Lower back pain is considered a rather common problem and it affects a lot of people. Up to a half of patients will have more than one episode of lower back pain. This is not a medical condition per se but a symptom of numerous illnesses. Lower back pain may be classified as acute or chronic. In acute form the pain usually improves within a month no matter which treatment modality is applied. In case of chronic lower back pain the pain persists for at least a month and may even linger for additional period of time. It is essential prior starting the treatment to identify the exact cause of lower back pain. This way a doctor will suggest the best possible treatment modality.
Treatment Options for Lower back Pain
Depending on the actual cause there are a variety of treatments for lower back pain. The doctors in majority of cases recommend some of the pain relieving medications such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or naproxen). Furthermore, patients are supposed to stay active. This is considered better than bed rest since if one stays in bed for more than 1 or 2 days the pain can actually intensify and the joints may become stiffer and muscles weaker. The best option is to consult a well experienced doctor as well as physical therapist who will decide whether person should continue with certain activities and if there is a need for one to engage in some sort of physical therapy. The patients are usually explained what kind of exercises they are supposed to do in order to strengthen the back muscles and reduce the pain. In case of chronic lower back pain the patients may be recommended more invasive treatment. Surgery may be advised in both, acute and chronic form of lower back pain depending on the underlying cause. Still, prior the surgery doctors try to cure patients with conservative approach.
Treatment for More Severe and Recurrent Back Pain
Patients are due to report any increase in pain intensity and if there are additional symptoms such as weakness of muscles in legs etc. If the doctor does not find the cause of more intensive lower back pain he/ she will probably advise patients to continue with already applied treatment. Physical therapy must continue as well. In case the pain becomes excruciating a doctor may recommend short-term use of an opiate pain relieving medication, epidural steroid injection or a muscle relaxant. It is necessary to stick to doctor's advice and recommendation in order to alleviate the pain and prevent its potential reoccurrence.