Many people will experience lower back pain in their lives. This article will cover 9 of the most common options to fix lower back pain. Trauma, repetitive motion injury, and degenerative diseases that come with age are all reasons you may experience back pain, and some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Sprains or strains: occur when muscles or ligaments are overstretched or tear
- Herniated or ruptured discs: put pressure on nearby nerves
- Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve: causes pain in the lower back down through the buttocks and legs
- Degenerative disc disease: occurs when the discs between vertebrae wear down
- Spinal stenosis: a narrowing of the spinal canal commonly caused by osteoarthritis
- Arthritis: the breakdown of cartilage causing inflammation and damage to joints
Lower Back Pain Treatment
When it comes to treating lower back pain, it’s critical to diagnose the underlying problem first. Once your doctor has determined the cause of your pain, they can recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Here are nine of the most common options to fix lower back pain.
1. Rest and activity modification
If you are experiencing lower back pain, be mindful of what activities may worsen your discomfort. When back pain first occurs, especially if it is due to an injury, resting for a short period may be helpful. Too much immobility, however, can hinder the healing process.
Instead, incorporating gentle movements and activities into your routine can be beneficial to build strength, flexibility, and mobility. Your doctor can help you determine the appropriate activity modification level for your situation.
2. Pain management
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen may lessen inflammation and pain and offer short-term relief.
Steroid injections can also be beneficial for some more chronic conditions.
It’s crucial, however, to consult your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking other medications.
3. Heat and cold therapy
Applying heat or cold to the affected area can provide temporary pain relief. Cold packs are typically used in the initial phase of an injury to reduce inflammation.
Heat therapy, such as heating pads, helps to relax muscles and improve blood flow if the pain is chronic.
4. Physical therapy and exercise
Working with a physical therapist can be an excellent option if you struggle with lower back pain. They can help you identify muscle imbalances and work to correct them by strengthening your core and back muscles to alleviate pain. Additionally, a physical therapist can suggest exercises to improve flexibility and teach you proper body mechanics to prevent future pain or injury.
5. Maintaining good posture and body mechanics
Practicing proper body position and movement in daily activities can help reduce strain on your back. Small changes like using the correct lifting techniques can greatly affect your overall comfort and well-being. If you sit for long periods, ensuring your workstation and chairs are ergonomically designed to promote better posture and reduce discomfort is vital.
6. Maintaining a healthy weight
Caring for your body is a great way to improve and prevent lower back pain. Excess weight adds stress to your joints and spine, so keeping your weight in check can provide relief. A balanced diet and regular exercise are the simplest way to maintain a healthy weight.
7. Stress reduction and relaxation techniques
Stress can play a considerable role in your discomfort. Chronic stress can lead to muscle tension and exacerbate pain. To combat stress, consider practicing deep breathing exercises, stretching, meditation, or yoga to help relax your body and reduce stress levels.
8. Massage therapy
Massage therapy involves manipulating muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues to alleviate pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. With the help of a skilled massage therapist, you can experience targeted relief in the areas of your back that are causing you discomfort.
9. Surgical intervention
Occasionally, conservative treatments are ineffective. Though typically reserved for severe cases when other approaches were unsuccessful, surgery may be an option for conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.
Say Goodbye to Back Pain
If you are experiencing persistent or severe lower back pain, your doctor will complete an evaluation to determine the cause. Then, they can develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Don’t ignore your pain! Schedule an appointment today.