When you’re experiencing pain, the daily business of life feels insurmountable. How can you prepare meals, take care of laundry and the yard, run errands or go to work when the pain is crippling you or at least diverting your attention from the tasks at hand?
The back is an area that commonly causes difficulties. About 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, according to Medline Plus. Treatments vary and, often, the simplest will help, such as heat and over-the-counter pain relievers. Sometimes, though, particularly with pain that lingers, more interventions are needed. Here are a few suggestions to try.
Visiting a physical therapist soon after the onset of lower back pain can help your pocketbook and reduce your need for medication, according to a study published in Health Services Research. Compared with people who saw a physical therapist later in the process or not at all, patients who received physical therapy first had an 89 percent lower probability of getting an opioid prescription and less need for high-cost medical services.
“A physical therapist can apply a variety of treatments, such as heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle-release techniques, to your back muscles and soft tissues to reduce pain,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
If you’ve tried over-the-counter pain relievers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and even medications prescribed by your doctor, and haven’t found the relief you seek, injections of cortisone (an anti-inflammatory) or a numbing medication into the space around your spinal cord might be an option, according to the Mayo Clinic. This remedy helps if your pain radiates down your leg, and the effects usually last a few months.
This treatment that features the placement of small and virtually painless needles by a trained practitioner has been used for centuries. It is gaining traction in Western medicine as a useful tool to treat pain.
In an analysis published in the Journal of Pain, it was found that people with back or shoulder pain, as well as those experiencing three other chronic pain conditions, found relief using acupuncture, and the benefits lasted at least 12 months after the sessions, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Energy — Chinese medicine calls it “qi” — points, or meridians, are targeted in the placement of the tiny needles in acupuncture sessions, according to Healthline.
“By stimulating these points, parts of the nervous system are also stimulated to relieve pain,” Healthline says.
NSAIDs and opioids are the medications often associated with treating back pain, but antidepressants can also be effective.
“Low doses of certain types of antidepressants — particularly tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline — have been shown to relieve some types of chronic back pain independent of their effect on depression," according to the Mayo Clinic.
Sometimes surgery is necessary when other treatments don’t offer relief from pain, but not all surgery options are alike. Minimally invasive surgery is a way of approaching surgery without making large cuts; surgeons can do their work through much smaller incisions. But even this less invasive style can still involve a great deal of disruption to surrounding anatomy.
Sonospine ultrasonic surgery is an approach that is minimally disruptive. The precise tools allow a surgeon to access the spinal canal with less disruption to bones, joints and other tissues. Once at the source of your pain, advanced ultrasonic instruments precisely sculpt away bone and disc to restore your spine’s normal anatomy, decompressing nerves and relieving pain.
If you are experiencing back pain and need expert help, visit Sonospine or call 888-957-7463 to learn how you can get relief.