Back pain can be a debilitating condition that can ruin a person’s day. Not only does it make daily activities more difficult, but even a slight movement can cause pain and discomfort. The pain can be very difficult to manage, especially when you don’t know what to do. You may wonder whether to play through the pain or visit a doctor. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help alleviate the discomfort.
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Back pain treatments can help reduce pain and restore movement, and they also can help prevent further injury. Back pain treatments are varied, and include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), exercise, and physical therapy. Over-the-counter pain relievers can provide short-term relief of mild to moderate back pain, and prescription medications like opioids may be prescribed for chronic or severe back pain. Before taking any medications, however, patients should consult with their physician and understand any side effects.
There are many different back pain treatments available, including spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatments use gentle pressure to realign the spine and weak areas of the musculoskeletal system. Acupuncture, which uses pressure points, is another treatment option. Only a small percentage of people will need back surgery, but some minor procedures such as removing a disc fragment can help patients regain mobility.
Exercise, such as chair yoga, can also help people with back pain move more. They can also try swimming and biking. Acupuncture, which has been used for thousands of years in China, can also help people get back to their active lives.
Prevention of back pain starts with a healthy lifestyle. Avoid obesity, avoid wearing high heels, and take good care of your back muscles. Exercise daily and choose activities that strengthen your back muscles. Swimming is a good choice for strengthening the back muscles. Avoid swimming breaststroke, which can put strain on your back. Proper posture is also important, especially when lifting heavy items.
When lifting heavy objects, always use your leg muscles and abdominal muscles rather than your back. This prevents straining your back. Make sure to stretch your back muscles before you lift the heavy item. You should also avoid twisting your body when lifting. Avoid lifting heavy objects while sitting or sleeping. Also, avoid lifting anything that is too heavy for your back.
It is also important to take frequent breaks while sitting or standing. Long-term sitting can cause a lot of pain. Getting up and moving around often can prevent or alleviate the pain. If you work at a desk, try getting a chair with good lumber support. You can also use pillows or rolled towels for additional support. If you drive long distances, make sure to take frequent breaks and avoid slumping while driving. Mental and emotional stress can also exacerbate back pain.
Diagnosis of back pain involves determining the exact cause and mechanism of pain. Detailed history and physical examination can help in determining a proper diagnosis. Moreover, the intensity and duration of the pain can help narrow the differential diagnosis. The provoking or alleviating factors of back pain may also provide valuable information to the doctor. The location and mechanism of the pain may indicate a herniated disc or sacroiliac joint injury, or degenerative arthritic changes.
Diagnosis of back pain is crucial in order to provide the appropriate treatment. However, if the pain persists despite conservative treatment, a specialist evaluation may be needed. In such a case, non-narcotic analgesics and controlled physical activity should be recommended. Additionally, patients should consult with their physician if they experience fever, morning stiffness, or recumbency pain.
In addition to clinical examination, laboratory tests are often useful for making a diagnosis of back pain. A complete blood count, ESR, and blood cultures may be done to rule out infections or tumors. Moreover, uric acid and lactate dehydrogenase levels may indicate rapid marrow turnover.
Back pain can be a symptom of various types of medical conditions, ranging from a minor muscle strain to a major condition involving the spinal column. Injuries from contact sports, falls, and accidents can result in herniated disks or fractures. Muscle spasms can cause low back pain, and osteoarthritis, which affects the vertebrae, can cause significant pain. Other common causes of back pain include rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available.
Lifestyle changes are an effective way to treat back pain and to prevent future attacks. Regular exercise will help maintain a healthy weight and improve muscle function, which in turn can relieve back pain. You can also do stretches and core strength exercises to improve your flexibility and relieve pain. Alternatively, you may find that complementary therapies like massage, acupuncture, and physiotherapy are an effective way to relieve pain.
Back pain can also affect bowel and urinary functions, and may lead to a fever or vomiting. When this occurs, you need to visit a healthcare provider as it can interfere with your normal activities. There are a number of treatments that can relieve your pain, and you can also talk to a chiropractor to find the best one for you.