All of us have experienced back pain at one point in our lives. Most of us experience it only for a short time while others would suffer from it for months and even, years.
If your back pain has been bugging you for quite a while now, you are indeed dying to get relief from it. After all, back pain is not just uncomfortable—it is debilitating as well. With that in mind, we present to you everything you need to know about back pain relief including its treatments and causes.
If you want to finally get that back pain relief that you have long been waiting for, you need to read this article!
What Causes Back Pain?
You will be surprised to discover that a wide array of factors causes back pain. Here are the most common ones:
If you lifted something the wrong way, lifted a too heavy thing, or created an abrupt movement in an awkward position, it may lead to muscle spasms, muscle tension, strained muscles, and damaged disks. All of these symptoms will ultimately lead to back pain.
Keep in mind that your back is made of ligaments, tendons, muscles, disks, bones, and ligaments. Any issues on these components may cause back pain. These may include bulging and ruptured discs.
Other serious structural-related health problems that may cause back pain include sciatica, osteoporosis, arthritis, and kidney diseases.
Poor Posture and Sudden Movement
If you practice poor posture, you are putting unnecessary pressure to your back which may cause back pain. Besides, there are a few everyday activities that you do which can also lead to back pain. These include:
- Sneezing or coughing
- Pushing and lifting heavy objects
- Sitting or standing for long periods
- Leaning your neck forward when driving and using your computer
Serious Medical Problems
As mentioned, back pain may come as a symptom of a more serious medical issue. Here are some of them:
The tumor on the spine may press against one of your nerves which may cause pain.
If a specific part of your back feels a bit of tender, warm and a bit feverish and painful, it may be caused by an infection of the spine.
This disease targets the nerve endings and may cause shooting and stabbing pain, especially in the back area.
This is the most common cause of back pain. When you are using the wrong mattress, your body will not get the support it needs. This prevents the proper alignment of your spine which forces you to practice an improper sleeping posture.
With the wrong posture, your muscles will get strained which will ultimately lead to low back pain.
If your mattress is too soft or firm or already too worn out and old, that may be the reason for your back pain. Lucky for you, this is the cause that is easiest to resolve. The best lower back pain mattress fix is no other than replacing your old mattress or adding a mattress topper to make it more supportive or comfortable.
The Back Pain Symptoms to Watch Out For
What are the usual signs and symptoms that accompany back pain? These are as follows:
- Constant aching sensation in the lower back
- A shooting pain radiating from the leg to your foot
- Reduced range of motion which may prevent you from flexing your back
- Feeling pain when standing up straight
These common back pain symptoms usually come as a result of back misuse or strain. The good news is, these symptoms are often short-lived and tends to last only for a few days to weeks.
If the symptoms are present for more than three months, it is more likely that you are dealing with chronic back pain. If that is the case, there is a chance that the back pain you are feeling may be a sign of a severe medical problem and are usually accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Tingling or numbing sensation in your legs
- Intense pain that worsens at night
- Unexplained weight loss
If your back pain comes with the mentioned symptoms, it is recommended that you speak with a doctor about it.
Back Pain Relief: Treatments and Medicines Revealed
Now, let’s get to the best part of this guide—the back pain relief management and techniques. If there are lots of things that may cause back pain, you will surely be happy to know that there are lots of medicines and treatments that can help relieve your back pain. These are as follows:
For short-term back pain, doctors would recommend that you take a few pain relief medications that can help make the pain more manageable.
If the pain is not that intense, you can take over-the-counter medications including Ibuprofen, and Naproxen Sodium. These medications may not require a prescription, but it is still recommended that you take them as prescribed by your physician since overuse can cause side effects.
Other useful medications that you may be prescribed with are muscle relaxants (this can address muscle tension but may cause drowsiness) and anti-inflammatory injections (helps decrease inflammation).
If structural issues caused the back pain, the best way to address it is to undergo surgery. But please keep in mind that this will only be your doctor’s last resort. It will just be an option if the pain or structural issues have not responded well to medications and other treatment methods.
Recently, a few medical professionals have discovered and developed a few alternative treatments that are effective in easing back pain symptoms. Here are some of them:
If the pain is caused by muscle inflammation, a massage can help bring relief to it. It can also help improve the range of motion of the back.
When talking with your therapist, it is recommended that you ask him to focus on your back muscles. It is also best that you inform him of your medical condition so he can determine which are the massage techniques that he can use on you.
If you do not have the time to visit a therapist, you can perform self-massage using a back massager. To know how to do that, please watch this video:
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
This is one of the newest treatments being used for alleviating back pain today. This uses a small device that is connected to a belt and two electrodes.
Through the electrodes, the best TENS unit delivers low voltage electric current to the body. This current stimulates the nerves which close the gate mechanism of the spinal cord, getting rid of any sensation of pain.
In addition to that, it is said that the stimulation of the nerves may cause the body to produce endorphins, which are happy hormones that are also meant to function as natural painkillers.
Before you decide to undergo or try out these alternative treatment methods, it is best that you discuss the risks and benefits of each treatment so you would know which is the best option for you.
In this procedure, the patient is asked to lie down in an inversion table. The table is then suspended upside down for around a few minutes. This procedure works on the principle that suspending a person upside down can remove pressure from the spine, open up the vertebrae and boost blood circulation in the body.
But while some studies show that inversion therapy is an effective short-term treatment for back pain, its effects are not recommended for people with glaucoma or high blood pressure.
Also, please keep in mind that this therapy should be performed under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
This is an old age practice which many practitioners claim to be an excellent short-term treatment for back pain. This procedure involves inserting sterilized stainless steel needles at certain points in the body.
This is based on the principle that triggering these points can stimulate the central nervous system which may lead to the release of chemicals to the brain, muscles and spinal cords. These chemicals, in turn, will alter the sensation of pain.
For some, back pain relief seems only like a dream. But thanks to the different technologies and medications that we have nowadays, it has become easier for many people to properly manage and even get rid of the back pain that they are feeling.
Keep in mind, though, it is a must that you work with a healthcare professional to determine which back pain relief is most suitable to your case.