Lower Back Pain Remedies- Is there a Quick Fix?
There is still a lot of controversy surrounding acute lower back pain remedies. Studies have shown that in 90% of cases, acute low back pain either improved or became resolved on its own within 30 days of pain onset even without pain intervention. Low back pain is the reason why most doctors will not order tests for spinal health or low back issues until the 30 day period has passed.
Of course, chronic lower back pain relief is another matter- treatment may include nerve repair, spinal surgery, or decompression therapy. Rarely is the single cure for lower back pain.
Lower Back Pain Remedies: Common Choices
But for people in whom acute lower back pain interferes with daily routine, the doctor may simply prescribe medications, many of which are available also without a prescription. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the drugs of choice for back pain relief. Examples of these drugs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. The doctor may switch drugs or adjust dosages to determine what works best for the patient. It is important to note that prolonged use of NSAIDs may cause liver and kidney damage and gastric irritation, so these drugs must only be used when necessary. NSAIDs must never be taken in anticipation of pain occurrence.
Equally effective as NSAIDs as a lower back pain cure for minor flare-ups are acetaminophen (Tylenol). Sometimes, muscle relaxants have been given to treat lower back pain. However, unless the cause of the pain has been demonstrated to be muscle spasms, muscle relaxants have little to no effect on lower back pain.
COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib (Celebrex), are the latest wave of NSAIDs. But despite their promising start, prolonged use has shown an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Other drugs given for lower back pain are steroids and opioid analgesics. Both of these drugs, however, are for short-term use only and intake and dosage need to be monitored by the physician. Opioids have the added risk of addiction. Studies on epidural steroid injections have produced mixed results and given to patients in whom this treatment is effective in alleviating pain.
For those patients who suffer from intolerable acute lower back pain: Remedies also include Transcutaneous Electric Manipulation (TENS) has been proven to be effective. This procedure involves stimulating the back in pulses through electrodes attached to the surface of the skin on the lower back.
Rather than take drugs, many patients have found alleviation for their lower back pain through simple remedies, such as heating pads or the application of deep-heating topical rubs (like Ben-Gay).
Exercise and Rest: Viable Lower Back Pain Remedies?
Prolonged bed rest has been found to lead to a longer period of recovery. Patients with acute back pain need to become active after 2-days of bed rest to prevent decreased muscle tone, development of leg blood clots, and depression.
Although no specific lower back exercises prove as effective acute lower back pain remedies, stretching exercises, in particular, are still necessary to strengthen the back muscles and improve muscle tone, which in turn could help minimize occurrences of back pain