What Is The Best Treatment For Chronic Lower Back Pain?

Making Chronic Lower Back Pain A Thing Of The Past

Chronic lower back pain that persists for over three months or longer can be a nightmare for patients, especially when no underlying cause is found. Conditions such as arthritis of the spine, spinal stenosis, disc injury, and myofascial pain syndrome can cause chronic lower back pain. The best treatment for chronic lower back pain will depend on the type and source of the pain.

Movement

Strengthening the muscles in the lower back can prevent the worsening of chronic back pain. A doctor or spine specialist can recommend a unique set of exercises on a case-by-case basis. Doctors may recommend posture retraining exercises, stretching, aerobic exercises, and core strengthening.

Meditation

Finding a peaceful space and performing meditation and mindfulness exercises can improve a patient’s general outlook despite the pain. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, or simple breathing exercises can reframe a patient’s state of mind and improve the chances of a complete recovery.

Diet

Inflammation is a common cause of chronic lower back pain. An anti-inflammatory diet can be just as effective as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs at relieving back pain symptoms. Patients should avoid diets high in refined sugars, processed foods, and trans fats. Instead, patients can turn to the following anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fatty fish
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables

Injections

Injection-based treatments can be used for short-term pain relief for cases with a known cause or be used to narrow the list of possible causes. Nerve blocks can block pain signals to a localized area by numbing the area and reducing inflammation. Epidural steroid injections can provide fast pain relief when injected into the epidural area near the spinal cord. Nerve ablations completely destroy the associated nerves to stop the pain signals in that area.

Complementary treatments

Alternative treatments such as massage, acupuncture, laser therapy, biofeedback therapy, and electrical nerve stimulation can all work to reduce chronic lower back pain. Patients should consult with a doctor in order to determine which specific treatment is appropriate.

Medications

While not a long-term solution, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant drugs can help patients manage chronic lower back pain. Patients should avoid depending on medications, especially prescribed opioids. Opioid medication can lead to dependence, addiction, and overdose.

Surgery

In some cases, however, surgery is the only option that can stop the progression of chronic lower back pain. Patients with bowel or bladder issues, weak limbs, balance issues, and brisk reflexes may require surgery. Patients should get at least a couple of doctor or specialist opinions before choosing to undergo surgery.

Lifestyle changes

Chronic lower back pain can significantly lower a patient’s quality of life. Patients may no longer be able to perform daily activities as freely or fluidly as before. Patients should avoid strenuous activities and habits that can worsen the inflammation and pain. Adhering to various complementary treatments can give patients hope for a better future.

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2020-04-01T11:44:53-05:00
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