2016 — Upgrade: Added much more information about non-Rx pain-killers, and greatly improved information about opioids (and linking to much more information). [Section: Pain medications (and even alcohol) can be useful.]
Since I first started treating low back pain in 2000, there’s been an explosion of free online information about it — countless poor quality articles. Back in the day, we actually had to go to a doctor or buy a book to get shoddy back pain information — now it’s just a Google search away.234 Even many better articles still have serious “attitude” problems.5 But it’s worse than that: even professional back pain guidelines are often misleading.6 For instance, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, it’s extremely common to incorrectly portray back pain as a “mechanical” problem, as if the spine is a fragile structure which breaks down and causes pain.7 This is based on decades old misconceptions about how backs work, and how pain works, which the medical world is only gradually learning to leave behind.
BACK pain – particularly pain in the lower back – is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. The majority of cases are not serious – but experts have revealed the serious symptoms people should look out for.
Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated lifting or a sudden awkward movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you’re in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back may cause painful muscle spasms.
Made with non-flattening therapeutic, odorless memory foam, the lumbar cushion by RelaxBack includes an adjustable strap you can use to secure the cushion to your office chair. This keeps the cushion in the perfect position to give your back the support it needs. The velour cover is removable and easily machine washable to ensure cleanliness of the cushion. The cushion measures 14.6 x 3.6 x 13.5 inches and has a side handle for comfortably transporting the cushion around the office or to and from home.
Acute back pain comes on suddenly but improves over time; chronic pain worsens and can last months. If you don’t feel better after three to four days, see your primary care physician. She may refer you to a neurologist or a neurosurgeon if the pain is nerve related; an orthopedist, osteopath, or chiropractor for musculoskeletal problems; a rheumatologist for joint problems; or a physical therapist or physiatrist for rehabilitation exercises. Back specialists typically recommend one or more of the following strategies:
^ Jump up to: a b c Steffens, Daniel; Maher, Chris G.; Pereira, Leani S. M.; Stevens, Matthew L; Oliveira, Vinicius C.; Chapple, Meredith; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci F.; Hancock, Mark J. (11 January 2016). Prevention of Low Back Pain. JAMA Internal Medicine. 176: 199–208. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7431. PMID 26752509.
Because back pain is so common, numerous products promise to prevent or relieve your back pain. But, there’s no definitive evidence that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture or stress management programs can help. In addition, there doesn’t appear to be one type of mattress that’s best for people with back pain. It’s probably a matter of what feels most comfortable to you.
The Bucky Baxter Lumbar Support Pillow markets itself as the “back support that hits the spot.” It really does hit the spot, and it’s not foam that provides great support; it’s a buckwheat hull filling. The buckwheat filling provides your back with firm support, but also conforms to the unique shape of your back.
If back pain is severe, your doctor may try other medications that focus on different parts of the pain response, such as gabapentin or amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant. The latter may work better for nerve-related pain.
Elevate the head, feet, or shoulders with the ultra-comfortable memory foam SensorPEDIC Bed Wedge Pillow with Gel.Relax and rest with this dual-layer memory foam wedge pillow. It’s a wedge of polyurethane foam with Blue Air gel memory foam … more
^ Jump up to: a b Sahar T, Cohen MJ, Uval-Ne’eman V, et al. (April 2009). Insoles for prevention and treatment of back pain: a systematic review within the framework of the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group. Spine. 34 (9): 924–33. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31819f29be. PMID 19359999.