Helpful Non-surgical Treatments For Lower Back Pain
A good number of treatment options are available for low back pain that could be adapted as per an individual patient's requirements. The treatments could be in the form of home care, alternative therapies, medicinal cure, and surgery. Some of these treatments may be more effective compared to others depending on the diagnosis made. In many cases, a combination of treatments remains the best option.
There are certain remedies that are quite effective for the treatment of mild to acute pain resulting from muscle strain, and also lessening severe or chronic pain. It is the individual who should administer self-care. The methods include:
Short rest period: It is possible to improve lower back pain by refraining from strenuous activity. One should not rest for more than a couple of days, as sitting idle for long time could make the healing process difficult.
Activity modification: To prevent the pain getting aggravated, one can stay active without doing activities or remaining in positions that make the pain worse. For instance, if the pain worsens from sitting long periods at a desk, then it would benefit by setting a time period to get up and walk around or do little of stretching. If the pain aggravates on standing for a long time, it would do well not to do chores that require standing. The thumb rule is to avoid or minimize doing tasks and positions that make the pain worse to stop painful back spasms from occurring.
Heat/ice therapy: It is possible to improve blood flow and relax tense muscles by the use of heat of hot water bottle, warm bath, adhesive heat wraps, or heating pad. With an increase in blood flow, nutrients and oxygen are also supplied to the muscles that help in the healing process and remain healthy. If the cause of pain in the low back is due to inflammation, one can use ice or cold pack to lessen swelling. While applying heat or ice, one should protect the skin to avoid tissue damage. Alternating heat and ice is a great way to return to activity. One should apply heat before the start of an activity to help the muscles relax and improve the mobility and flexibility. And after the activity, ice is to be used to reduce any kind of irritation and swelling occurring from exercise.
Common pain medications: There are certain over-the-counter medications available that alleviate back pain occurring due to swollen muscles or nerves. Though no medication is required for self-care treatments, but one should use these medicines carefully as there are possible side-effects and risks involved. If it is not sure which self-care is right for you, it is better to talk to a doctor before opting for one.
Low Back Pain Exercises
Physical therapy is an important part to treat low back pain. The available exercises that are recommended include:
Stretching: Most people find it beneficial to do stretching exercise of the low back, hips, buttocks, and legs quite beneficial. The weight of the upper body is supported by these muscles. With increased mobility of these muscles, there will be lesser injuries to the back when it moves. Usually, one should begin stretching exercises for 30 seconds and stops immediately if pain is felt.
Strengthening exercises: Strengthening the core muscles of hip, abdominal, and gluteus muscles, known to support the spine, could help in relieving the low back pain. There are two common programs that are recommended. These are:
Low-impact aerobics: Doing low impact aerobic exercise improves the blood flow and anyone having an injury would find improved healing without doing any kind of harm to the spine. The equipment that comes to use in this category are elliptical or step machine, stationary bikes, water therapy and walking. People with low back pain and doing aerobic exercise on a regular basis report of lesser episodes of pain while remaining active when the pain occurs.
Doing exercise improves heart rate if undertaken for a continued period of time and is quite beneficial to the body. It is important for everyone to do regular physical activity to keep up the range of motion as well as flexibility of the spine. Without coming to use for a longer period of time, the spinal structure suffers from stiffness and discomfort.
While medical treatments help to reduce pain, but these treatments fail to deal with the underlying cause of pain. Usually, the doctor prescribes a combination of medical treatments and physical therapy or other routine. The medical treatments that are frequently prescribed include:
The non-medical treatments are considered as alternative care. Patients often find relief for low back pain with alternative treatments. Some of the common treatments in this category are:
Manual manipulation: In this form of treatment, a healthcare provider works towards making physical adjustments to the spine in an effort to better the mobility and lessening stiffness, pain or discomfort. The provider uses hand thrusts of varying force and speed for adjusting the spinal structure. Many people have reported of getting relief from low back pain with this treatment.
Acupuncture: This mode of treatment is based on ancient Chinese medicine, and works in stimulating the points on the body, known as life force or "qi", for their corrections. The belief is that with correct qi, the pain or discomfort existing in the body is decreased. During treatment, needles are inserted in the skin and kept for an hour. Many people have found considerable relief from pain with acupuncture.
Statistics show that the number of adults receiving massaging therapy from a therapist has doubted since 1997. Massage therapy is considered as an effective aid to treat lower back pain by most healthcare providers. These healthcare providers say they would recommend massage therapy along with medical treatment to their patients. Research conducted found that people with lower back pain, depression and anxiety found massage therapy to significantly reducing the condition while improving sleep. In addition, people receiving the massage had an improved range of motion along with a rise in serotonin and dopamine levels.
Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Research conducted in the US has shown that massage therapy provides numerous health benefits. These include:
Improved blood circulation: This leads to recovery of muscle soreness that occurs from physical activity.
Improved range of motion: Massage causes muscle relaxation, and helps in better motion, and also helping people suffering from insomnia.
Increased endorphin levels: One great benefit from doing massage is an increase in the level of endorphin. Endorphins are chemicals that make you feel good, and help in chronic pain management.
Meditation Helps: Meditation works wonder in lessening the perception of pain, depression, sleep problems, and anxiety that are commonly seen with chronic pain. The techniques used include a wide array from deep breathing to altered-focusing.
It needs mentioning here that the above list for back pain treatment in Dubai and elsewhere available is not exhaustive as many other forms are available, like the newer less invasive surgical treatments.