11 Oct Exploring Lower Back Pain Treatment Options
Most experience back pain at some point in time; it is the type of back pain that varies from one person to the next. For individuals between 30 and 50 years of age, lower back pain is extremely common. Lower back pain tends to manifest in two forms – brief and sudden (called acute pain) or lingering and ongoing (called chronic pain). Anything from nerve irritation to spinal abnormalities, muscle spasms, and sports injuries can result in both chronic and acute lower back pain. If you suffer from this type of pain, there are several lower back pain treatment options for you to consider.
Rest, Relax, and Recover
One of the more natural ways to provide relief for lower back pain is through rest and relation. Depending on how serious your back pain is, it may reduce your ability to perform certain daily tasks. If this happens, do not try to push past the pain to perform them anyway. This can make whatever causes the pain worse.
To keep your back in a neutral position, lie on your back with a pillow tucked under your knees. Some also find relief from back pain by lying on a flat surface with their knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep in mind, bed rest is only a form of treatment for acute lower back pain. Most cases of acute lower back pain subside after a few days of resting. Resting for more than a few days causes muscles to weaken.
Heat or Ice
Hot or cold compresses can provide temporary but immediate pain relief and increased mobility. A bag filled with ice or a frozen bag of vegetables serves as a perfect ice pack. Just make sure you wrap it in a towel to prevent frostbite. You can apply cold compresses several times a day for up to 20 minutes at a time.
After several days of cold compress treatment, switch to a heat treatment in the form of a warm bath or a heating pad. The warm treatment loosens tightened muscles to provide additional pain relief. Remember to turn off the heating pad when you finish using it.
Most patients suffering from lower back pain receive a physical therapy referral. A typical treatment plan includes four weeks as a nonsurgical option. A medical professional will consider more aggressive treatment options – such as surgery or prescription medication – if a noninvasive treatment plan, such as physical therapy, does not help.
Surgery is an uncommon treatment plan for someone with chronic lower back pain. However, it is an option when all other treatment plans fail to provide relief. A surgeon can remove small fragments of the disk causing pain. This removes the pressure the fragments apply to the nerve paths. Surgeons can fuse abnormal or injured vertebrae that are causing lower back pain together to improve mobility and straighten out a person’s back.
Over-the-counter and prescription pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication can provide relief for lower back pain in some cases, as well. Ideally, medication should only serve as a short-term treatment option.
With so many different potential causes for this type of pain, seeking advice from a medical expert with experience in pain relief is the best way to develop a treatment plan that works best for you.