Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints, especially among adults of working age. Causes of back pain range from muscle strains to more serious medical conditions such as herniated discs. Healing back pain can be quite tricky without knowing the exact cause of the pain. Therefore, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis before attempting any type of home treatment plan. Some potential treatment options include rest, medications, and physical therapy.
Capsaicin cream is a medication made from chili peppers and is helpful in healing back pain for many who suffer from injuries such as strained muscles. This type of medication can be obtained without a prescription at most any drug store and goes by many different brand names, each using capsaicin as the primary active ingredient. Since this medication is derived from chili peppers, it can sometimes cause a temporary burning or stinging sensation on the skin. If this side effect becomes severe, the use of the product should be discontinued. It is important to keep this product away from the eyes and use disposable gloves when applying it to the skin.
Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen are often useful tools in healing back pain. Ibuprofen is generally preferred because it not only helps to provide pain relief, but it also works to reduce swelling and inflammation. This is particularly useful if the back pain is caused by a condition such as a herniated disc, in which bones in the spine move out of their proper positions, causing pressure and swelling involving the surrounding nerves and muscles. Stronger pain medications may be prescribed by a physician if over-the-counter products do not provide adequate relief.
Provided that there is no serious medical condition contributing to the back pain, mild exercises such as yoga can greatly assist in healing back pain. These types of gentle stretching exercises can work to strengthen the muscles of the back without adding unnecessary pressure or strain on the already stressed muscles. It is important to check with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise program, especially in patients suffering from back pain.
Many people suffering from lower back pain report significant improvement in pain levels by increasing vitamin B-12 or magnesium intake. Blood tests can determine if there is a deficiency of these vitamins and minerals in the blood. Heat or ice therapy also provides relief for many patients. Since undiagnosed back pain can often point to more serious medical conditions, the patient should not begin a program at home aimed at healing back pain without first consulting a physician.