Lower Back Pain Cures
by Eric Rose
Anyone who has ever suffered from back pain understands the importance of discovering quick relief from this often debilitating condition. Fortunately, whether back pain is mild or severe, short-term or chronic, there are treatment options to accommodate every level of severity. While statistics say that within two weeks, nearly 90% of all back pain episodes will heal on their own, patients whose back pain progressively gets worse or continues for an extended period will need to seek more aggressive treatments.
Rest and Anti-inflammatories.
A common first choice in alleviating mild back pain is the combination of rest and the use of anti-inflammatory medications. Tight, overused or strained back muscles will often recover with a short period of bed rest and the application of heating pads or ice packs. In conjunction with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs can help in reducing the pain caused by swelling and inflammation in the tissues of the back. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are some of the readily available, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.
If rest and anti-inflammatories do not lead to back pain relief, making an appointment to consult with a physical therapist can be the next step. Physical therapists commonly work with back pain patients, and will design a therapy and exercise regimen to fit a patient's specific needs. For back pain, therapists often work on developing core strength, increasing muscle flexibility, and engaging in posture modification, which teaches patients to go about their daily lives without reinjuring their back.
Acupuncture and Chiropractics
Although not performed by medical doctors, two common alternatives for people seeking back pain treatment are acupuncture and chiropractics. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that offers pain relief through the insertion of very fine needles into the body. Chiropractics uses the physical manipulation of the spine to help readjust, realign and increase the range of motion of the joints in the back.
Temporary relief from severe back pain is sometimes achieved through the use of steroids. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that are prescribed by doctors, and may be taken orally in special dosage packs or administered through epidural injections. Epidural injections deliver the steroids directly to the irritated areas that are causing the discomfort, and although they usually give short-term relief, in some cases they can help break long-term cycles of pain.
The last, and most invasive, choice for back pain is surgery. Although the majority of back pain sufferers will never need a surgical remedy, recent developments such as artificial discs and minimally invasive procedures have expanded the efficacy of surgical treatment. Unlike back surgery of the past, today's procedures often require short hospital stays and have quick recovery periods.