Treating Back Pain – At-Home and Professional Options
Back pain might feel like one of those conditions that just becomes part of life for some people, but that line of thinking keeps too many people from pursuing the help that’s available for them!
Persistent back pain is not normal, and no one should ever feel that they have to just grit their teeth and deal with it – not before fully pursuing their options for treatment, management, and relief.
There are many reasons back pain can exist, and many different types of treatments that best address that range of factors. You may be able to attempt some forms of treatment at home, while others may require the knowledge, techniques, and tools of our experts. In most cases, there are more options than surgery that may provide the results you need.
Before we investigate some potential back pain treatment options, it’s important to understand a few things:
- We always strongly recommend seeing us about persistent back pain before attempting any form of treatment. We can get to the root of your pain and recommend treatments that can directly target your needs.
- Never try anything on your own that causes more pain or may further harm your back.
- Even if a treatment provides some relief (which is good!), more might still be able to be done to provide complete relief.
If you have any questions about back pain whatsoever or want to schedule an appointment with us, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll be happy to help!
Targeted Stretching and Exercise
Although movement and exercise don’t always seem like the best ways to address chronic back pain, experts have learned over time that maintaining a reasonable level of motion can help recovery time more than long periods of rest.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should automatically go out and run miles. The types of stretching and exercise you perform matter greatly, and you should always consult a professional regarding any such program.
A guided regimen can help condition muscles, ligaments, and other areas of the back to best aid relief without risking further pain and damage. Additional techniques to target the abdomen, hips, and glutes can provide additional support in various cases.
Heat or Cold Therapy
The application of heat or cold can do more than just feel soothing to a painful back.
Using heat from warm compresses, baths, hot water bottles, heat wraps, and other sources can help increase circulation to the area. Increased blood flow brings more of the oxygen, growth factors, and other materials cells need to repair damaged tissues. The use of ice, on the other hand, can help reduce swelling.
Proper timing with when to use heat or cold can help provide the best results. Heat is often best before activities to help relax muscles, while cold can be helpful after activities to help reduce swelling and irritation.
Whichever heat or cold methods you use, always be mindful to never let the source of heat or cold directly touch the skin. Wrap it in a thin towel or other suitable covering to reduce the risk of skin damage, and never use it for more than 15-20 minutes at a time.
Changes to Your Activity and Environment
We sometimes don’t realize how much stress we are putting on ourselves in various situations, some of which can worsen back pain and interfere with recovery from certain causes.
Consider some of the following factors that might contribute to your back pain on a regular basis:
- Improper posture
- Spending too much time sitting or standing in the same position
- Spending prolonged time standing on hard surfaces (such as at a workstation)
- Wearing shoes or boots that don’t fully support the feet, which can sometimes cause pain in locations through the legs, knees, hips, or lower back)
Take note of factors that might be adding to discomfort and address them if you are able to. This can mean setting hourly times for movement breaks, setting down anti-fatigue mats, or changing your footwear (even potentially using custom orthotics if you have an abnormal foot structure).
Specialized Equipment to Treat Back Pain
Depending on the causes of your back pain and your specific needs, we might recommend the use of back braces and other equipment to provide extra support and comfort during a recovery period. Such equipment may more likely be recommended during physical activities or more physically based work.
Different medications may also be recommended depending on need, ranging from pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to muscle relaxants.
While many medications can be taken orally, some – such as corticosteroids – provide better results as an injection.
All medications should always be used as directed, and nothing beyond an over-the-counter medication should ever be used unless prescribed, and only under the guidance of an expert.
Advanced treatments such as the Class IV laser therapy we provide at our practice can stimulate the body’s natural healing responses to many soft tissue injuries, including muscle strains, many sports injuries, and nerve pain.
Laser therapy sessions may be recommended both for recent causes of back pain as well as chronic sources that have refused to fully resolve. The results of successive laser therapy sessions tend to stack and improve upon each other, culminating in greater relief and faster overall recovery time.
What is the Best Treatment for Your Back Pain?
The simplest answer is the one that works!
There is no one best course of treatment for every person suffering from back pain. The best results come from a thorough examination of each patient’s condition, lifestyle, and personal needs. Only then will we ever recommend a treatment plan we believe will bring results.
If you are living with consistent back pain, don’t continue just bearing with it. We can help you find both lasting relief and reduce your risk of future troubles. Schedule an appointment by giving us a call or by filling out our online contact form.
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