While it might not be comforting to hear that back pain is very common among adults, the good news is you have a number of options in terms of back pain solutions. If your back pain has persisted for six weeks or longer, you should have it checked out by a professional. In the interim, there are a number of management strategies you can employ to make the time more manageable.
What Is Back Pain And What Causes It?
Your physiotherapist or healthcare practitioner is best positioned to assist you with an accurate back pain diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is the best way to ensure you receive the right back pain treatment – and this is important because there are a number of factors that can cause an episode of back pain.
You can expect to chat to your healthcare practitioner about your symptoms, and be subject to a physical examination. Remember that your back is a very complex arrangement of muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and tendons – so your healthcare practitioner needs to be very thorough during your assessment. It’s also important not to get blase about it – seeking assistance early on can prevent your condition from deteriorating and turning into a bigger problem.
Be prepared to answer questions about:
- When the pain started?
- What kind of pain it is (what it feels like?)
- Have you had problems with pain in your back in the past?
- Is there anything you do that makes the pain improve or get worse?
It is highly unlikely you will need x rays or an MRI unless your healthcare practitioner has grounds to believe you have a more serious problem that would benefit from these interventions.
Possible Causes Of Back Pain
There are so many potential causes of back pain, but the most commonly reported include
- Arthritis of the spine which causes the cartilage in the spine to become thinner
- Spinal stenosis – when the spinal canal becomes narrower, it can lead to pain
- Problems with your discs – examples include herniated and bulging discs
And Myofascial pain syndrome, which causes pain and discomfort, but which is largely misunderstood.
Interim Back Pain Solutions To Keep You Strong
While your back pain could persist for some time, as you search for the appropriate back pain treatment, it’s important to remember to:
Yes – you read that right! It’s important to keep exercising so that you do not weaken and do further injury. This is why a physiotherapist can be so helpful to you- he or she can assist with modifying your fitness program to ensure that you stay fit and healthy while you recover.
Stay out of bed
Yes, as tempting as it might be to curl up on your bed and wait for the pain to pass, too much bed rest can be debilitating. Studies have shown that patients who maintain their activity levels manage their daily tasks a lot better than those who don’t.
Refine your posture
Good posture is essential for a strong frame – and even more when you are nursing an injury. Again, a physiotherapist can assist you with ergonomic modifications that strengthen and protect you. Make sure you are sleeping in a comfortable position, you are doing your daily work in the correct posture and even that you are sitting watching TV on the couch in the correct way. It’s amazing how small modifications can add up to make major differences.
Stay generally healthy
A general lifestyle overhaul is always a good idea, and even more so if you’re experiencing back pain and can’t get to the root cause – or if you notice regular flare ups. An anti-inflammatory diet, daily meditation and regular exercise, as well as quitting alcohol and tobacco products can make a major difference to the way you feel and may also contribute to your back pain treatment.
What Can You Do For Back Pain Treatment
Back pain treatment is typically a combination of different treatments, recommended based on the type of pain you describe. The specific combination that works for you is best discussed with your healthcare practitioner.
Pain medication for back pain treatment
Some patients get back pain relief from paracetamol while others may benefit from anti-inflammatory pain relief. It is worth noting that many pain medications can be habit-forming and should only be taken for short periods of time, under controlled use. Pain medication may also give you a false understanding of your pain threshold – pain is an inhibitor and often tells us how far we can go. If we don’t have that pain response switched on, it’s possible to push yourself too far and cause further injury.
Physical exercises and stretching for back pain relief
There are certain exercises and stretches that can be done to help with back pain relief, particularly in the lower back. Your physio may also apply some manual manipulation, working in a hands-on manner on your back and spine, to bring you pain relief.
Regular exercise, done every day, and under the guidance of a physiotherapist can make you stronger, more flexible and more resilient to future injury. It may take a few weeks or months for your back pain to disappear completely, but it’s always a good idea to understand what caused it so you can prevent relapse and re-injury in the future.
Certain types of back pain do respond well to acupuncture and alternative treatments.
Are you desperately seeking back pain solutions that make a difference to your quality of life? Sirius Health offers a number of holistic interventions, designed to assist patients find the back pain treatment that works for them. There’s no need to suffer from back pain- please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 9159 6903