Treatment and Exercises of Back Pain
Most cases of back pain can be managed with exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of the back. Very few cases will require operative treatment like surgery for slipped disc to release an entrapped nerve.
Treatment Methods – Non-operative for Back Pain
If the back pain is localized to an area, one needs to follow a rigid exercise regimen and with some precautions. But if the pain is radiating there is a need to visit a physical therapist. If, pain still doesn’t subside down, there might be some specific underlying cause which requires immediate medical attention.
- Stay active and perform all the daily activities normally
- Avoid bed rest for extended periods as it might make low back pain worse
Apply hot pack to the affected area if pain is chronic or cold packs if pain is acute. Traction for Back Pain – This has been the mainstay of treatment for back pain in the past. However the current thoughts have been this treatment method outdated. Its principle is that it traction stretches tight spinal muscles that are in spasm and it widens the inter-vertebral foramen to relieve nerve root compression.
Traction is generally applied to the cervical (neck) region or to the lumbar region. Sometimes a mechanical weight is used that hangs by the pulley which is attached by ropes to a harness, with the patient being confined to the bed.
Traction has been condemned by many therapist who believe it causes more harm then good.
In a review of 25 randomized clinical trial (2206 patients; 1045 receiving traction) on this subject the Cochrane review concludes that for patients who had mixed symptom patterns i.e. acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain with and without sciatica the results was as follows:
- Strong evidence of no statistically significant difference in outcomes between traction as a single treatment and placebo, sham or no treatment;
- Moderate evidence that traction as a single treatment is no more effective than other treatments;
- Limited evidence of no significant difference in outcomes between a standard physical therapy program with or without continuous traction.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may help stop pain by blocking nerve signals from reaching your brain. A physical therapist places electrodes on your skin near the area of your pain. TENS may relieve pain in your leg due to inflammation or compression of nerves in your back.
This treatment involves manipulation and massage of your spine and back muscles to relieve mild-to-moderate pain.
An acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles under your skin. The needles usually stay in for 15 to 30 minutes. The insertion causes little or no pain. Expect to have several sessions. Research suggests pain relief may come from the release of endorphins, your body's natural painkillers.