Aug. 29, 2012
-- Back pain is a potentially debilitating problem, second only to headaches as the most common neurological disorder affecting people in the United States. There is a long list of possible causes for back pain, and he most important step toward achieving back pain relief is to first see a doctor for assessment of your condition. Correctly identifying the cause of your back pain is imperative to determine the course of treatment chosen. Treatment options for muscle strains or sprains are very different from those for spinal stenosis or herniated discs. As with any other medical condition, always check with your back pain doctor before adding any additional remedies to his or her prescribed course of treatment. The goal is to restore movement and achieve back pain relief.
Short-term rest is recommended for any back pain caused by an injury. The muscles or tendons will need some time to heal following an injury, and to prevent further damage. Ice packs or applying heat to the area directly or by using whirlpool baths may offer some temporary relief from pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may be helpful for reducing the inflammation and pain associated with certain back conditions. Prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants may be recommended by your back pain doctor for pain that prevents you from performing your normal daily activities.
Alternative treatments may enhance your doctor’s treatment plan, but always let them know before you start any new treatment. Yoga may be helpful for chronic back pain, with poses designed to develop strength and flexibility. Breath therapy uses breathing techniques that are considered to be safe, and have been found to decrease stress and pain as well as improve coping skills. Acupuncture treatments are said to release natural pain-relieving opioids that release chemicals which calm the nervous system. Massage therapy may help reduce anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain. Chiropractors use manual manipulation techniques that are believed to relieve pain and muscle tightness and encourage healing. The Alexander technique educates people to use correct posture to help reduce pain and muscle tension.
Capsaicin cream contains the active ingredient in chili peppers that acts as an analgesic when applied to the skin, and can be found over-the-counter at drug stores. There are certain dietary deficiencies that may be attributed to chronic back pain, such as vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Magnesium. Discuss with your pain care doctor whether supplementing your diet with these vitamins and minerals, as well as the use of any of the above listed techniques, may be useful as a compliment to your prescribed back pain relief treatment plan.
Always remember that these alternative treatments are in no way intended to replace accurate diagnosis and medical treatments as prescribed by a qualified back pain relief doctor. Integrated Pain Care can be reached for consultation at http://www.integratedpaincare.com
or by phone at (510) 758-7462.