Living with chronic back pain is a frustrating reality for many people. Being uncomfortable can be emotionally and physically draining and keep individuals from working productively and participating in their favorite activities. Many patients fear that spinal fusion surgery is the only alternative to finding relief, but many effective non-invasive options are available for back pain sufferers.
Heat and Ice
Heat and ice applications are convenient, affordable ways for alleviating lumbar discomfort. Some people prefer one method over the other, or they may be used interchangeably. Bags of frozen peas and commercial packs are an easy way to apply ice. Disposable heat patches can be worn anywhere, and heating pads offer continuous, soothing warmth.
Mild to moderate flare-ups can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. For more painful episodes, patients may need to temporarily use prescription narcotic pain pills, muscle relaxants, or oral steroids in order to reduce inflammation.
Spinal adjustments and manipulation performed by chiropractors or osteopathic physicians help many people find relief from chronic back pain. The goal of treatment is to work the vertebrae in a way that pushes the structures back into a more natural alignment.
Massage can be very helpful for patients whose pain stems from irritable muscles that stubbornly remain contracted. A professional therapist uses skills and techniques that release the contracted bundle and allow healing blood flow to rush to the area.
Professionally supervised physical therapy sessions are one of the most effective, long-lasting treatments for lower back pain. Patients who attend their appointments faithfully and who diligently practice their prescribed exercises at home may be successful at finding more permanent relief. In contrast to medications and other treatments that provide temporary relief, the exercises used by physical therapists are designed to strengthen the muscles around the painful areas in order to provide support and stability.
Chronic back pain that is caused by excessive weight or muscle weakness can often be corrected by simple lifestyle changes. Losing weight and incorporating physician-approved exercise can do wonders for people who experience chronic lumbar discomfort.
If lifestyle modifications and other conservative treatments fail to provide you with adequate relief, learning more about minimally invasive spine procedures might be the next step. A board-certified spine physician can help diagnosis or offer a second opinion on the cause of your back pain and recommend the right treatment options for your lifestyle.
Identify all your options for relief by calling The Spine Institute in Los Angeles at (310) 828-7757 and scheduling an in-person consultation. The path towards a pain-free life begins here.