Back pain accounts for more appointments made with physicians than anything but the common cold. The National Institute of Health says one out of every four of us has had back pain in the last few months. For some of us, back pain is a temporary issue, but for others, it is a constant, relentless companion.
If you are experiencing back pain yourself and don’t know what to do, here is a quick rundown of the best options and treatments available. For more information, we encourage you to contact our lumbar spine specialty practice in New Jersey.
There are a few things you can do if you think your pain is going to be short-term. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can make a big difference, especially if you take them according to the dosing instructions until your pain goes away. Other home care that can relieve pain includes heat treatments for strains and sprains, including heating pads and wraps, hot baths, and even sitting beneath the stream of a hot shower. Ice applied for 15-minute periods once per hour can also help.
Visit Your Physician
Though you may be aware of an existing back problem, there are certain types of back pain that demand a visit with your family doctor. If your back pain is extreme or accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control, fever, nausea or vomiting, weakness or sweating, pain that goes past your knee or numbness in your leg, foot, groin or rectal area, you need to see a physician immediately.
When you visit your lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey, we often recommend physical therapy. This approach can strengthen the core and provide added flexibility that can provide both pain relief and prevention from future issues.
One of the most effective treatments available for people who have back pain is carefully administered injections of steroid medications to the area of the spine from which the pain originates. The medication eases inflammation and swelling, and this stops irritation of the nerves.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
This device is implanted under the skin, where it then delivers a low dose of electrical current to the spinal cord to block the message of pain between the nerves and the brain. This treatment is generally reserved for those who have already had spinal surgery and who are still experiencing pain.
Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
Depending upon the exact issue that is causing your back pain, minimally-invasive spine surgery is often the best, most effective solution available. It is particularly helpful for those suffering from spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis, as well as for herniated discs. The surgery uses tiny incisions and instruments that mean that the procedure takes much less time and recovery and return to normal activities is much faster. Most importantly, it is one of the quickest paths to pain relief.
To set up a consultation with our lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey, call our office today.