The available treatment options for back pain tend to vary depending on how long the individual experienced the pain, the severity and the preferences of the individual. There are various treatments for back pain that you should be familiar with.
What to do for short-term back pain
Primarily, back pain is managed with over-the-counter pain medications and home treatments. Many individuals suffer from significant improvement in the symptoms within a span of 6 weeks.
Even though bed rest is considered vital in the recovery of back pain, it is still important to stay active in order to recover more quickly. This might be hard at first if there is severe pain, but the individual should try to move around as soon as possible and aim to perform a little more every day.
Activities to engage in can range from walking around the house or walking to nearby stores. Even though there is some discomfort, it is best to avoid anything that triggers intense pain. By going back to work, it can help the individual resume his/her normal pattern of activity as well as serve as a distraction from the pain.
One of the initial medications given for back pain is paracetamol but some use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen since it is considered more effective. Codeine is a stronger pain medication that is taken along with paracetamol.
Take note that pain medications have side effects in which some can be addictive while others might not be suitable, depending on the medical history and health of the individual.
Exercise and lifestyle changes
Regular exercise and staying active on a daily basis can help keep the back strong and healthy. Activities such as swimming, walking and yoga are suitable options. It is vital to choose an activity that the individual can benefit from without any pain.
Hot and cold treatments
Cold treatment such as a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack can be effective. Just remember not to apply the ice directly on the skin. Cover the ice pack in a clean towel or cloth. Another option is to alternate between hot and cold using an ice pack and a hot water bottle.
Long-term back pain
If the individual experiences back pain for more than 6 weeks, it is considered as a chronic case. The doctor can prescribe the suitable pain medications and the following:
- Exercise classes that are supervised by a qualified instructor with focus on exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve the posture.
- Acupuncture is a treatment involving the use of fine needles that are inserted at various points in the body. It can help reduce lower back pain.
- Manual therapy includes mobilization, manipulation and massage that are performed by chiropractors.
The surgery for back pain is only recommended for cases in which other treatment options do not work or if the back pain is severe that it disrupts with daily activities and sleep. The type of surgery performed depends on the type of back pain experienced by the individual and the cause.