Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 21, 2016
More than 90 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life. For some, this back pain will be the result of overexertion or a tweaked muscle, while others will suffer more serious spine injuries. Thankfully, most injuries or spinal conditions, at least at the outset, are minor and can be treated with conservative treatment. Specific treatment techniques vary based on your exact condition, but here are five nonsurgical treatment options that can help alleviate spine pain.
Rest is usually the most common treatment technique for anyone suffering from minor back discomfort. If the pain came about after a long day of physical labor or while twisting your back, odds are it’s just a muscle strain or simply muscle fatigue. Give your spine a few hours or days off and you’ll likely notice that the pain begins to subside.
Hot and cold treatment can also help prevent back pain. Heat can help increase blood flow to an area, while cold therapy can help reduce swelling or inflammation. Depending on what’s causing your pain, either therapy can help provide relief. That being said, be sure to take precautions if you’re going to use a heat pack or ice. Set a timer so you don’t fall asleep on a heat pack, and be sure to wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel so the freezing bag isn’t in direct contact with your skin, as that too could cause damage.
Rest is important, but so too is movement if you hope to help your back. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and structures in the area, and stretching helps free impingements and depressurize areas of your spine. Be sure not to overdo it though, as that can make back problems worse.
This one goes hand in hand with exercise, but there’s more to weight loss than regular exercise. If you eat right and lose weight, you’re inherently take pressure off your spine. You’ll be amazed to see just how helpful weight loss can be for alleviating regular aches and pain. The less load-bearing your spine has to shoulder, the better. Weight management is an oft overlooked pain management strategy.
If your spine pain is being caused by inflammation or swelling, anti-inflammatory medications can help. Simple over-the-counter medications can work wonders, just be sure you follow the instructions on the box and don’t mix them with alcohol. In a similar fashion, pain relievers can help quell discomfort caused by an acute injury. Ask your pharmacist or your doctor if you have questions about your over-the-counter options.