Lower Back Pain Treatment
To get better quickly, take the right steps when you first feel low back pain.
Here are some tips for handling lower back pain:
- Stop normal physical activity for the first few days. This will help relieve your symptoms and reduce any swelling in the area of the pain.
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48-72 hours, and then use heat.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
While sleeping, try lying in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.
A common misbelief about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is not recommended. If you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss or fever), then you should stay as active as possible.
You may want to reduce your activity only for the first couple of days. Then, slowly start your usual activities after that. Do not perform activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins. After 2-3 weeks, you should gradually start exercising again.
- Begin with light aerobic training. Walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and swimming are great examples. These aerobic activities can improve blood flow to your back and promote healing. They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises are important. However, starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. A physical therapist can help you know when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
- Many people benefit from physical therapy. Your health care provider will determine whether you need to see a physical therapist and can refer you to one in your area. The physical therapist will first use methods to reduce your pain. Then, the therapist will teach you ways to prevent getting back pain again.
If your pain lasts longer than one month, your primary care health care provider may send you to see either an orthopedist (bone specialist) or neurologist (nerve specialist).
If your pain has not improved after use of medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments, your doctor may recommend an epidural injection.
You may also see a Specialists for Treatment:
- Massage therapist
- Someone who performs acupuncture
- Someone who does spinal manipulation (a chiropractor, osteopathic doctor, or physical therapist)
Sometimes a few visits to these specialists will help back pain.
More Information on Lower Back Pain Treatments
According to a widely publicized study, four out of five individuals will suffer low back pain at some point in their lives. The condition affects both men and women, usually occurring between ages 30 and 50.
The findings of several studies point to the aging process as a major contributive factor in the development of lower back pain between these ages. However, the condition has also been found to occur as a result of sedentary lifestyles with too little exercise, or too much exercise which the body is not accustomed to.
But while low back pain can be a source of anxiety and great discomfort for the affected person, much of the low back treatment options currently available do not necessarily include surgery. In fact, the most common low back treatments in use today do not involve surgery at all.
Analgesics, reducing inflammation, preventing recurrence of episodes, restoring proper function and strength to the back, among others are the focus of most low back pain treatment methods.
Ice/Heat Packs for Low Back Pain Treatment
The application of ice or heat packs/compresses as a method of low back pain treatment has never been scientifically proven. Even so, it remains the most common quick fix for low back pain. Following trauma, patients apply these compresses to the affected area to help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility.
- Apply ice or cold compress first to the injured area. Keep the compress on for up to 20-minutes several times a day.
- After 2-3 days, apply heat compress for brief periods. This will help relax the muscles and improve blood flow.
Bed Rest for Low Back Pain Treatment
This form of low back pain treatment should only be done for a period of one to two days at most. In a study conducted by Finnish scientists in 1996, it was found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest after an episode of low back pain appeared to have better flexibility than those who stayed in bed for a week. Several studies seem to correlate these findings as they observed that too much bed rest may make back pain worse or cause other complications, such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs.
Exercise for Low Back Pain Treatment
This one way to keep active even while recovering from back pain. This low back pain treatment method will not only speed up recovery for low back pain but will also help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. For a list of gentle exercises that will help you keep your muscles moving and flexible without exerting too much strain, consult your doctor or therapist.
There will most likely be mild discomfort in the beginning of the exercises. However, as your body gradually becomes accustomed to the activity, the discomfort will disappear. Building and maintaining muscle strength through this low back pain treatment method is especially important for those suffering from skeletal irregularities.
Does Magnetic Therapy Work for Low Back Pain Relief?
The history in the use of magnets dates back thousands of years. The Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and others utilized the healing properties of magnets. You can find a mention of magnetic stones that dates back 2,000 years in the oldest medical textbook ever discovered.
Is it possible to alleviate back pain temporarily or permanently with magnets? Many individuals who have suffered from back pain and used magnets will tell you beyond a doubt that they work. There are just as many who will tell you that they do not. More than 200 clinical studies have been conducted, around the world, which shows a large amount of evidence regarding the effectiveness of magnets. Although there have been clinical studies there still is not a sufficient amount of scientific evidence. Although the evidence may be lacking it does not mean it does not exist as many well tell you.
There are many theories about how magnets work. Some people say that magnets act like a “shiatsu” massage; others assert magnets affect the iron in red blood cells; other individuals claim that magnets create an alkaline response in the body. There are many in the field of magnet therapy that believes that magnets themselves do not heal anything. They only serve to put the body back in alignment so that healing can begin. This theory comes from supporters who believe that the illness or injury is due to an imbalance or discord in the energy field around the body. It is important to restore the balance of magnetic energy to the body so that it can move back to a healthy state. The use of magnets is a way to do this.
Medical science has detected that a magnetic field placed over and around the point of pain increases blood flow in that area. With the increase of blood flow, greater quantities of oxygen, vital nutrients, and especially endorphins ease and eventually remove and/or alleviate pain. The effects of magnets have been reported to decrease pain and discomfort in and around the area where they are placed. It is vital to place the magnet directly over the area where the pain is located to be effective. The idea of how the magnets work is simple. They stimulate magnetic fields in the body, improving circulation, and promoting faster healing and general good health.
Early developers of magnets for therapy produced the familiar magnet with north and south poles, but soon many of those in the practice of relieving pain saw the importance of using only one pole (usually north or negative) for relieving low back pain. Using the negative pole from the magnets allows a much stronger magnetic field to be placed against the area of pain, which research seems to show is an important placement. Magnetic therapy is a safe, non-invasive way of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. It quickens the natural healing process, provides natural pain relief, and improves sleep without any undesirable side effects. The direction that you place the magnetic poles is important in relation to the pain you are experiencing. The north pole of the magnet is used to alleviate symptoms of low back pain, arthritis, inflammation, acute headaches, and sharp pain. The south pole of the magnet is used to alleviate symptoms of; tingling, numbness, weak muscles, paralysis, and scars.
There are many benefits to using magnetic therapy. They can be used to relive the root cause of pain, not only the symptoms. They are safe with no known side effects since our bodies live in the earth’s natural, magnetic field. Magnets are simple to use. You do not have to buy another bottle or schedule another appointment every month. Magnets work quickly, often in only a few minutes, sometimes in weeks. They are affordable since you can use them, repeatedly, for years.
Increasing amounts of individuals who suffer from back pain are turning to magnets to help them reduce the amount of suffering they have been enduring. Science does not always keep the same pace with alternative medicine therefore; it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of magnets from a purely scientific viewpoint. There are still some traditional physicians that are skeptical of the benefits of magnets this, however, does not dissuade many lower back pain patients who will speak of the positive effects they had using magnetic therapy for their lower back pain.