Back pain is a common condition affecting up to 8% of the adult population in the United States. Pain in your back may limit your productivity at home and in your place of work. You may experience mild or intense pain depending on the cause of your condition. For example, back pain may result from an injury caused by trauma or indicate an underlying health problem such as arthritis. Therefore, it is essential to consult with Dr. Adam Camp to establish the source of your back pain and start treatment.
How is back pain treated?
Before treatment, your doctor will conduct different diagnostic tests to determine the source of your pain. These tests include x-rays, bone scans, and nerve studies. In addition, for mild pain, self-care measures may help improve your condition. For example:
Loose excess pounds
Extra weight exerts pressure onto the spine and may result in back pain. If you are obese, your specialist may recommend that you engage in regular exercise to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Having a healthy diet is also an excellent way to lose weight. Besides minimizing back pain, maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and venous disease.
Stretch your muscles
One of the ways to increase your muscle strength and flexibility is through stretching. Your therapist may advise that you practice low-impact activities such as yoga and tai chi to build strong muscles in your abdominal core that help support your back. However, older patients are advised to do the exercises in the evening when the body is warmed up.
Apply hot or cold compresses
Placing an ice pack on your skin may help reduce swelling and inflammation. You may place a towel to prevent direct contact, which may damage your tissues. If your muscles are stiff, you may use a heating pad to relax the muscles. Your specialist may advise against hot or cold compresses if you are also using topical creams or ointments.
While these home remedies may help reduce discomfort, it is important to note that not everyone may respond to self-care measures. Therefore, if your symptoms persist after trying out home remedies, your doctor may recommend:
Your doctor may recommend relaxants such as baclofen and carisoprodol to treat muscle spasms and back pain. However, your specialist may advise that you use muscle relaxants for a short period.
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve intense pain. This treatment method is effective for chronic back pain and for pain that radiates down the leg. Other times your doctor may combine cortisone with local anesthesia. Cortisone injections offer relief from pain for a month or two.
In some cases, back pain may be a result of nerve compression. This may result in severe pain, and as this progresses, one may develop nerve damage. Different medical conditions that may cause nerve compression include spinal stenosis and herniated disk. Your doctor may recommend surgery if any of these conditions cause your back pain.
To know which treatment option is suitable for you, reserve a session with your specialist at Advanced Pain Solutions.