Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on June 23rd, 2011

Lower back pain treatment – If you’ve ever had to live with chronic low back pain, you KNOW how annoying it can be. It seems to permeate and affect every second of your day – and night! You can’t sit still without feeling it, you can’t move around without feeling it…until you get healthy again, life becomes a torment.

Fortunately, lower back pain treatment options DO exist and you’ve come to the right place.

There are many possible causes…before starting any sort of home treatment for severe back pain relief, you should pay a visit to your local medical professional to be certain you don’t have something like – degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, sclerosis, sciatica, or one of the other nerve or spinal cord disorders.

Yes, I know that’s a scary sounding list but the good news is that for the most part, it is treatable without surgery. Your problem is usually caused by something more mundane like a simple muscle strain or sprain. Assuming you don’t have some sort of spine injury, you will mostly be treating yourself by concentrating on pain management and relief until the muscle disorder heals itself.

There are a number of over the counter medications that you can take, especially if the lower backache has just begun.

These medications include:

*Tylenol and generic acetaminophen medications
*NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naprosyn (naproxen)
*Try using hot and cold packs to alternately apply heat and cold to the lower back to help relieve pain naturally.

Then, to keep the chronic discomfort from returning, you should ensure that your stomach and back muscles are in good shape and strong. To improve your back and abdominal muscles takes only a few minutes per day – of the right back exercises – and the cause vs. effect benefits are completely out of proportion to the investment of time and effort.

Keeping your core muscles strong is the best way to ensure that you don’t suffer from lower back discomfort, and you can help prevent further injury by muscle stretching exercise and strengthening both your back and stomach muscles.

Without doubt exercise is the best preventative treatment option for lower back pain relief available.

Many people believe bed rest is the option for lower back pain treatment; however that is a common misconception. Remaining active is better to help you relieve any aches you may experience. Being active allows your muscles to loosen up and relax. You will return to full normal health much faster than through bed rest.

Staying in bed for too long can lead to sore and stiff muscles, when your muscles tighten up, it will increase the pain in your back. It can lead to more serious issues, such as weak muscles or stiff joints.

If you must rest as part of your lower back pain treatment, make sure to lie on your side and place a pillow in between your legs. You can also place a pillow beneath your knees as you lie on your back on the floor.

There are a variety of treatments so, again – always call a doctor and follow his/her recommendation as to what treatment options are the best to reduce your lower back pain.

For those who have lived with acute pain for more than three months, more intensive treatment is recommended to ensure the full recovery of the back. Physical training and therapy, acupuncture, all can be combined into an effective treatment system.

Few people who experience symptoms will actually require surgery… for the most part, lower back pain treatment is handled through simple therapy, physical training, and visits to your chiropractor.

What if you just can’t get rid of your lower back pain?

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on May 26th, 2011

There are a wide variety of back pain treatments that have been developed over the years that work tremendously well at not only giving relief from suffering but also building a more healthy back that is pain free all the time. Many people suffer through back related pain when all they really need to do to find relief and treatment is a visit to their doctor, or a medical professional who specializes in back therapy. There is never a better time then the present to seek the help of a medical professional. It can be a debilitating condition that will affect your quality of life if you do nothing about it.

There are a variety of treatment options available for any number of pain causing back injuries that include pain medication, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. By getting the proper diagnosis a treatment plan consisting of one or a combination of therapies can be used to get relief.

Back pain medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments are the most common forms of treatment. For those who are suffering from extreme pain the first form of treatment will most likely be pain killers and/or muscle relaxants. These can consist of anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDS (ibuprofen), pain relievers such as acetaminophen or prescription opiates, or muscle relaxers. The idea is to control the pain so other forms of therapy can be done.

The next step after pain relief will probably be either physical therapy or a visit to the chiropractor. A good physical therapist or chiropractor will be able to not only help relieve the pain but also teach you how to prevent further back injuries and pain with exercises and stretching techniques.

Acupuncture can also be used for pain relief but it is not known to be a long term solution to back problems. This does not mean that acupuncture does not have its place as a back pain treatment but in most cases it will need to be combined with some form of physical therapy to help strengthen the back to avoid future injury.

Being able to take care of your back while at home or at work is also important. By being smart about taking care of your back you can avoid injuries that can aggravate your current back problems. Learning how to sit properly, lifting heavy weights using your legs, sleeping on a firm mattress, and avoiding other activities that aggravate your aching back are all good things to know.

Back pain is an indication of a mechanical problem that needs to be fixed. By addressing the physical problem with proper back pain treatment techniques you can not only banish pain but keep it from coming back.

Posted by: admin in Back Pain on May 20th, 2011

Sciatica is now regarded as one of the most common reasons for absenteeism from work. Unfortunately, because of the difficulty in diagnosing this ailment, it is also viewed with certain scepticism upon your announcing you are a sufferer. To be honest, it is probably the easiest way to bunk off work or other duties, however, if you are a sufferer it can be a nightmare, a painful one at that.

Let’s start with a simple breakdown of this ailment. Sciatica is a condition of the spinal column where some object is pressing on the spinal nerve; in turn this creates various levels of pain within the lower back and buttock regions. More severe cases can have symptoms and pain progressing steadily down the legs, on occasions as far as the feet. Stated like this it doesn’t possibly sound too bad, however if anyone has ever had dental nerve trouble, then you can begin to understand the levels of pain that can occur.

Sciatica is not a medical condition by itself, but rather is caused as a by- product of something else. For example if you have a problem with a slipped disc, then this can cause sciatica with the disc resting on the nerve. In severe cases such as slipped discs, there are not a lot of home treatments available, and professional medical care is normally the only option.

However, sciatica treatments are readily available for many of the other causes of this affliction. The most general one is purely and simply rest. Don’t do anything at all strenuous and observe the protocols of sitting and standing, and getting up and down in a regimented movement. Another which I have found particularly useful over the years is lying on the floor with just a cushion for neck support. Simple but it works, and in all fairness as soon as I feel a twinge in my back, then I revert to this and it works. I must admit I have tried putting a flat board under my mattress, but to be fair it didn’t do anything whatsoever for me.

Another example of possible relief is heat treatments. Simple creams and lotions can be applied to the troublesome areas, and in a lot of cases this can be enough. Another is a corset or back support similar to a wrestler’s belt. Whilst they can be effective, in my experience the pain tends to return upon the cessation of wearing these and to be truthful, I only found these hide the problem rather than cure it. Acupuncture is another method people are using to overcome sciatica, having never tried it, phobia of needles, I can’t comment on it.

All in all, there are various methods available, but to be realistic they are nearly all short-term fixes. It seems that once sciatica begins, your methods of quick cures commence, turning into a vicious circle, albeit an expensive one at times. To prevent this, and I use this myself, you can formulate an exercise regime, worthwhile looking into for non sufferers too (you never know). Anyhow, if you would like further information on sciatica and how you can overcome it, I’ve put together a website with further information. Please feel free to take a look.
Inside the site I give a more detailed round up of sciatica, it’s causes and symptoms. I also advise on how you can treat this with a simple and effective treatment course.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 27th, 2011

More than 70 percent of adult Americans have neck pain at one point or another in their lives. The human anatomy itself makes us prone to injuries to joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles in the neck. Because the head is rather heavy sitting at the top of the spine, strain injuries are common. However, proper postures, strengthening exercises, stretching and regular visits to the chiropractor help to reduce or prevent the incidence of pain.

Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain can be just a mild annoyance distracting you from your day, or severe enough to incapacitate you to the point that movement is not possible.

  • One cause of minor neck pain in poor posture during activities we do every day, such as reading a book, watching television, using a computer, or talking on the telephone.
  • Propping the telephone between the shoulder and jaw, instead of holding it in your hand, puts stress on the neck.
  • Watching television while lying on the couch can be bad also, if your head is propped at an awkward angle for a long time.
  • In addition, hanging your head over a book while reading at a desk or table or having a computer monitor that is below eye level contributes to neck pain.

Avoiding these stresses on the neck and getting plenty of rest relieves minor neck within a day or two.

If neck pain does not go away or continues to come back, it could signal that there is a more serious problem. A trained healthcare professional such as a doctor of chiropractic medicine (DC) can help to diagnose possible conditions such as degeneration of the vertebrae, osteoarthritis, injuries such as whiplash, joint restrictions, congenital malformations, meningitis and tumors. Your chiropractor may suggest chiropractic adjustments, natural anti-inflammatory supplements, massage, strengthening and stretching exercises, or a combination of treatments. In some cases, referral to an orthopedic specialist may be necessary.

Most Important, Prevention

The best treatment is prevention when it comes to neck pain. Examine your everyday posture. If you tend to slouch while watching television, or lie awkwardly on the couch, consider changing to a chair that helps support good posture habits. Getting a headset for constant telephone use on the job prevents strain on the neck. Consider using a book prop while reading or studying. Be sure your computer monitor is at eye level by elevating it on shelf or stand.

If you have neck pain that is consistent for more than a day or two, the advice of a healthcare professional should be sought for proper diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors must complete a program of approximately 5000 hours before passing rigorous licensing examinations. Doctors of chiropractic specialize in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions and are trained to advise you on diet, exercise, and ergonomic strategies to help you avoid the most common risk factors for back and neck problems.

The musculature, ligaments, tendons and vertebrae provide for a wide range of movement of the neck; however the movements themselves (or a lack of movement) can cause problems. Doing strengthening and stretching exercises, paying close attention to posture, following ergonomic tips with everyday functions, and regular visits to the chiropractor helps to keep us pain free.

Having routine checkups and spinal adjustments with the chiropractor helps prevent problems with neck pain. In addition, avoiding neck pain triggers such as watching television in poor postural positions, straining the neck during telephone calls, slouching at the computer or having a monitor that is positioned below eye level will keep the neck healthier. Some tips to keep neck pain away throughout your day are:

  • Ask your chiropractor for tips and guidelines in improving everyday posture. Make a conscious effort to follow them.
  • Avoid hunching over a desk or table. Again, everyday posture plays a part. Put reading material at eye level with a book prop.
  • Consider using a headset if you spend long periods of time on the telephone. This eliminates neck strain from holding the telephone between your shoulder and chin.
  • Place your computer monitor at eye level, elevating it on a shelf or platform. This eliminates craning your neck and adding muscle stress.
  • Ask your chiropractor for exercises that you can do at home to strengthen and stretch neck muscles or to relieve muscle tightness.

Remember that neck pain that does not subside within a reasonable amount of time or tends to worsen may indicate more serious conditions. Disc or vertebrae degeneration can elevate to being more serious conditions. In cases of ongoing neck pain, seeking the advice of your chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment are advised.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 9th, 2011

The spine is comprised of vertebrae which have a rubbery cushion in between them that serves as shock absorbers. This rubbery cushion is called the spinal disc and it makes the spine flexible. When this disc is damaged it can protrude and even break open. When this occurs it is termed a slipped disc or ruptured disc.

Slipped disc can occur in any parts of the spine but it commonly occurs at the lower part of the spine where it holds more weight. It rarely occurs at the neck or cervical spine or at the upper spine or thoracic spine.

The causes of slipped disc may be due to disc wear and tear, where the disc becomes less elastic and less flexible. Another cause is trauma to the spine, which can cause cracks at the outermost layer of the disc and can allow the gel inside the disc to move out, creating a protrusion of the disc.

Symptoms of slipped disc may vary on what part of the spinal disc is affected. Slipped disc located at the lower back may cause numbness and pain in the buttocks and down the leg. It is sometimes called sciatica. The pain will only occur if the slipped disc presses a particular nerve. If it does not press any nerve, back pain may be experienced or there might be no pain at all.

Slipped disc can be diagnosed by undergoing tests such as MRI or CT scan. This is for the physician to view and verify the herniated disc and to rule out other suspected health problems.

The treatment goal for slipped disc includes alleviation of pain, relieving weakness and numbness on the lower back and leg caused by a pressure on the spinal cord. It also includes promotion to restore normal routine, preventing additional injury to the back and reducing the possibility of having disability.

Having knowledge in taking care of the spine is important. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapist that will help you in strengthening your muscles. They may also provide training in controlling pain and symptoms.

Resting is important when severe pain is experienced. But it is also advice to do some mild movement to avoid weakening of the muscles. Hot compress on the area affected is also helpful. Ask for medication from your doctor that could help in treating the symptoms. It may not cure the herniated disc but it will help in treating the symptoms. This medicine includes muscle relaxants, antidepressants, opioids and corticosteroids.

Slipped disc or herniated disc will be remedied in time. Most of the people who have herniated disc get well after a month while others might get better after six months. The recovery time depends on the severity of the condition and the individual. When you have herniated disc, being patient is important. Follow the treatment method to cure symptoms and if symptoms are still not treated, you may need to visit your doctor for another method.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on April 8th, 2011

There is no comparable pain to that of a backache. Especially the lower back which is a strong working part of your anatomy. The low back provides a number of functions for the body. It provides us with the ability to move and twist our back. Your low back when supportive allows us to be quite flexible. Your lower back also provided coverage for certain body tissues like your spine. The lower back also works to provide us with support structurally. It keeps our back straight and aligned. When we are standing or moving the lower back is in full support of our upper torso. So the lower back really has a lot of duties. Naturally when we are experiencing lower back pain it affects most other parts of our body. There are two types of low back pain. There is acute pain, which is short term. It usually lasts a few days to a week and can become serious or chronic if left untreated. Then there is chronic back pain which is defined as lower back pain lasting longer than 3 weeks. Let’s go over a few of the causes of lower back pain and the suggested treatments for them.

One cause of lower back pain is pregnancy. If you have ever been pregnant you can relate. With the baby positioning themselves in the womb and the natural curve of your spinal area moving this can lead to back pain. Of course one of the treatments would be to not get pregnant. As well it’s important to stay healthy physically during pregnancy. The will aid in keeping your back loose and hopefully less chance to injure.

Shingles as well can lead to back pain. Shingles is an acute infection of the nerves generally at certain levels of the spine. This is always evident on one side of the body only. Treatments for shingles can be lotions, medications, lighting treatment close to that of a tanning booth, and even the use of pain patches.

There is also lumbar pain which can be acute or chronic. As mentioned before acute meaning short term and chronic meaning longer lasting. A lumber strain is a stretch of the nerves, muscles or tendons of the back and can be very painful. Lumbar strain is considered one of the most common of the back pains. This can be caused by overuse, underuse and improper use. Body mechanics play an important role in ensuring you don’t strain your back. There are many treatments for a lumbar strain. Massage would be a nice natural way to alleviate the pain. Rest is a big one. Get plenty of rest and give the area time to heal. You can also take medication to try and relieve the pain.

There is one thing for sure lower back pain hurts. There are things we can try to do to prevent as well. Body mechanics is the key here. Be realistic with what you expect your body to do.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Back Pain on December 11th, 2010

The most common causes of back pain are injury, being over weight, and having a weak core. If you have a back injury you need to follow what your physiotherapist or doctor prescribes. When you are over weight the back needs to support more of the load and this puts stress on the spine. People tend to put weight on around the hips and stomach and this reduces flexibility of the hips and spine. Tightness is often associated with pain, so try to maintain flexibility by losing weight and by doing back and hip stretches. Weakness of the core muscles is almost always associated with pain. You need to develop the deep muscles that support the spine as well as the visible abdominal muscles that you can see. Do Swiss ball exercises and yoga. Both of these put focus on the deep core muscles. Don’t forget to do back exercises. Most people only focus on the six-pack abs and this creates a muscle imbalance and causes poor posture. Do back extensions to strengthen the back and to reduce pain. To perform back extensions, stand up straight, place your hands on your lower back, and then bend backwards to your point of comfort. Repeat 15 times.

The most common way to cause a back strain is from lifting. Always bend your knees and keep your back straight when attempting to lift a heavy object. Posture is also a cause of back pain. Prolonged periods of sitting causes rounding of the shoulders, extension of the neck, and flattening of the lower back. These positions put a lot of force onto the musculoskeletal systems, which eventually leads to back pain. To maintain a good posture try to keep your shoulders “back and down” and pull your chin “back and in.” Other things that can affect your posture include sitting on your wallet. This tilts your spine and presses on your sciatic nerve. Wearing high heels. This causes tension in the calves and lower back. And do not sleep on your stomach as this causes your neck to be rotated in one direction.

To relieve back pain try putting a heat pack on the affected area to increase blood flow and temporarily improve flexibility and muscle spasms. Heat also is useful in treating inflammation and arthritis. After applying the heat pack massage may be administered to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and help loosen tight muscles. Anti inflammatory cream or gels such as Voltaren or Anti-flam are also effective for increasing flexibly and for temporary relief from pain. Acupuncture is effective for releasing tight trigger points and a chiropractor can help with postural issues.

Vitamins and supplements are effective in relieving pain and providing the body with important nutrients to help support joint and connective tissue health. Vitamin B12, A, C and K play a role in maintaining a healthy back. Vitamin D is important because a deficiency in vitamin D can cause osteoporosis. Calcium is also important for strong healthy bones. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are useful for maintaining joint lubrication and joint strength.