Treatments for Back Pain
To diagnose back pain, a back pain specialist will test the motion range and nerve function.
They will also need to touch the body to accurately identify areas of discomfort and pain.
In some instances, blood and urine tests may be necessary to rule out infections alongside other medical issues.
X-rays may also be needed in some cases to check if there are other likely causes for back pain.
X-rays are considered beneficial when checking for likely skeletal defects and broken bones.
X-rays are also useful when pinpointing connective tissue problems.
However, when in the lookout for disk problems or likely soft-tissue damage, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be recommended.
An electromyogram (EMG) will also be required when the need to check for muscle or nerve damage arises.
Back pain treatment approaches can vary from one person to another.
Key factors like the severity of the condition and the cause of the pain will have to be taken into consideration before the right treatment option is decided on.
Some of the possible treatment options for back pain can include:
In order to ease acute back pain brought about by minor strain or injury, resting for 24 to 48 hours will be recommended.
Aspirins as well as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will also be prescribed to help reduce the pain and inflammation.
Once the inflammation has subsided, applying heat will be recommended to help soothe cramped muscles and strained connective tissues.
Contrary to popular belief, long-term bed rest will not help much and might even prove counterproductive.
In majority of the cases, patients can already do non-strenuous and routine activities within 24 to 72 hours.
To play safe, checking with a back pain specialist if physical therapy or controlled exercises might be needed.
Physical therapy treatments may include whirlpool baths, massage, and ultrasound, among others.
If the back pain becomes so severe and already hinders the individual from participating in normal activities, pain medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin might be given.
However, when the condition does not respond to any OTC painkillers, steroid injections might be given.
However, steroid injections are rarely used as they often provide only temporary relief and they may come with likely side effects.
Some physicians may might recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) to help ease back pain.
This is carried out by taping electrodes to the body.
Said electrodes will carry an electrical current that is mild to help ease back pain.
For back pains that are nonspecific, surgery is often considered the last resort.
Chronic nonspecific back pains are often not attributed to spinal issues.
However, when imaging results will indicate compression or nerve tissue damage, surgery might become the likely treatment option.
Surgery is also the chosen alternative when the condition does not respond to noninvasive treatment alternatives like medications, physical therapy, rest, and home exercise programs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment can include education, relaxation techniques, stress management, and behavioral adaptation.
CBT has been known to lift depression and reduce the severity of the back pain.
CBT is also considered effective when relieving pain in the lower back.
Some studies indicate it is also more effective compared to routine care and placebo.
If back pain is caused by tension or muscle spasm, biofeedback might be prescribed.
This treatment option has been known to enhance overall life quality and reduce pain.
Biofeedback is also believed to help muscles respond better to stress or movement.
Both the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians pointed out that acupuncture can likely help with low-back pains that are already chronic.
It can also come in handy when other treatment alternatives have proved ineffective.
Acupuncture can be used alone or as part of other treatment plans.
However, to date, not enough evidence is available to support its effectivity in treating acute back pain.
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