Healing Back pain for only a short period of time? The most common muscle strains or tears that heal relatively easily are the majority of causes for short term back pain. Sometimes, however, back pain is more persistent. Chronic back pain can be caused by a number of conditions, such as muscle imbalance or any of the possible disc problems from herniation to degeneration. These conditions continually antagonize the spine’s alignment, straining muscles and possibly pinching nerves throughout the spine.
The good news is that there are about as many treatment options as there are conditions. The best option for you depends on the cause and duration of your pain.
Treatment at Home
Lower Back Exercise: Strengthening the muscles of the lower back will provide support to the spine. It is much easier to achieve good posture and body mechanics if the spine is supported by strong muscles.
Lower Back Stretches: Stretching the lower back will help in the case of tight, shortened muscles. These need to be lengthened and relaxed in order to reduce pain. Chronically tight muscles can result from imbalance. In the case of overdeveloped lower back muscles, it is important to stretch these muscles and exercise the abdomen, pelvis and hip muscles to restore balance.
See the image at BlogSpot.com for a number of lower back exercises and stretches.
Pillows: Sometimes lower back pain is caused or exacerbated by sleep position. Sleeping on your back or your side can strain pelvic, knee and ankle joints. Placing a pillow between the knees while laying on your side will prevent strain on the sacroiliac joints, located just above the buttocks where the sacrum meets the pelvic bones. A pillow placed under the knees while laying on your back will relieve pressure from the knee and ankle joints. A cervical pillow, specifically designed to support the neck’s arch, will keep your upper spine properly aligned.
Bed Rest : Rest and muscle relaxation is important for recovery. However, be careful with this option. Bed rest is only recommended for two days maximum. Any more would negatively impact recovery, since muscle tone and increased blood flow help the body to heal. Rest is good for acute (short-term) wear and tear, but is only a small component of chronic pain management.
If the above home treatments are insufficient to cope with your back pain, then seeking medical attention is the next step.
There are other, better ways to deal with pain besides pain medications. Make sure your doctor knows that you are interested in a treatment plan that not only relieves pain but addresses the cause.
The following are some options that you may be referred to:
Yoga : Yoga has been practiced for centuries and is hailed for its body-balancing effects. It taxes all muscles of the body, ensuring an even workout. The combination of stretching and exercising results in stronger, longer and more flexible muscles. Yoga is a great treatment for anyone with muscle imbalances or weak muscles.
Chiropractic Care : Chiropractors practice hands-on manipulation and mobilization of the spine and joints of the body. Their goal is to restore alignment of the spine and maximize nerve function. If a misalignment or nerve impingement is causing your back pain, a chiropractor can help.
Acupuncture : This is a traditional Chinese form of medicine. It operates on the premise that pain and dysfunction are caused by obstructed energy pathways in the body. Practitioners use needles to target specific meridians in the body and open up blocked pathways, relieving the pain. Though acupuncture is fairly new to the Western medical world, its popularity is growing. Thousands of years of practice speak to its efficacy.
Breath Therapy : We all know that deep breaths can help us relax. It turns out that they also increase the release of endorphin’s into our blood. Endorphin’s are hormones that mitigate the body’s experience of pain. Oxygen is an important link between the mind and body.
Physical Therapy : A physical therapist can assess your movements and posture to determine whether you have muscle imbalances that are causing you pain. These professionals are trained to prescribe exercises that target weak muscle groups and avoid exacerbating your pain.