The American Chiropractic Association estimates that 80 percent of the population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. From tense muscles to ruptured discs, the causes and types of back pain range from moderate to severe. Pain from the shoulders to the lower spine can have a litany of potential causes such as disease, work injury, unhealthy diet, heredity and more. And each year, at least $50 billion or more is spent while patients try to find a cure for their back pain.
With so many cases and different causes, it is impossible to narrow down a root for most back pain or a specific cure. The good news is that a relatively small percentage of patients ever need invasive surgery. Instead there are many different treatment options which suffering patients should research and try.
1. Stretch Your Way to Strength
In many cases stretching can play an important role in restoring back health. Consistent stretching is an effective method for recovery. Yoga or Pilates are also recommended to help keep muscles moving. Both of these exercise styles focus on building core muscles and improving flexibility. This will assist healing and prevent further injury in the future.
Video: Low Back Pain Causes and Treatments
2. Rolling Away Tension
Therapy balls are a popular way to roll out some of the knots and tension in your body. A tennis ball or special yoga therapy ball can help massage and lengthen muscles. Rolling a ball on the grooves of your lower spine and in other painful areas works because it rubs and loosens something called the fascia.
Fascia is the connective tissue that covers all of your muscles. Fascia tissue can be twisted and pulled out of place causing pain and knots. But rubbing out these problems, the connective tissue can return to its natural place and stimulate healing in the muscles and deep tissue.
3. Coping with Pain and Depression
A group of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have noticed that sometimes it is impossible to treat back pain without also treating simultaneous issues in the body. Specifically, their research has focused on back pain and depression in patients 60 years or older.
Dr. Jordan Karp points out that “chronic low back pain and depression make each other worse. Both can cause poor sleep, keep people from enjoying their usual activities, isolate them at home.” This cycle of pain and hopelessness is especially problematic in patients who have undergone back surgery without positive results. In order to treat all sides of the problem, the University of Pittsburgh study used a combination of antidepressants, painkillers and talk therapy, which played a surprisingly important role on its own.
4. Laser Spine Surgery
A relatively new but effective method for more serious spine problems is called laser spine surgery. This involves a small incision and the use of lasers to remove nerve sensitivity. The advantages are that the surgery is outpatient, with a much smaller scar to heal.
When considering laser spine surgery it is important to find a trusted professional surgeon who has specialized in spinal surgery. Because there is not yet national regulation to oversee laser procedures, patients must do thorough homework to choose a quality practice.
Finding Help and Healing
When pursuing any kind of help for your back pain, it is important to research well and use care. Stretching and strengthening exercises can be used. But if you experience worsening and severe pain, it may be time to consult with a doctor. Some of the conditions which should be taken to a doctor include:
• Numbness and tingling
• Pain from a fall or serious injury
• Difficulty using the restroom
• Unexplained weight loss
With the right help for your individual back pain, you can hopefully find a successful road to recovery.