Lower back pain treatment will depend on the cause of your pain and how long you have had the pain. If your pain goes away within a few weeks, then lower back pain home treatment may help. However, if the pain lasts much longer, there may need to be more tests run to find the origin of your pain in order to determine a course of action for lower back pain treatment.
Whether you have injured your back due to an accident or it just starts to hurt out of the blue, then the first thing you must do is contact your doctor. Your doctor will give you instructions on what should be done in your particular case. Many times, basic lower back pain home treatment will be the first method your doctor will recommend after he/she has ruled out any possible serious health conditions.
Basic Lower Back Pain Home Treatment
There are some things you can do yourself to help with the pain. If you have talked with your doctor and lower back pain home treatment has been recommended, then here are some options available to you.
Generally, a person in pain wants to rest. This is okay to do for a day or two; however, if your doctor has ruled out any serious conditions, then staying active may be a better alternative. Why? When you stay in bed for too long, it can actually make your pain worse because you begin to develop stiff joints and weak muscles.
There are many different types of over-the-counter pain medications that can help to relieve some of the pain. It may not take the pain away completely, but may make it manageable. The three basic types of pain medications include: acetaminophen, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or naproxen.
Examples of Each Type
- Acetaminophen – Tylenol
- NSAID – Advil or Motrin
- Naproxen – Aleve or Naprosyn
If these over-the-counter pain medications do not work, then your doctor may be able to prescribe a stronger pain medication.
Ice Pack/Heating Pad
- Heat or ice
which works better? Many times people are confused on which one will best benefit them. There really is not strong evidence that indicates one works better than the other. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to try them both. In fact, you can even alternate between the two.
Use a heating pad on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. You can combine this with a warm shower in between sessions. There are heat wraps available that you can buy where you apply them on the lower back and they last for up to eight hours. You can only use them once per day, and they are one-time use pads; however, you can then use your heating pad afterwards. An ice pack can be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
There are specific lower back pain exercises you can do to help. Walking is the easiest and one of the best exercises for your lower back. Keep your posture in mind at all times. Stretches are also very good for strengthening your back muscles. Generally, these stretches will focus on the muscles of your trunk (core) to support your spine. These exercises will help improve your posture, help with balance, and decrease your chances of injury or re-injury.
The majority of the time surgery is rarely used as a method for lower back pain treatment. In fact, many times surgery may not even help. Most surgeries for the lower back are performed to treat herniated discs. However, even those with herniated discs do not need surgery. It is generally only recommended if a disc causes severe and disabling sciatica. If you have this case, then you must check the top spine surgeons 2020.
While surgery is not likely, it is still a possibility depending on the cause of your pain. The following are some instances where surgery may be a possibility; however, surgery may still not be needed in these conditions:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Fracture
- Spinal Infection (such as osteomyelitis or abscess)
- Unstable Spine (such as Spondylolisthesis)
- Spinal Tumor
Understand that surgery is a last resort. Discuss the option with your doctor with the understanding that back surgeries are not always successful. You will also likely have to commit to physical therapy after the surgery.