should be avoided by patients who have hypertension, circulation disorders, glaucoma, or retina detachments. With partially or completely upside-down hanging, the pressure and blood flow to your head and eyes are increased. This type of therapy has existed for a long time. It has long been used to treat spinal compression and other nerve-related symptoms.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Back Spasms
- Whats the best treatment for me?
- Do my back spasms mean that I have a serious disorder?
- Should I see a therapist for help with my stress?
- Should I try a muscle relaxant?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Remember that its important to stay active even when youre in pain ! Get up and stretch every 30 minutes and exercise three times a week. To help with your pain, take over-the-counter medications and muscle relaxants and get a massage. Always discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider so that you can get the best care.
Keep in mind that back spasms are sometimes a symptom of a serious disorder. Notice other symptoms you might have alongside them and go to the emergency department if you have tingling/numbness on one side, weakness or if you lose your ability to control your bowel or bladder. If youre debating whether or not to go to the emergency department, its better to go and be told youre not in serious condition than to stay home.
What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain
The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.
Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.
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