Over 80% of Americans have experienced some type of lower back pain, of those individuals; 60-80% will still have persistent back pain one year later. For those who cannot find relief from self-care, seeking lower back pain therapy is the next logical step in pain relief.
When injury to the back occurs in the form of a strained or sprained muscle, the first thing to do is ice the affected area up to 48 hours after the injury has occurred. Afterwards, begin to heat the injured location in order to help relieve any muscle pain. Doing this as a preventative measure may help to reduce any chances of increased inflammation and pain at a later date.
Find a Practitioner for Lower Back Pain Therapy
When looking for someone to help treat your lower back pain, you have options. There are a large number of people qualified to provide lower back pain therapy. These include: a chiropractor, orthopedist, physical therapist, a doctor of osteopathy and a physiatrist. Any of these specialists can create a program to help treat and conquer lower back pain. Your first visit, though, should be to your general practitioner in order to receive any necessary tests and receive a formal diagnosis and/or referral to a specialist.
A Combination of Practices
Treatment of lower back pain usually encompasses a combination of exercises which include stretching, strengthening exercises and low-impact activity such as walking, swimming or bike riding. Doing these types of exercises multiple times per week, for about 30-40 minutes under the direct supervision of a practitioner can greatly improve not only lower back health, but the overall health of back pain sufferers.
Types of Treatment
Lower back pain therapy usually involves two types of treatment- passive and active. A practitioner may use one or both to help relieve pain in the lower back area. Passive treatment requires no participation from the pain sufferer as the goal is to help relax and heal the body. Active treatments involve a regimen of exercises to help strengthen both muscles and joints and prevent any future back pain.
There are a number of passive treatments that a practitioner may use when treating a patient with lower back pain depending on the type of pain being experienced. These treatments include use of an ultrasound machine, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines, hot therapy, cold therapy (through use of heat and cold packs) and deep tissue massage.
An In-Depth Look at Passive Lower Back Pain Therapy Treatments
Ultrasound machines are used to increase blood circulation and decrease swelling, stiffness, pain and other symptoms. TENS machines, by providing painless electrical currents, can decrease muscle spasms and increase the production of endorphins in the body. Heat therapy increases blood flow to the targeted area, bringing more oxygen and nutrients and removing any waste developed by muscle spasms. Cold therapy slows circulation which helps to decrease any swelling, muscle spasms and pain in the affected area.
Active Lower Back Pain Therapy Treatments
Active treatments involve learning a variety of exercises to help improve the ease of movement in your joints, flexibility and strength. Practitioners can also correct poor posture and help patients incorporate ways to improve posture on a daily basis. Lumbar stabilization programs can also be incorporated into lower back pain therapy. Use of lumbar stabilization programs can help patients move more effectively, while supporting and strengthening the lumbar spine.
Seeking out a practitioner may be necessary to help relieve pain in the lower back region. The most important thing to keep in mind is that staying active is the best thing that you can do. Being inactive may only further enhance any pain that you may be experiencing.