Lower Back Pain Relief On The Right Side
Lower back pain can be a terrible burden. It leads to significant patient suffering and is among the most challenging clinical problems that medical professionals face. There are dozens of treatments for back pain but few, if any, work for every patient, every time. Therefore, people seeking back pain relief must be patient and not become discouraged by a failed treatment. As you are selecting a back pain treatment, it helps to know which ones are most likely to work and which that probably will not. We identify the back pain relief options with the most promise.
At-Home Back Pain Relief
Most musculoskeletal injuries are treated with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. In fact, you might find a country doctor that still recommends resting a sore back. While this may work for an arm or leg, this is the wrong approach for back pain. Based on numerous scientific clinical studies, doctors now recommend relative rest, rather than complete rest. This means staying active and performing normal activities even if you experience some pain. Relative rest also means that you should avoid strenuous activities or movements that will make the back pain worse.
Also, ice seems to be of little help in relieving back pain, but applying heat to the area might very well help. One comprehensive review on the subject showed that heat wraps can provide low back pain relief and that the addition of exercise can "further reduce pain and improve function." Exercises that are specifically helpful in this pursuit include extension, flexion, and strengthening exercises.
Do not overlook the power of over-the-counter pain relievers. While the NSAIDs acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve) may not be very helpful in cases of back pain caused by impingement of the nerve roots, these drugs can be quite effective in taking the edge off of muscle and joint pain. Muscle and joint pain, it should be pointed out, are the cause of most back pain cases.
Medical Back Pain Relief
The low back pain relief provided by medical practitioners overlaps what most of us would use in the home, for the most part. The biggest difference is that physicians can prescribe and use more aggressive techniques. While your heating wrap may work well at home, a physical therapist may be able to heat tissues more deeply by using special devices. An ultrasound probe, for example, can deliver high frequency sound waves to muscles and joints deep beneath the skin.
Moreover, physicians are able to prescribe stronger pain medications, such as codeine and opioids (e.g. oxycodone and morphine). These medications are used when NSAIDs are not enough to achieve back pain relief. Unfortunately people tend to develop a tolerance and even dependence on opioid medications when taken over long periods of time, therefore these drugs are to be used with caution in chronic low back pain.
Certain types of back pain can be treated effectively with injections into the back. These injections are comprised of steroids, local anesthetic, or both. Steroids like Kenalog and Decadron reduce inflammation, while local anesthetics deaden the nerves that carry pain signals. These injections are not necessarily curative and may need to be repeated over time. Fortunately the majority of low back pain cases clear up with six months of the original injury. Since a single injection can last for up to six months, most people will need only one round of treatment to get back pain relief.