If you have isolated back pain, the best way to treat it is to keep active. Try a brisk walk for 30 minutes or even take a walk with your dog. If you do not exercise, you will risk weakening the muscles surrounding your spine, which can lead to long-term pain.
Exercise Helps Build Strong, Flexible Muscles
Exercise can help to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the lower back, helping to prevent injury. A proper exercise program should be done under the supervision of a physical therapist or physician. A good exercise program should help you return to normal activity and reduce risk of injury. It should be modified as necessary if you suffer from a specific spine condition. When beginning an exercise program, it is important to identify your functional goal and work towards it.
Stretching and strengthening exercises for the lower back are important to help minimize back pain and reduce inflammation. Stretching exercises can increase flexibility and range of motion, and help prevent muscle soreness. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends performing back stretches after back strengthening exercises. Some of these stretches involve knee-to-chest stretches, which elongate the muscles in the lower back and relieve pain and tension.
Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and pain in the back. It also numbs sore tissues. However, patients must be careful not to overdo this method. They should use ice packs only for a short time, no more than 20 minutes. The ice pack should be secured in place with a strap.
Depending on the source of the pain, different methods may be appropriate. For example, reusable cold packs can be used to apply cold therapy directly to the affected area. You can also use cooling topical gels. These are usually made from a vegetable or towel that is frozen. Cold therapy may also be combined with massage. It may also involve using massage balls or ice therapy machines. These machines usually have a basin filled with ice water. The patient lies down on it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat therapy is an alternative treatment for lower back pain. It uses heat to soften stiff muscles and increase circulation to the area. This helps speed healing and remove waste products from the muscles. You can apply heat on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You should consult your doctor before undergoing this treatment.
Heat therapy is particularly helpful for lower back pain caused by spasms of muscles. These spasms restrict circulation and send pain signals to the brain. As a result, heat therapy helps alleviate the tightness and spasms in the back, which relieves the pain and provides overall comfort. With decreased stiffness in the lower back, you can return to your regular activities without worrying about discomfort.
NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that help reduce inflammation, especially around the swollen discs or joints of the back. However, they also carry risks. Taking too much of these drugs can lead to side effects like kidney and liver damage.
Studies have shown that NSAIDs are effective for the treatment of acute low back pain. While not superior to other types of medications, they do provide symptomatic relief and are safe for most patients. NSAIDs can also be combined with other types of medication.
Surgery to remove herniated discs in the lower back is often performed to help with back pain. The surgical procedure uses small incisions to access the spine’s discs and bones. In some cases, a bulging disc can be repaired without surgery. Other times, the surgeon will use a small lumbar spine incision to repair the disc.
However, back surgery should be considered only when the cause of the pain cannot be diagnosed through other treatments. In addition, not all patients are good candidates for surgery, especially those with chronic back pain. Depending on the type of surgery performed, a surgeon may recommend physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, or other non-surgical measures before recommending surgery.