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The Impact of Back Pain Treatment on Your Health

Back pain affects most people at one point. It is often caused by injury or illness, such as a herniated disc or spinal osteoarthritis, which causes the spine’s bones to narrow and compress nerves.

Back pain improves with time, and over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen can ease discomfort. Physical therapy and specific exercises that strengthen and tone muscles are also helpful.

Pain Relievers

Feeling the sting of back pain? Medications can offer a helping hand. Many pain relievers are available over the counter, with more robust options requiring a doctor’s prescription. These drugs can calm the ache, reduce inflammation, and loosen tight muscles. Topical creams and patches offer another route, delivering pain relief directly to your skin, sometimes even numbing it for more effortless movement. Muscle relaxants might be the answer if regular pain relievers aren’t enough, though they can come with some dizziness and drowsiness. Remember, finding the right back pain treatment Orange Park FL may involve exploring different options, so talk to your doctor or a local pain specialist to discover your path to relief!

Physical Therapy

Back pain can feel anything from dull aching to a scorching or stinging sensation that could even feel like a knife piercing your flesh. It can make bending, twisting, lifting, and moving around hard. The pain can also radiate down one or both legs. This is called sciatica.

PT can help you learn how to treat your back pain and prevent future episodes. Your therapist will assess your condition and work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs. They will provide you with exercises at home, and following their instructions for the exercises’ number, order, and frequency is essential.

PT can improve your mobility, strength, and quality of life. It can help you return to regular activities more quickly, mainly if you cannot perform them because of the pain. This can reduce your stress and improve your mood.

Surgery

Some people with back pain have a severe cause of their back problem that requires surgery. This is less common than you might expect, but it does happen.

Most back pain comes from your spine’s muscles, ligaments, and bones. However, a few people have more severe problems, such as broken bones, herniated disks, and narrowing of the spinal canal (called spinal stenosis).

Your doctor might suggest various tests, including an X-ray or CT scan, to see what’s causing your pain. You might also have an MRI to get better images of the bones, tissue, and nerves in your back.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend a minor surgery. This usually doesn’t involve opening up a large body area or affecting your significant organs. It’s done in a hospital or an outpatient setting, such as a doctor’s office. You might go home the same day. After surgery, your doctor might prescribe medicine to help control the pain.

Other Options

A doctor might prescribe an NSAID — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). These work for most people but don’t always provide complete relief. They can also cause stomach pain, ulcers, and bleeding.

If over-the-counter drugs don’t help, your doctor might prescribe a more potent drug, such as an opioid, that interacts with receptors in the body and brain to reduce pain. Examples include oxycodone or an acetaminophen/hydrocodone combination.

Injections, such as cortisone and anesthetic medications that can be injected directly into the spinal nerves and the area around them (epidural steroid injections or a numbing drug), might help. They’re often used in conjunction with physical therapy to control pain until the patient can begin a more permanent treatment, such as surgery.

Other treatments that can help with back pain include acupuncture, massage, biofeedback therapy, and electrical nerve stimulation. Talk with a spine specialist about these options to learn which might benefit you.

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