If back pain has you in knots, try some of these ideas for relief.
Back pain can be a very serious condition that interferes with potentially every aspect of daily life. While much back pain will resolve itself within a few weeks or months, the pain can be difficult to bear in the meantime. Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer through it, as many types of back pain relievers are available that can help manage the pain and allow your body to heal. Many of these pain management devices and strategies are also beneficial in cases of chronic back pain where surgery will not help. Always discuss the options with your doctor, and make sure you know which will be the most safe and effective methods for your particular case.
Pharmaceutical pain relievers. In most cases, mild to moderate back pain can be managed with simple over-the-counter NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen). Depending on the problem, prescription pain medications or even corticosteroids may be recommended for moderate to severe pain. In some cases, medication will even be injected directly into the problem area. The Mayo Clinic explains, “A cortisone injection helps decrease inflammation around the nerve roots, but the pain relief usually lasts less than a few months.” This measure is generally reserved for severe chronic pain or for recovering from spine surgery.
Therapies and devices. Simply numbing out the pain doesn’t help much if the pain has a known cause that can be relieved naturally. Your doctor may recommend simple changes in your posture or how you move or may suggest shoes that are better suited to you. Back braces may be recommended if you are carrying a lot of weight (especially in pregnancy), or if you lift a lot of weight in your daily life. For a natural direct pain reliever, use a heating pad on your back, or alternate heat and cold packs.
Lifestyle changes. Back pain may be an indicator that something in your lifestyle isn’t working well for your body. If you’re overweight or obese, participate in high-impact activities or spend many hours on your feet every day, these may contribute to back pain. Certain exercises may be recommended to help build up the muscles that protect and support your spine, as well as help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.