Lower back pain is a common condition experienced by adults above the age of 30. Chronic lower back pain is a back pain that has last for 3 months or longer. Chronic lower back pain may come and go or ongoing. Let’s discuss Chronic Lower Back Pain Treatment.
Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain
Chronic lower back pain can be caused by different factors; however, it is difficult to ascertain the exact cause of some chronic lower back pain. Factors that may lead to chronic lower back pain include;
- Nerve irritation
- Spinal abnormalities such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Muscle or ligament strain
Symptoms of chronic lower back pain
There are some signs or symptoms you will experience to show that you have chronic lower back pain. These symptoms include:
- Muscle pain or ache
- You feel the pain that moves downwards to your leg.
- When bending, walking, lifting an object or standing, you will feel a sharp pain at your mid or lower back.
Factors that increase the development of chronic lower back pain
There are some factors that increase the development of lower back pain. Though anyone can develop back pain at any time, these factors increase the risk of developing lower back pain. Risk factors include:
Adults that are 30 years old and above are more at risk of developing chronic lower back pain.
Individuals that are overweight are more at risk of developing chronic back pain. This is because the excess body weight exerts stress and strain on their back.
Lack of exercise
Without exercises, the bones and muscles become stiff which leads to pains. The bones and muscles become inflexible and tensed leading to pain.
Improper lifting technique
If you don’t life object properly, you might injure or sprain the back leading to pain.
Diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and some other conditions can lead to chronic lower back pain.
Smoking hinders the free flow of blood to the lower spine which reduces the number of nutrients to the disks at the back. This causes pain as the disks start to deteriorate.
Psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression can also lead to the development of back pain.
Lying on a particular position for too long
When you lie in a particular position for too long, you are at risk of developing back pain.
Treatment of Chronic lower back pain
There are several Chronic Lower Back Pain Treatment options, depending on the severity of the pain and the cause of the pain. You can treat yourself at home or through medical treatments.
Homecare treatment includes:
Applying heat or ice packs
You can treat lower back pain by yourself at home by applying heat or ice. The heat will reduce tension and increase mobility while the ice reduces any swelling and pain.
What you need to do is to place a pack of ice at the area where you feel the pain and leave it for about 20 minutes or more. You can repeat the process daily.
You can also use a heating pad or apply hot methylated ointment on the area you feel the pain. The warmth will reduce the tension of the muscles and reduce the pain.
Resting and stretching your back may help reduce back pain. If the back pain is caused by excess activity, a little amount of rest will help to alleviate the pain.
Exercises such as swimming, yoga, stretching, jogging, or walking can be used to treat back pain. It help to increase mobility, flexibility and toughen the muscles. When the spine is flexible and the muscles toughen, the development of back pain is drastically reduced.
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen are very effective for pain relief. These medications help to reduce pain and swelling that are related to back pain.
Medical Treatments include:
Different physical therapy can be used in the treatment of lower back pain. With the help of a professional physical therapist, you will be guided through the best programs that will help stop or reduce the pain. The program you will go through depends on the symptoms and condition of the pain.
Injection-based treatments such as nerve ablations, nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, etc, can be used to treat chronic lower back pain. These injections are used to reduce or stop the pain for a period of time.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method of treating different health conditions. It can also be used to treat chronic lower back pain.
Massaging of the pain area may also help to reduce and stop the pain.
Medications such as narcotics, anti-depressants, and muscle relaxants can be used in the treatment of chronic lower back pain. Narcotics such as oxycodone or hydrocodone are used to treat the pain for a short time. Narcotics medications contain opioids and shouldn’t be taking for a long period of time.
Anti-depressant medications such as amitriptyline can be used to relieve chronic lower back pain.
Traction, Ultrasound and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
These are alternative procedures for treating chronic lower back pain.
Traction is a system that uses weight to align the spine and place slipped disc back into the right place.
The use of ultrasound is to massage the soft tissues at the pain area with sound waves so as to warm the muscles to help the muscles relax and heal quickly.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is the electronic stimulation of the nerve with the use of electrodes that are placed on the pain area.
Surgical procedure for treating back pain is the last resort when all other treatments have failed. Relatively few people require surgery in the treatment of lower back pains.
When disc fragments are broken or disintegrated, the surgical procedure may be required. When the vertebrae are injured or in cases of abnormal vertebrae, the surgical procedure may be required to fix it.
Surgical procedures have a higher level of risk more than other medical treatments, hence why surgical procedures are the last resort.