Most people have back discomfort at some point in their lives. A person’s capacity to engage in and enjoy daily activities can be adversely affected by pain, ranging in intensity from mild to severe.
Back pain is classified into two types based on how long it lasts. Acute back pain arises suddenly and is typically due to a specific incident, such as an injury. Usually, it lasts up to four weeks. Back discomfort lasting more than three months is regarded as chronic.
Why Do I Have Back Pain?
Back discomfort can be caused by various injuries, diseases, or ailments. Conditions may include:
How Can I Manage Back Pain Without Medications?
If you have persistent back pain, you may be surprised to learn that you may not require pain medication to feel better. Before using pain medication, try the following methods to treat back discomfort.
Ice therapy and heat therapy
Ice therapy is the best place to start when it comes to acute back pain or pain caused by a direct injury. By first applying ice to the affected area you can reduce inflammation and swelling, constrict blood vessels, and numb the area.
Once the inflammation has been minimized you can switch from ice therapy to heat therapy. Heat therapy improves soft tissue flexibility, muscle movement, and the general functionality of the injured area.
When treating chronic back pain, heat therapy provides warmth and relief. A heating pad or adhesive wrap can provide long-lasting, low-level heat therapy. When utilizing this technique, keep track of how long you apply heat. Prolonged heat exposure can cause skin discomfort and even skin damage.
Exercise and activity modification
Exercise and activity modification are essential components in treating chronic back pain. Exercise therapy for chronic back pain can improve body stability by strengthening and stretching the core muscles of the back. Forcing a muscle beyond its range of motion might result in a strain or sprain. Flexibility increases muscle range of motion, reducing muscle and joint damage risk. Exercises emphasizing mobility can help reduce or even eliminate uncomfortable lower back discomfort.
A well-rounded fitness program includes aerobic exercise and stretching and strengthening activities. Stretching and strengthening the muscles that support the spine and pelvis has various benefits, including:
- Relieving spinal disc and joint pressure
- Reducing stiffness and enhancing mobility
- Increasing blood flow
- Reducing the frequency and intensity of pain
Specific symptoms and mobility issues can be addressed with physical therapy. Physical therapy for back pain can help:
- Build back core strength to improve overall body stability
- Determine your pain tolerance limits
- Perform stretching and flexibility exercises to improve mobility
- Encourage good posture
- Promote proper movement and lifting techniques
Back pain caused by stiff or overworked muscles may benefit from massage. Massage therapy can be used to maintain wellness and provide relief from back discomfort.
Massage techniques include hands-on actions such as kneading, stretching, compressing, and gliding. Massage treatment aims to:
- Reduce muscle and tendon stiffness
- Improve tissue elasticity and joint range of motion
- Decrease inflammation and swelling in soft tissues
- Reduce scar tissue formation
- Influence blood flow in the muscles
Massage may also raise hormone levels, aiding in reducing pain, regulating sleep and mood, and promoting relaxation.
For more chronic issues that haven’t been resolved with other types of pain management, there are some advanced procedures that may help.
Injections can be helpful for multiple types of chronic pain. Steroids or medications can be injected into the epidural space or facet joints to relieve pain and inflammation.
Regenerative medicine, or stem cell therapy, may be useful to treat degenerative disc disease, arthritis, or spine injuries. Your own stem cells are harvested from your body and injected into the affected area to stimulate repair.
Intracept is a procedure where a tiny electrode is inserted into nerves that are responsible for pain. The nerves are damaged by the electrode, which stops their ability to send pain signals to the brain.
For chronic, severe pain, a spinal cord stimulator can be life-changing. A tiny device is implanted under the skin and a wire is placed into the epidural space. The device delivers electrical impulses that disrupt pain signals.
Don’t live with back pain or continue taking pain medications any longer – schedule an appointment today!