A Answers (4)
First, if pain is severe talk your health care professional and receive a proper diagnosis. Often, a program of inhibiting overactive muscles, lengthening tight muscles, activating weak muscles and integrating small and large muscles into a coordinated movement pattern will help alleviate back pain. In the case of back pain, it is generally caused by imbalances in the muscles surrounding your hips. Specific muscle tightness in the hip flexors (muscles that flex the hip) hip rotators (hip muscles that work with your glutes) and hamstrings (muscles on the back of your thigh) often leads to misalignment of the hips and spine. As a consequence, or sometimes the cause, muscles that stabilize your spine like the deep abdominals (the transversus abdominis and small muscles of your spine) and glutes become weak. The cascade effect can lead to inefficient loading of the spine when you move, and poor distribution of forces throughout the body. This equates to increased poor posture, imbalanced movement, compensation and eventually, pain.
Ronald Tolchin, DO, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
Strained muscles of the back can be treated with cold/heat packs, rest, and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
There are also common stretching and flexibility exercises for back pain. But if back pain persists after trying these basic home remedies, see a doctor for possible diagnostic screenings.
Your physician will consider physical therapy to treat common back pain caused by strained muscles or disk herniations. Therapy can include massage, traction and exercises such as core strengthening/stabilization exercises and muscle re-education.
Yoga exercises also provide good relaxation and stretching techniques for back muscles.
Intermountain Healthcare answeredHere are some things you can do to treat back pain:
- Keep moving. Don't do things that hurt a lot -- but do move around as much as you can. Too much rest can slow healing.
- Get comfortable. When you do rest, try to find a position that eases the pain. Try lying on your back on the floor. Bend your hips and knees, and put pillows under your knees.
- Try heat or ice. Put ice or heat on the sore area for 15 minutes every hour. Some people like to switch between heat and ice. For icing, use ice cubes in a bag, or a bag of frozen peas. For heating, try a hot water bottle or a heating pad.
- Take pain medicine. Use acetaminophen (like Tylenol), ibuprofen (like Advil), or naproxen (like Aleve). Follow the instructions for timing and dose. Do not give aspirin to a child or teen -- it increases risk for a serious problem called Reye's syndrome.
Brian Yee, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answeredThe success in treating back pain is being able to diagnose where the pain is coming from. If the source of the pain is not directly related to classic back pain sources such as a herniated disc or stenosis in the spine, then the majority of back pain patients are diagnosed with 'non-specific low back pain'.
In the growing collaboration of different health practitions/researchers focusing on low back pain, there is growing evidence of multiple areas that can contribute to non-specific low back pain. Identifying their contributions helps us identify the treatments necessary to treat back pain.
1. Movement Patterns: the way you move affects the way your spine works. Many times patients excessively bend from their spine to reach for things rather than use their hips, or others are afraid to bend their spine out of fear they may hurt it. It is important to educatie the patient to move properly to allow the spine to efficiently move.
2. Muscle control: there is strong evidence of specific muscles around the spine and pelvis that help stabilize the spine. Such muscles as the transversus abdominis, multifidus, and pelvic floor have been found to contribute to spine stability. In back pain patients there is evidence to show these muscles do not function as well. Rehabilitation should focus on training these muscles and how they coordinate with the rest of the trunk musculature to provide efficient movement.
3. Trigger points: in layman's terms are 'knots' in muscles. However, clinically there is strong evidence supporting their involvement in musculoskeletal pain. Trigger points can cause pain, or even referred pain and can limit the function of the muscles around the trunk. Inteverventions to improve trigger point dysfunction include soft-tissue massage, ultrasound, and most effectively intramuscular manual therapy (formerly known as trigger point dry needling).
4. Fascia: The thoracolumbar fascia is a dense fibrous material that spans that entire low back. Its design to passively support the spine, especially in prolonged slouched postures, has previously been viewed as a structure not necessarily needed in regards to back pain. However, research is showing pain fibers located in the fascia, indicating its potential as a pain generator. Massage and other hands on techniques usually have success in improving fascial contributions to low back pain.
There are many other sources and treatments, please consult with an appropriate practitioner.