Nobody likes pain, but in a way pain can help us. Pain can alert you that there is something wrong with your body, prompting a doctor or hospital visit that can provide medical diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and possibly relief from the pain. Unfortunately for some people there is no relief from the pain. People suffering from low back pain can experience pain that may last for a few days or weeks, while others may have what is called chronic pain that can last for months or years if you don’t have a treatment plan.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from chronic low back pain its important for you to know there’re many more treatment options today that don’t involve addictive pain medications or invasive surgery. Below you’ll find some of these non-invasive treatment options that can bring you pain relief and help restore your quality of life once again.
Low Back Pain Treatment Options:
- Heat and Cold Packs – Hot or cold packs are a tried and true means of pain relief that you can apply yourself right at home. If you don’t get relief with the application of hot or cold packs try consulting a physical therapist or chiropractor for their suggestions for a deeper tissue/muscle penetrating home or over the counter remedy or device.
- Gentle Exercise – When you’re in a “cycle” of pain you may think exercise is the last thing you want to do, but many suffers of low back pain often experience relief from gentle exercise techniques. People with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or degenerative spine disease typically experience a loss of mobility which can cause a tightening and stiffening of the tendons and muscles. By engaging in gentle exercise (aqua therapy, swimming, walking, and cycling) you can loosen and strengthen these muscles and tendons which often provides pain relief and improves mood and quality of life.
- Yoga or Tai Chi Exercise – Studies have shown that the rhythmic movement based therapies like tai chi and yoga which incorporate meditation, stretching and flexibility movements, as well as breathing techniques all can initiate a relaxation response in your body, this is taking control over your autonomic nervous system and therefore exhibiting more control of the pain.
- Occupational/Physical Therapy – This therapy can be essential to your quality of life. The physical therapist will design a therapeutic exercise routine that is honed in on improving and/or returning the strength and mobility of your muscles and tendons, often producing pain relief as an added benefit. The occupational therapy portion of your treatment teaches you how to use the added mobility you have gained in order for you to be able to perform your daily functions in a manner that won’t aggravate your back condition.
- Therapeutic Message Therapy – Getting a massage is not just a luxury anymore its part of therapeutic treatment plans for people who suffer from chronic low back pain. The massage can loosen tensed muscles, joints and tendons which can lessen your pain, which in turn reduces anxiety and stress. It’s believed by pain management experts that massage can distract you from the pain by producing a competitive sensation which can overwhelm the pain signals sent by your brain, thus reducing your pain levels.
- Music Therapy – Listening to music as a source of pain reducer has been studied scientifically and found to be beneficial in reducing anxiety that typically accompanies pain. Studies indicated that when a patient’s anxiety level was reduced by listening to relaxing or pleasant music, so too was their level of pain. Music therapy can be another tool chronic pain suffers utilize to achieve relief.
- Meditation Therapy – Mind- over- matter techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and being mindful (mentally conscious of your body and it’s functions like breathing and heart rate) are all ways you can train the brain and the body to work in sync to establish control over the release of hormones your body produces when you’re in pain or stressed; such as the fight or flight hormone adrenaline which can actually increase your pain level by increasing the tension in your muscles and tendons, hence causing inflammation (more pain). Meditation, breathing techniques, and mindfulness can all help you control, increase, or decrease hormones your body produces in response to the stress of pain.
As with any type of new exercise or therapy you should check with your healthcare provider and/or pain management specialist before engaging in any new form of treatment plans or exercises.