Lower Back Pain: Understanding Your Treatment Options
Back pain is one of the most common reasons to miss work or visit the doctor. In fact, over 80 percent of people experience low back pain at some point in their life. If you want relief so you can resume the activities you love, try these treatments, starting with the most conservative options first.
At-Home Care for Low Back Pain
Acute back pain caused by pulling a muscle or sleeping wrong often resolves itself within a few days or weeks. Try these at-home treatments to help speed up the process:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen effectively relieve mild acute back pain.
- Rest: Modify your activity level following an injury to allow your back to heal.
- Ice and heat therapy: Apply a towel-wrapped ice pack to your sore back for 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 to 72 hours after an injury. Once the inflammation subsides, alternate applying an ice pack and heating pad throughout the day.
- Gentle stretches: Your back may benefit from mild stretching and exercising to work out tight muscles and loosen connective tissue.
Restorative Therapies for Low Back Pain
Severe back injuries that cause muscle tightness or spasms may benefit from short-term muscle relaxants or prescription painkillers. However, these aren’t long-term solutions for chronic back pain.
About 20 percent of acute back injuries develop into chronic pain lasting for months. Arthritis, spinal misalignment, herniated discs, and other underlying health conditions can also cause chronic back pain. If at-home care and short-term medications fail to provide relief, don’t resort to surgery just yet. Try these non-invasive restorative therapies first:
- Chiropractic care involves manually adjusting your spine to help reposition your vertebrae and discs. If you were injured in an auto collision or workplace accident, include chiropractic care in your recovery efforts.
- Physical therapy is often recommended following car accidents and sports injuries to improve range of motion and reduce pain.
- Nonsurgical spinal decompression gently stretches and elongates the spine into a straight, natural position with the appropriate amount of space between each spinal disc. This treatment works best when used alongside chiropractic care and physical therapy.
- Massage therapy eases muscle tension and increases blood flow to promote pain relief and healing.
- Acupuncture is based on the body’s natural healing ability. Tiny, sterile needles are inserted into problem areas to stimulate nerves, trigger an endorphin release, and reduce pain.
- Trigger point injections introduce non-toxic anti-inflammatory drugs directly into the trigger point, or muscle knot, responsible for your discomfort.
At Effective Integrative Healthcare, we understand how frustrating and restrictive lower back pain can be. That’s why we offer a combination of treatments to help relieve your pain at the source. With our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and restorative therapies, we’re confident we can deliver long-lasting relief. Contact us online or call 410-729-2200 today to schedule a free consultation at one of our Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD offices.