What are the Different Types of Back Pain Treatments?

B. Miller

There are a number of different back pain treatments, ranging from something as simple as taking an over the counter pain reliever, to having surgery to correct a specific cause of back pain, such as a herniated disc. Chiropractic care is another one of the more common back pain treatments, though people often find that once they start getting chiropractic treatment, they have to continue to go for the rest of their lives. Other treatments may include physical therapy, specific exercises designed to treat back pain, or even alternative therapies such as meditation or visualization.

Ice packs can help with lower back pain.
Ice packs can help with lower back pain.

Over the counter pain relievers are frequently used as back pain treatments. Anti-inflammatory treatments, such as ibuprofen, are often the most effective at treating back pain. For extreme pain, doctors may prescribe stronger medications to treat back pain, but this is usually used as a later resort since many of these medications are addictive. For back pain due to a strained muscle or other injury, the application of heat to the area may help, such as a heating pad or soaking in a hot bath. This will help to relax the muscles as well as relieve stress and tension, which can worsen back pain.

Back pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
Back pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Exercise and physical therapy are two other common back pain treatments. Doing exercises designed to both stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back can help to improve posture, relieve pain, and heal injuries. Yoga and Pilates are two great options for treating back pain, but it is important to consult a doctor first to be sure that it is safe, and that it will not worsen any specific condition. Becoming more flexible throughout the body can also help to relieve back pain; tight hamstrings or hip flexors, for example, often lead to pain in the back. Some people find that learning meditation, biofeedback, and visualization can help if they are dealing with chronic pain that traditional treatments is not completely managing.

Swimming, which puts zero weight on the joints, is often recommended for back pain sufferers.
Swimming, which puts zero weight on the joints, is often recommended for back pain sufferers.

Chiropractic care may be used in conjunction with other back pain treatments as well. This type of care helps to place the spine back in proper alignment, which can help to relieve pain. Surgery is another option for treating back pain, though doctors will often only use surgery as a last resort, because there are many risks associated with back surgery, and because it is not always effective in relieving back pain. In addition, the healing process for back surgery can be quite extensive and extremely painful.

Chronic back pain may be treated with prescription medication.
Chronic back pain may be treated with prescription medication.
Sometimes back pain can be treated by soaking in a hot bath.
Sometimes back pain can be treated by soaking in a hot bath.

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