Back pain includes lower back pain, middle back pain, upper back pain or low back pain with sciatica. Nerve and muscular problems, degenerative disc disease, and can result in back pain. Back pain symptoms may be relived with pain medication or pain killers.
2017 — Science update: Updated references for debunking of TENS for back pain. Added ultrasound to the section. [Section: A few more snack-sized reality checks: brief comments on other treatments to avoid.]
Surgery – surgery for back pain is very rare. If a patient has a herniated disk surgery may be an option, especially if there is persistent pain and nerve compression which can lead to muscle weakness. Examples of surgical procedures include:
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Physiotherapist-designed exercises at home can help you to recover more quickly, and keeping them up regularly can strengthen the muscles of your lower back, reducing the chance of back pain returning.
Most acute low back pain results from injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs. The body also reacts to injury by mobilizing an inflammatory healing response. While inflammation sounds minor, it can cause severe pain.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Sitting all day is hazardous, too. It puts more pressure on disks and vertebrae than standing or walking, Dr. Katz says. Alleviate the tension with an office makeover. Start with a lumbar-support cushion, such as the Original McKenzie SlimLine ($19, isokineticsinc.com). Then adjust your seat so your computer monitor is at eye level, your arms and knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and your feet rest on the floor. Finally, go to workrave.org to download a free program that flashes screen reminders to take computer breaks as often as you schedule them.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) – a popular therapy for patients with chronic (long-term) back pain. The TENS machine delivers small electric pulses into the body through electrodes that are place on the skin.
Some people immediately think of having back surgery just to alleviate the pain, but I strongly advise against it unless you’ve exhausted the other treatment options mentioned above. However, if none of these strategies work, I advise you to try K-Laser – it’s just that good.
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A muscle relaxant such as diazepam is occasionally prescribed for a few days if the back muscles become very tense and make the pain worse. Diazepam is one of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines which can be habit-forming and should be taken for as short a period of time as possible.
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Cancer in the spinal bones or nearby structures – Back pain is consistent and may become worse when you are lying down. Numbness, weakness or tingling of the legs that continues to get worse. If cancer spreads to spinal nerves that control the bladder and bowel, there may be bowel or bladder incontinence (loss of control).
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Astaxanthin – This is one of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known to man today. Astaxanthin has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. In some cases, it may even be more effective than NSAIDs. You may need to take high doses of this antioxidant (as much as eight milligrams a day), though, to achieve this benefit.
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Every exercise included in Foundation Training lengthens the front of your body, which is over-tightened, and strengthens the back of your body, helping you stand tall and move with grace and flexibility.
If you spend most of your time sitting, pay careful attention to consciously sucking in your belly and rotating your pelvis slightly up. At the same time, you should keep your head back, with your ears over your shoulders and your shoulder blades pinched. This posture will keep your spine in proper alignment. Do this every hour you’re sitting, holding the muscles tight for several minutes.
The bottom line is that painkillers always come with risks. Unfortunately, if you consult your conventional physician about your chronic back pain, he will often prescribe a long-term treatment plan that may include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and possibly other types of pain medication or even anti-seizure drugs – a poisonous chemical cocktail that will put your health at severe risk!
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If you already suffer from back pain or other back problems, a lumbar support might be just what you need. However, if problems are serious or persistent, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of a professional as well.