Early treatment for lower back pain
Many treatment options exist and can be adjusted to fit your needs when it comes to lower back pain. Treatments include self-care, medicinal remedies, alternative care, and even surgery.
Depending on your diagnosis, some treatments will be more effective than others. Sometimes the best treatment plan includes a combination of different treatments.
Basic home remedies can be effective for providing relief from mild back pain, including:
Most of the time, resting can help, regardless of the severity of your injury. It’s not advised to rest too long (longer than a few days), though, as too much inactivity can make hinder healing.
Changing up your physical routine
Similar to resting, you should adjust your activity to prevent unnecessary stress or strain. If you have to sit in a car or at a desk for extended periods of time, set a timer to make sure you get up and move around (by walking or doing some light stretching) every 20 minutes. If standing makes your pain worse, avoid chores or activities that require you to be on your feet for prolonged periods of time. Avoiding or minimizing activities and positions that worsen your pain will help prevent further pain and will allow for a shorter healing time.
Heat (from a warm bath, heating pad, or chemical heat wraps) can relax tense muscles and improve your blood flow. Increased blood flow is important because your blood flow is what helps bring nutrients and oxygen to your muscles – things they need to stay healthy. If your lower back pain is from inflammation, ice or cold packs can help to reduce the swelling. Just make sure to protect your skin when applying heat or ice to prevent tissue damage.
Alternating between heat and ice can be quite helpful. Applying heat before being active can help relax your muscles, allowing for increased flexibility and mobility. Then applying ice afterwards can reduce any swelling that might occur from irritation or inflammation from exercise.
Over-the-counter pain Medication
The most common over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are anti-inflammatory medicines that can alleviate lower back pain caused by swelling. Acetaminophen works by interfering pain signals sent to the brain.
Self-care treatments typically don’t require guidance from a doctor, but should be done carefully. Any type of medication, even OTC, can cause side effects. If you’re unsure of which self-care treatment would be best for you, contact a chiropractor, like Dr. Teeters, for more information.