Aches and pains can get in the way of your everyday life, but lower back pain can be extremely painful. Depending on the severity of the problem, you can relieve your symptoms from home. However, if you’re ever unsure contact a medical professional for advice. In this post, we’ll break down some things to try and treatments to avoid if you’re struggling with lower back pain.
Stay active and stretch
Maintaining mobility and continuing your daily activities can be your first step to lower back pain relief. As much as you can, stay active, even if this seems challenging at first. Not only will it distract you from the pain, but it will also help you to stay positive and relaxed.
Consider trying back exercises and stretches from home, such as pilates or yoga. Stretching can help reduce tension in the muscles and increase your overall mobility. If you’re unsure on how to proceed with stretches, consult a health professional for advice.
Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help relieve pain. The choice of which depends on your preferences and who you ask. A 2010 study concluded that the decision of heat or cold therapy depends on the availability and preferences of the patient or practitioner. So some people will find a hot water bottle works for them, and others will prefer a bag of frozen peas.
If using cold treatments, remember to never put ice directly onto the skin as it can cause a cold burn. Make sure you wrap whatever frozen item you have in a cloth or towel first.
Osteopaths are most commonly known for treating back pain and postural problems. It focuses on rehabilitation and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, seeking to solve the problem without needing drugs or surgery. By using a holistic approach, it takes into consideration your full medical history, personal circumstances and lifestyle to ensure the best course of treatment. This patient-centred experience means every treatment is based on the individual needs of the person involved.
If the pain is severe enough, painkillers should help relieve your symptoms in the short term. You can buy many types from the supermarket or over the counter without a prescription, but you need to make sure you take the right ones. Doctors recommend Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which can help reduce swelling and fever. In some cases, your doctor might prescribe muscle relaxants such as diazepam to help ease spasms.
Treatments to avoid
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), traction can cause more damage than good. This treatment uses weights and pulleys to apply force to the spine. Traction can sometimes cause the pain to get worse or provoke muscle spasms. Other treatments NICE lists as not recommended include acupuncture, therapeutic ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and painkilling spinal injections. These treatments should only be used in specific circumstances and when prescribed by a medical professional.
Paracetamol alone will not be an effective pain reliever when it comes to back pain. However, it can be taken in conjunction with other pain killers like codeine. Ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on what to use.
Back pain is very common. In fact, around 80% of us will seek medical help for it during our lifetime. For expert pain management and osteopathy, contact us at Regain Health today. We also offer sports massages to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation. With over ten years of experience, we will help achieve wellbeing and relieve any discomfort in no time what so ever.