There are many treatments available to help treat chronic back pain. These include acupuncture, massage, and injections. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen and muscle relaxants can also help relieve pain.
In addition, some people experience relief from eating a healthier diet that avoids inflammatory foods. These simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the way you feel.
When your back hurts, your first thought is to get immediate pain relief. Icing the area, taking a few tablets of tramadol and getting some rest can often help.
Tramadol is a good choice for managing chronic pain. If prescribed, you can buy tramadol online without a prescription, and it comes in tablets, capsules, and liquid forms.
Injections can also be a great option for some people. They can be injected in the epidural space of your spine to help reduce pain for a specific amount of time. There are also topical pain relievers available in cream, salves and ointments that work on a local level to alleviate your pain. Muscle relaxants and antidepressants have also been shown to be effective in relieving back pain.
2. Change Your Diet
As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Certain foods can trigger back pain, such as processed sugar and refined fats. Eating a diet that includes whole foods, fresh fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins and non-inflammatory foods will help reduce back pain. It will also help you reach and maintain a healthier weight, which helps take pressure off the spine.
The first thing to do if you have back pain is get medical attention. Seek emergency care if your pain lasts more than a few days, especially if it is associated with loss of bowel or bladder control, fever, or numbness in your legs. Chronic back pain is defined as back pain that lasts more than three months. It can be frustrating because it can come and go, but often it does not disappear completely.
3. Exercise More
Getting enough sleep and exercising more often can help ease back pain. However, be careful with how intense your workouts are until you get the go-ahead from your care team. Exercising too much or over-exercising can actually cause more pain and stiffness in the back.
If your back pain is not easing up after weeks of at-home treatment, it’s time to see a physician. They can perform a physical examination and imaging tests to determine if the pain is coming from bones, muscles or nerves.
The doctor may also recommend steroid injections that help relieve inflammation and irritation of the spinal nerve roots. Other treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, acupuncture and physical therapy that helps improve strength, posture and flexibility. If simpler treatments do not work, the doctor may perform a surgical evaluation.
4. Change Your Sleep Patterns
Many people who suffer from back pain struggle to get a good night’s rest. Getting too little sleep causes you to fall into a cycle of insomnia and restless leg syndrome that makes your pain worse.
The right diet and exercise can help, but it’s important to make sleep a priority. It’s also a good idea to avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bed.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and create a calming bedtime routine. You can also perform simple exercises to help with your back pain. For example, try this easy knee to chest stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend one knee to chest for ten repetitions then switch legs. Repeat each side.
5. Change Your Workout Routine
Exercise may seem counterintuitive when you have back pain, but light to moderate physical activity can increase blood flow to the back muscles and boost natural endorphins. Over time, these changes will help strengthen the muscles that support your spine and body weight and reduce the risk of future injury.
Staying active can also help to prevent a flare-up of back pain. To stay in shape, try low-impact aerobics like walking or swimming instead of running or jogging. Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise, but avoid using strokes that jar the back and shoulders, such as the backstroke or breaststroke.
You should also be careful with how you lift. Many people develop back pain by hunching over a computer or phone, so practice good posture and be sure to lift with your legs.
6. Get a Massage
Many people suffer from back pain. There are a variety of treatments that can help to alleviate it, but massages are often underutilized. The best types of massages for lower back pain work to address tight, sore, “sticky” muscles and connective tissue.
Therapeutic massages are offered by physical therapists and can be part of an overall treatment plan that includes other strategies like exercise, posture improvement, and modalities such as heat or cold therapy. Some therapists specialize in back pain, and the best ones are certified and trained to work with your particular condition.
A good option is a deep tissue massage, which isn’t the type of recreational massage most of us think of when we hear the word “massage.” A good therapist will search out and release those tense spots in your back muscles and tissue that are called trigger points (aka muscle knots). These can be a source of pain that radiates out from the spot or triggers pain in other places.
7. See a Chiropractor
Back pain is a common problem that affects about 80% of adults at one time or another. It can develop as a result of a traumatic event, such as a car accident or lifting a heavy object, or it may be a long-term condition, like arthritis or spinal stenosis.
Medications, such as anti-inflammatories and analgesics, can be used to control pain. However, these medications don’t always target the root cause of the pain and they can have unwanted side effects.
Other treatments that can ease back pain include spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and a healthy diet. These treatments can help relieve the tension in your muscles, which in turn can reduce the inflammation that leads to back pain. Lastly, you should also consider alternative treatments such as biofeedback therapy, massages, and electrical nerve stimulation.