Back pain could be due to nerve or muscular problems. It could be due to a degenerative disc disease or arthritis. The back pain symptoms can be relieved with the help of medications or through physiotherapy (physical exercises), and chiropractic care. The back pain can be constant, mild, or debilitating based on its cause.
Before we head on to back pain treatments, let us discuss symptoms of the same. Some of the back pain symptoms include:
- Aching and stiffness anywhere along the spine, from the base of the neck to the tailbone.
- A person might experience a chronic ache in the middle or lower back after long hours of sitting or standing.
- Back pain might be experienced radiating from the lower back all the way to the toes.
Based on the symptoms, there are various back pain treatment options:
- There are many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Acetaminophen, for instance, can be found in many pharmaceuticals.
- Some NSAID’s (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken to get relief from the pain. Even though these drugs are present as OTC, they should be consumed only after consulting a doctor. This is because Using NSAID’s might increase the risk heart attack, stroke, and even stomach problems.
- There are topical pain relievers such as creams, sprays, and lotions are also available that can be applied on the skin to get relief due to sore muscles and arthritis.
- People seeking back pain treatment choose chiropractic treatment as one of the most common treatment options. Chiropractors manipulate the alignment of the spinal cord’s musculoskeletal structure. This adjustment helps the body to heal itself eliminating the possibility of any surgical procedure.
- Being a drug-free treatment, bio electric therapy is also one of the back pain treatments. It simply relieves the back pain by blocking the messages to the brain. Bio electric therapy uses bio electric currents that interrupt the message that is to be interpreted by the brain. It also prompts the body to produce endorphins which also help in relieving the pain.
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy is used to treat the inflamed or damaged intervertebral discs that are one of the reasons for back pain. IDET applies heat that helps in modifying nerve fibers of the spinal disc and destroys the pain receptors in that area. The procedure involves a wire known as an electro thermal catheter which is placed through an incision in the disc. On passing the electrical current through the wire, the small outer portion of the disc is heated to a temperature of 90 degree Celsius. It is an outpatient procedure which means that it’s applied to a patient after he/she has been administered with a local anesthesia.
- Another type of therapy known as TENS therapy is a kind of pain management in which a small battery delivers a low-voltage electrical current to the skin using electrodes that are placed near the source of pain. These electrodes scramble the normal pain receptors. This therapy is a non-painful therapy used to mask the pain due to diabetic neuropathy. It is, however, not recommended for chronic lower back pain.
- Radiofrequency discal nucleoplasty is one of the back pain treatments that uses radio frequency probes that disintegrate a small portion of the central disc. As a result, the partial decompression of the disc helps in relieving the pain caused due to bulging discs that press nerves nearby spinal nerve roots.
- Laminectomy is a kind of surgery that is done on the spinal cord. The surgeon removes the rear portion of one or more spinal bones that are pressing on the nerves and are causing pain.
- Neuro surgical decompression gently stretches the spine and takes the pressure off the spinal discs. These spinal discs are gel-like cushions that create a negative pressure on the disc. It helps in promoting the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids. This procedure retracts the pressure off the nerve and helps in relieving the pain.
While you are using these medical back pain treatments, there are natural ways that you can use to get additional relief from the back pain.
- Application of heat and ice temporary blocks the pain signals thereby reducing the swelling.
- For mild back pain, use an ice pack and about 48 hours after if the pain still persists, switch to moist heat. This will stimulate the blood flow and reduce muscle spasms.
- One of the main reasons we suffer from back pain is due to our wrong seating or standing posture. This can cause back pain in the long run. Thus, improving the body posture can help bring about some relief in the back pain.
- Hot peppers contain several heat-producing substances called as capsaicin. Applying the same to your skin will deplete the nerve endings of a neurochemical substance called P. This substance is found to be essential to transmit pain sensations to the brain. Capsaicin reduces the circulation of substance P which in turn helps in reducing the pain.