Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the United States. It is estimated that nearly 50 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain. Most people who experience back pain describe it as a dull, achy, or piercing sensation in their lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs.
Although there are many treatments for back pain, few have been proven effective. Many studies have looked at various methods and techniques to treat chronic back pain.
Here are six effective treatments for back pain.
1. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is one of the oldest and most effective treatments for chronic back pain. This type of treatment involves applying physical therapy techniques to help relieve pain, increase muscle strength, improve range of motion, and reduce spasms.?
Physical therapists use various techniques, including muscle energy techniques, massage, hot and cold packs, electrical stimulation, heat and cold applications, and laser treatments. Many physical therapists can also prescribe medications to help relieve pain or prevent complications.
Exercise is another popular treatment for back pain. Studies have shown that exercise helps to improve strength in lower back muscles and increases bone density in the spine. The benefits of exercise include increased flexibility, improved posture, and reduced stress on the lower back muscles. Some types of exercise include the following:
? Stretching exercises
? Weight lifting
? Aerobic exercise
? Riding a bicycle or bike trainer
3. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy has been used successfully to treat chronic back pain. The mechanism of action for laser therapy is to increase blood flow and oxygen to the area of pain. When laser therapy is applied, the area of pain receives more blood flow and oxygen, which helps the body heal itself naturally. Laser therapy can be used to treat various conditions, including the following:
? Lumbar disc herniation
? Ankylosing spondylitis
? Spinal stenosis
? Spinal stenosis with radiculopathy (pain radiating down the arm)
? Sciatica with radiculopathy (pain radiating down the leg)
4. Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors are specialized doctors who specialize in treating spine and nervous system disorders. They work with patients by manipulating bones and joints to relieve pain, improve muscle strength, and restore normal movement in the spine.
In addition, chiropractic care helps strengthen the immune system and maintain healthy nerve function. Chiropractors commonly treat back pain with various techniques, including spinal adjustment and manipulation, massage, and heat and cold application.
Spinal adjustments decompress discs in the spine to reduce pressure on nerves. These adjustments increase blood flow to the area of pain by opening arteries and veins in the area of pain. Additionally, spinal adjustments reduce inflammation in injured areas by reducing swelling and reducing muscle spasms.
Manipulation is done to loosen tight muscles or joints, loosen scar tissue, remove subluxations (misalignments) or correct vertebral misalignment that may be causing pain.
Massage can reduce stress on joints and muscles, which can help relieve pain.
Heat/cold application is applied to relieve pain, increase circulation, and relax muscles.
Spinal surgery is the most common type of back surgery. Major surgeries include cervical disc replacement, laminectomy and fusion, lumbar discectomy and fusion, spinal fusion, decompression, and stabilization of vertebral fractures.
The surgical procedure may be performed after a patient has had an MRI or CT scan to determine the extent of damage to the spine. The surgeon cuts the skin over the area of pain or pressure and inserts a camera through the incision to take images. The patient is then placed under general anesthesia.
For instance, a rhizotomy is a surgical procedure performed on the spine’s facet joints. This procedure is used to treat disruptive neck and back pain.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that uses needles to stimulate the body’s nervous system. It works by stimulating specific points on the body’s surface where energy flows through meridians (channels) located along the body’s pathways.
Acupuncture may be used for pain relief, weight loss, improving sleep quality, increasing energy, and reducing stress. It has been used to treat many conditions, including arthritis, low back pain, migraines, and infertility.
Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. It is often caused by spinal injuries, degeneration, or other medical conditions. The best way to treat back pain is to seek immediate medical attention from a doctor. In the meantime, there are some simple things you can do to prevent back pain and get relief when it does occur.