The spine is a structure that provides stability, mobility and strength to the body. You need your spine to move your neck and back properly. A spine deformity or disease can hinder your body from moving correctly, making turning, bending, or stretching to be painful or impossible. More than 80% of adults will experience significant back or neck pain at sometime during their life.
Lower back pain can occur for a number of reasons - determining which one of these reasons is crucial in getting the relief you deserve. Degenerative changes in the spine due to aging may play a part in why you're dealing with pain. Repetitive movement, such as lifting or bending to lift a heavy object, is also a common culprit. Additionally, there are many conditions and injuries with symptoms that include lower back pain. Fortunately, most treatments are non-operative, especially when the pain is diagnosed early on. The Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can assist you with treatment for lower back pain.
Your treatment will depend on what kind of back condition or injury you have. There are several common methods used to alleviate general pain in the lumbar area.
Five Simple Methods of Treating Lower Back Pain
Apply heating/cooling compresses.
Research has supported the effectiveness of applying heat to the lower back area to reduce pain. If muscle spasms are the source of the issue, this method can ease discomfort and help relax muscles. Applications may include dry heat products, such as heating pads and wearable heat packs, as well as moist heat methods, like pressing a warm washcloth on the area or taking a warm bath.
Cold compresses can also reduce pain and swelling. This is best utilized when you initially sense pain in the lumbar region. Treat lower back pain with ice for the first couple of days, then consider switching to heat.
If performing a particular exercise perpetuates your lower back pain, stop this movement immediately. Familiarize yourself with simple back strengthening exercises and ease into a gentle routine. By doing a variety of strength and flexibility exercises, your back muscles will better adjust to movement. Water aerobics can be extremely beneficial as a treatment for lower back pain; buoyancy and the light resistance of the water allows for easy movement and a low-intensity workout. Other light exercise methods include yoga and tai chi, which, additionally, decrease stress.
Attend physical therapy.
After evaluating your back injury or condition, your physician may recommend seeing a physical therapist or researching physical therapy exercises on your own. These exercises are specifically prescribed to patients for regaining regular motion of an injury area.
Aside from conventional physical therapy exercises, there are many other forms of reparative therapy, you may want to ask your doctor about. Acupuncture practitioners claim the process releases painkilling molecules in the body that restore energy to the injured area. Spinal manipulation is a chiropractic technique that adjust the structure of the spine in order to restore mobility. While these methods may be beneficial, get your doctor’s approval before signing up.
Ask about medications.
Anti-inflammatory medication won’t resolve a spinal injury or condition by itself, but taking it can relieve your lower back pain. Muscle relaxers are also effective in this way and may be prescribed for intense back pain. However, it is imperative to only take medication with your doctor’s approval. Describing your level of pain will help a doctor determine whether medication is necessary and what dosage to prescribe.
Allow yourself to rest and relax.
This tip might be difficult if you are someone who is always on the go and has a busy schedule. You certainly don’t have to toss your active lifestyle permanently, but you should know when to slow down and rest your body. Easing back into your everyday activities gradually can help prevent a worse injury in the future.
The Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute want to assist you if you require treatment for lower back pain. For more information, visit us here, or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.