Back pain is the second most common reason for working people to visit the doctor’s clinic. It is also the second most common medical condition in the United Kingdom, after a headache.
Back pain occurs when there are problems associated with structural and mechanical problems, such as ruptured disks and spasm, strained muscles and ligaments and other underlying medical conditions. This can occur anywhere from your neck to your tailbone. It can be discomforting and affect your daily activities and lifestyle. It is advisable to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan before the pain becomes chronic.
Depending on the type of back pain you are suffering from, there are many treatment options available including the following ten:
To ease your back pain, take over-the-counter analgesic drugs such as acetaminophen, or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen. Muscle relaxants and antidepressants may also provide some relief.
Hot and cold packs
You often see sportsmen been treated by hot and cold pads when they are injured. The heat of the hot pad lessens the pain and muscle spasms while the cold numbs deep pain and cut down the swelling. These pads provide quick but temporary relief.
Studies have shown that massage helps relieve back pain; improve movement of the joints and also the quality of your sleep as well as your mood.
Massage works well for some people especially if you have a therapist who is knowledgeable about muscle imbalances and how it affects the human body. Therapists use many types of techniques including traditional massage, energy techniques and stretching. Massage offers great relaxation but it may not totally resolve your condition.
A whirlpool bath or a form of hydrotherapy would be an ideal solution, second only to an ongoing therapist treatment
The traditional Chinese medical practitioners believe that pain results from blocked energy along the energy pathways of the body. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin sterilized needles at certain points of your body to unblock the flow of energy called Qi. This effectively adjusts the Qi imbalances and improves the flow of energy which in turn eases your pain and invigorates your health.
Many people who suffer from back pain have the misconception that they should rest and not exercise. This is not only untrue but undesirable. If you do not suffer from other medical condition, other than back pain, then you should stay active by exercising.
There are suitable exercises that can help you to soothe your chronic pain. However, start exercising only when you no longer feel any acute pain. Exercises will help you to recover and also prevent future back pain, improve your posture and flexibility, strengthen your back, and reduce your weight.
Many studies have shown that some herbal treatments are effective in reducing back pain.
Willow bark (Salix alba) is the bark of the white willow tree and has pain-relieving properties similar to aspirin.
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbent) is good for reducing inflammation or alleviates pain in headache, arthritis, and lower back pain.
Capsaicin Cream is effective in reducing the amount of substance P, a neurochemical that transmits pain to the brain and thereby creating an analgesic effect.
Yoga is a very good therapy involving various poses that develop strength, flexibility and balance in your body. It helps to reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation, healing your sore and injured back muscles, speed up recovery and prevent re-injury. You learn to concentrate your energy by breathing and meditation.
By practising yoga regularly, your posture and body mechanics will be greatly improved and your spine correctly aligned. It helps you to dissipate stress and anxiety and relieve your back pain.
It is advisable to start performing simple poses slowly and gently, using longer hold times and deep breathing. If you feel any pain or pricking, stop immediately.
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation to restore mobility to your joints and align the musculoskeletal structure of your body. Controlled force is manually applied to the injured areas and this will help to relieve pain and ease your stiff muscles.
Perhaps the best treatment for back pain is to avoid bad habits that lead to the pain.
Always remember to use less force when you lift, push, and pull heavy things. This will reduce the stress on your back. Do the correct exercises, learn to relax, and sleep well. Adopt the right posture while standing and sitting. Practice a healthy eating habit and quit smoking will certainly help.
This is the last option. Surgery is only recommended if all other treatment options have been tried and failed to work. Use minimally invasive surgery for common symptoms and causes of back pain. Other traditional spine surgical procedures include discectomy, fusion, laminectomies and removal of the tumour.