Category: Treatment

A Non-Surgical Approach To Treat Back Pain

This is an excellent video that explains what a “slipped disc” is and how it can happen. The graphics are good and will give you a visual explanation of why a slipped disc is so painful.

Usually, if you have a real slipped or ruptured intervertebral disc, it’s usually pretty severe and treated by a surgical technique that’s called a “micro-discectomy”. This is a relatively minimally invasive technique where the small piece of disc that’s causing all the problem is is snipped off.

It’s not as serious as some of the other spinal surgeries like a laminectomy or fusion and the recovery is generally pretty fast.

The video also introduces you to a chiropractic technique called “spinal decompression”. The doctors of chiropractic advertise that this technique will relieve pressure on the disc and allow it to heal over time.

I can’t really speak to this claim as I have not read much literature on the subject. But I am fairly skeptical of the claims made as the practice would be used in hospitals and also regular doctor’s offices if it was as successful as the chiropractors claim.

 

My recommendation would be to try to avoid getting a herniated disc in the first place. Some of the risk factors of low back injury are poor posture, generally weak lower back and legs, environmental damage like increased vibration into the lower back, and others.

One good practice that you could adopt is a regular stretching program for your lower back. This would alleviate many of the potential risks that you may have while doing your job, playing sports, or doing all those weekend chores.

A low back stretching program doesn’t have to be onerous or a headache to work into a daily routine. If done consistently on a daily basis your fitness and function iwill improve as you improve the fitness of your lower back and spine.

To find out more about an easier way to treat or prevent back pain, start here.

Remember, there are several different ways to approach back pain. Most cases of low back pain are not serious although that’s how they feel. In most cases, people’s pain is due to tight and sore muscles. These don’t show up on X-Ray reports or lab tests.

Sore tight muscles are best helped by gently stretching them. And these stretches need to become part of your lifestyle. This is because in most cases, it’s the job people do on a day to day basis that has caused the problem over time.

But, you don’t have to quit your job, you just need to start on a regular stretching program that will bring balance back to your low back muscles and joints.

Find out more here

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9 Things To Keep In Mind To Treat Your Back Pain

If you’re anything like me, you try to solve your own problems with little fanfare or inconvenience to others around you. And, as a last resort, you may break down and go to see your doctor.

In the case of back pain, there are a few things to keep in mind if you have the misfortune of having to deal with it.

In most cases the pain isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time – it could be caused by a pulled muscle or as a result of having slept in a more unusual position.

1. Most people worldwide will experience back pain during their lifetime

In these cases – 98 per cent, according to research – people recover reasonably quickly, and many do so without treatment. Some people experience repeat episodes, which can be distressing, but again these are rarely dangerous.

2. You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good

3. Avoid bedrest, stay in work and gradually resume normal activities

4. You should not fear bending or lifting

5. Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain

6. Painkillers will not speed up your recovery

7. Surgery is rarely needed

8. Get good quality sleep

See more…

The original article goes into a lot more detail in each of these points. So head over there and have a read.

9. Don’t panic if you’re not able to get relief fast enough. In many cases, stress can actually make you feel even worse. In most cases, back pain is usually the result of a strain of an already weak muscle.

If you’re sedentary and pretty inactive, it doesn’t take much to feel a twinge here or there.

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Back Pain Treatments: Stretches are Important

Plow Ahead - Stretches

 

So, you have back pain. You’ve been to your doctor and they say that you have a muscle strain and nothing serious is wrong. This is good. But, what do you do next?

Besides just taking a lot of pills, figuring out how to fix your back pain at home, can be trial and error for a while. But, treatment has to start somewhere. And, it’ll probably start with a few basic steps.

We already know that there isn’t a serious diagnosis, so you shouldn’t have to worry about “breaking” anything. If your x-ray/MRI came back negative, and there is nothing alarming about your lab work. Chances are you’re dealing with a simple (but excruciating) muscle strain.

This throws a lot of people off at first and they think their doctor has missed something or isn’t telling them the truth for one reason or another. But this probably isn’t the case at all. The fact is this: strained muscles don’t show up on any test. So, they’re easy to miss but they make you feel like you’re dying.

So, what do you do for them?

For back pain of the more common type you may start your home remedy search with one or more the following routines:

  • Rest

People often get the wrong idea about what is meant by “rest”. It’s simply means to “take it easy” and realize that you’re injured. Don’t try to do a lot of work or activity.

Resting for an injured back is a combination of walking, sitting, and lying down. Each are important. And, you should “listen” to your back pain to know when enough is enough.

You don’t want to be a vegetable. Sure, get up and get around. But, don’t lift or do housework. Walking is probably the most strenuous activity you should be doing.

You’re going to want to avoid irritating any affected parts of your spine and the muscles that surround this area.

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Your doctor is probably going to tell you to take some Motrin (advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) in order to manage the pain. For most people, these medications work wonders when you have a back strain or back pain.

  • Cold/Hot Packs

Some people will want to put heat on their sore muscles because it feels good. But, you may want to save this for the very last resort. This is because if you have swelling or inflammation in the area, putting heat on it will just make it work.

Heat is good for tired muscles but for injured muscles, ice works better. Applying the ice to the tenderest point with a thin layer of fabric between the skin and the ice will be better than a hot pack.

  • Exercise

You may not realize this but stretching exercise is probably the most important element in a good lower back pain treatment plan. Stretches for lower back pain not only increases your overall flexibility, but it can also relieve the muscular tension that may be causing the pain in the first place.

Experts also know that stretching the legs and hips is very effective in reducing or eliminating back pain altogether in people with low back strains. This is because the muscles in the lower back are helped by the muscles in the hips and legs. And if one is doing good, the other is doing good also.

  • Narcotic Pain Medications

If your pain is severe, anti-inflammatory medications may not be enough to make you comfortable. This is when your doctor may prescribe narcotics. Medications like Norco and Vicodin are common. But, some people don’t like them because narcotics may affect your brain and make you feel “foggy”.

  • Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxers are another type of medication that your doctor may recommend. But, like narcotics, they may have side effects like drowsiness and also give you that “foggy” feeling. But, if your pain is keeping you awake, a muscle relaxer like Flexeril, Valium, or Soma may be prescribed.

You may have success with one or more of these approaches in combination. But, the thing to keep in mind is the need to keep moving. An important thing to keep in mind is that doing leg and hip range of motion exercises are good back pain stretches.

 

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Meds Best Pain Killers For Your Low Back?

The American College of Physicians’ “new guideline on lower back pain treatment is encouraging patients to try massage, yoga, exercise, acupuncture and other similar therapies before reaching for a pain killer. Being active and waiting it out might, in some cases, be all that’s needed for the pain to go away, according to the guideline. “Low back pain is associated with high costs, including those related to healthcare and indirect costs from missed work or reduced productivity,” researchers wrote in the guideline.”

“Patients with chronic lower back pain should first choose treatment involving exercise, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, biofeedback and other nonmedicine-based therapies.”

Try one or more of the following suggestions for treatment for your lower back pain.

1. Get aerobic exercise. This shouldn’t be the jarring and pounding of jogging on a treadmill or out on the pavement. Riding a bike or stationary cycle, swimming and even walking are low impact aerobic exercises that are beneficial in more ways than one.

2. Receive massage therapy. Massage is beneficial on more than one level. Getting your soft tissues kneaded and squeezed improves circulation and muscular function. But, there is something body workers refer to as therapeutic touch which many claim reduces pain, stress and anxiety that can contribute to complaints of general pain.

3. Stretch hamstrings twice daily. These muscles are extremely important to all our everyday movements. Tight hamstrings can lead to a stiff back and weak hamstrings can make the muscles in your back especially vulnerable to injury.
See more…

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The Best Treatment For Your Type Of Back Pain?

walking photo
You’re one of those people who started having back pain for no apparent reason.

You’ve been to your doctor and they don’t suspect any disease process going on. Your x-ray is negative for a fracture and the doc doesn’t suspect a herniated disc.

Sure, you may have 1 or more bulging discs, but the doc tells you that they are really all that big. So, what gives?

Over 80% of Americans Have Back Pain At Sometime

You may not realize it but you’re not alone. What you have is the 2nd or 3rd most common cause that bring people in to see their doctor. It’s this complaint of back pain that seemingly doesn’t have any direct cause.

Well, if you have read any of the material on this particular site, you’ll know the that I think the direct cause is something that I call muscular imbalance. That is you have some muscles that are too short and others that are too weak that work in your lower back. This is the direct cause of a lot of back pain.

The indirect cause is plain and simple lack of activity. Sitting at your desk or in a car/truck for the majority of your waking hours is wreaking havoc on your lower body in a way that is imperceptible.

So, if this is the case, what can you do to treat back pain caused by this lack of activity?

One Of The Best Treatments For Low Back Pain

Get moving.

The new study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, analyzed previous studies of treatment methods for lower back pain, which hits about 80% of people at some point in their life. The researchers concluded that based on the evidence available, exercise in combination with education (for example, information about lower back pain, posture or exercise ) was likely to lower the risk of lower back pain.

Interestingly, the researchers found benefits from all sorts of different exercises, including back and abs strengthening, stretching, and range of motion exercises. Prior research looking at yoga specifically has found improvements in back pain for both men and women, possibly due to the combination of muscle strengthening and stretching. The researchers of the new study did not find strong evidence to support other strategies, like back belts or shoe insoles, to cut back on pain.
Read the full article on Time Magazine’s website.

If you haven’t noticed, this is the exact approach that I use on this website.  I have found in my practice that if I can get you to actually understand what’s going on with your back, why you have the pain, where it’s coming from, and what you can do about it… Then treating your back pain gets easier.

And, since inactivity contributes to a good percentage of people’s complaints, then it’s just a matter addressing specific areas with stretching exercises primarily that will give you good results.

So, remember this: One of the best ways to treat your back pain at home is by getting off the couch and moving.

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