Treating Lower Back Pain
Tips On Treating Lower Back Pain
According to recent statistics, lower back pain is one of the most common complaints faced by many Americans and accounts for a significant number of doctor visits per year. Further studies have shown that 80% of all adults will experience a certain degree of back pain at some point in their lives. Because of this common occurrence and oftentimes “hard to explain” severity, treating lower back pain is a primary concern for doctors and patients alike.
The first step to proposing the correct method to treating lower back pain is to determine the reason for the pain in the first place. Among the potential causes are muscle strains or specific conditions such as a herniated disc or more serious and possibly genetic acquired degenerative disc diseases.
In general, treating lower back pain can be divided into two categories: treatment for acute and chronic back pain. Acute pain refers to pain that is not more than 3 months. These types are easier to treat because they suggest a less serious reason for the pain. Treating lower back pain in this category requires a combination of rest and stretching exercises.
First, as a patient you should take a leave from work or anything else that keeps you occupied for the greater part of your day. Then, you should use the first few days to just lie down and relax the back. Putting a pillow between your knees as you lie on your side or behind your knees if you are on your back can help to alleviate the pain significantly. Make sure to remember to switch positions every now and then, never staying in one posture for an extended period as this can tighten the back muscles and cause more pain. Add a short walk exercise every 2 to 3 hours to stretch the back area and resume resting in a comfortable position afterwards. Also look into suitable pain medication that can help relieve the pain as well as incorporating warm compress routines on the painful area to relax the muscles.
Treating lower back pain for chronic cases, those lasting more than three months, is a more challenging proposition. Again, start with resting as if you are dealing with an acute case. Afterwards, within 2 to 3 days of your rest and relaxation routine, seek the services of a behavioral therapist to help you manage the stress and pain brought about by the condition. A physical therapist might also be required to rehab the back area as well as teach you specific exercises to strengthen the back muscles. Pain medication is also a definite help, especially in cases when the pain becomes almost unbearable. Be open to suggestions from your doctor for more serious medications such as epidural shots but only if the pain is already beyond your means to control or endure.
In the worst cases, treating lower back pain may require surgical intervention as in the case of a pinched nerve due to vertebral herniation. Only resort to surgery if other means of treatment are not effective. Surgery is invasive and carries some risks and it is important to spare yourself from these risks whenever possible.
Proper treatment of lower back pain can alleviate the pain in a matter of weeks. However, always remember to have a doctor who is familiar with your case kept abreast of your condition. If pain is not gone by the end of the second week of treatment, be prepared to explore other means of treating lower back pain before it develops into something more serious, or worse, something irreversible. Caution can go a long way into ensuring that you duly recover from your condition given the right attitude and treatment methods.
Most back pain will go away on its on by using the above suggestions. However, during this period you must be careful to do nothing to injure it further. If surgery is a must be sure you get a doctor you feel you can be at ease with and trust.
There may also be some lifestyle changes when treating lower back pain. Back pain can be a real problem if you are obese and do little or no exercise to keep your body in shape.
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