Back pain is nearly unbearable for some people. Unlike other parts of the body, which can be elevated or isolated to relieve pain, the back is always in service. The sheer number of integral parts and the structural makeup of the back presents an opportunity for pain, which can be related to injury or overuse. Bones, muscle, nerves, discs, and more are all subject to wear and tear, which can result in pain symptoms. Some conditions, once they become severe, will require surgery – but there are also nonsurgical treatment options for controlling back pain.
Before settling on a particular nonsurgical treatment for your back, speak with your health professional. A diagnosis of your condition is the first step toward getting appropriate treatment and finding relief for your pain.
Only a competent, credentialed health professional should administer back pain treatment. Otherwise, you run the risk of further injuring your back, and worsening your condition. The doctor will ask for your medical and family history. Detailing your experiences with back issues will help paint a picture for the doctor, providing pertinent information that can assist in determining the possible cause of the pain. Determining whether the back pain originated from an injury or if it’s related to an illness can point to certain types of pain treatments and whether nonsurgical options can help.
Back pain can often be managed with medication. Inflammation is a common culprit of back pain. Over-the-counter medications or stronger prescription medicine often focus on relieving back pain by reducing inflamed areas in the back.
A variety of medications can be used to alleviate back pain: either orally for systemic treatment, or in injections that can deliver pinpoint accuracy.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are used to reduce inflammation; painkillers, muscle relaxers, or even antidepressants may be used to lessen pain. Because narcotic pain relievers can have serious side effects, and the possibility of addiction, you should be sure to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.
People suffering from back pain may be surprised to know that exercise is a pain management technique. They may wonder how it’s possible to exercise when they can barely move without pain, but exercise can indeed help.
A back pain specialist can provide exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen your back, if your condition allows. Exercise as a form of physical therapy can increase muscle strength in the back. Focusing on other areas with a combination of stretching, strengthening, and low impact aerobic exercise can also strengthen other parts of the body that will help to support the back’s function. For example, a strong core can help support and distribute your weight so the back doesn’t have to work so hard.
If you suffer from back pain, do not begin any new exercise regimen without getting the okay from your doctor.
Ice and Heat
Icing or heating the affected area can provide some relief for back pain.
Use a heating pad or cold pack on the lower back to help relax the muscles or reduce inflammation, respectively. A good rule of thumb is to alternate between the two, starting with hot then cold therapy. These treatments usually provide a short-term fix for nonchronic issues.
We can’t stress enough the importance of speaking with your doctor before attempting any nonsurgical therapy for your back pain issues. The last thing you want to do is exacerbate your existing pain. Your doctor can direct you toward the type of treatment that may be most effective for you and may recommend several different methods.
Call Tarpon Orthopedics for information to assist with your back pain or any other orthopedic-related issue, sports injury, or pain management concern. You may reach us at (972) 596-1059.