Many times, when it comes to back pain, there is not one cure that works every time for all kinds of pains related to the back. The back is quite a complex structure and pain can be due to several factors. However, the back does have several areas which are prone to injury.
Often, back pain treatment requires trial and error approach to find the best treatment solutions for each particular case. Traditionally medical approaches tend to focus on looking over anatomical issues in the back to determine if the injury is muscular or structural based.
That being said the pains would be best kept at bay with a more multifaceted approach to facilitate the support of the affected area and the overall recovery of the injury and the surrounding structures and tissues.
Here are a few management techniques for chronic back pain that are not very emphasised and even can be overlooked in the world of traditional medical treatments:
1. Sufficient Restorative Sleep
The leading cause of insomnia is pain. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Therefore, the majority of those people suffering from chronic back pain also deal with some form of sleep disorder. As a result of sleeping inadequately, back pain can worsen. This type of cycle can make it difficult to treat the back pain solely. If you are experiencing problems with sleep, those issues must be addressed as well to improve your overall well-being and enable to back the best chance of recovery.
2. Use Cold and Hot to Ease the Pain
Many times the simplicity of applying a hot and or cold pack to reduce that back pain and speed up recovery is overlooked. However, to do this effectively, one must know whether hot or cold is the appropriate compress for the particular type of back pain.
As a general rule, if the pain is due to inflammation then a cold compress can be useful as the cold can help to take down the inflammation.
If however, the pain is due to contract, stiff or locked muscles, then a hot compress is recommended. The heat can help to soothe the locked or contracted muscles and bring an increase in blood flow to the area.
There are two main benefits to cold therapy:
Inflammation is reduced, inflammation is usually to blame for a lot of back pain.
Cold therapy works as a local anaesthetic; it does this by slowing down the nerve impulses; this prevents your nerves from spasming which can cause pain.
There are two main benefits to heat therapy:
The blood flow is stimulated, this helps to provide the nutrients that are needed to heal the affected area of the back.
The pain messages which are being sent to the brain are inhibited.
3. Exercise the Core
The muscles that play a critical role in supporting the back are your ab muscles. These are not muscles that are exercised on their own as the day goes by, they must be targeted during exercise. There are a variety of exercises which can be performed throughout the day to help strengthen your core, take the time to find the ones that would work best for you or speak to a physiotherapist or pilates instructor to find the best exercises that will suit your injury.
4. Stretch Your Hamstrings Twice a Day
Tight hamstrings can contribute to a back pain; this is something that is very often overlooked. If the hamstrings, which are found on the back of the thighs are too tight the rest of the back, as a result, could also start to get tight over time. You should carefully stretch your hamstrings twice every day.
5. Keep the Brain Engaged
Pain is not absolute, it is more than just a sensation, this is something that pain specialists have understood for a long time. A paramount role in how the pain is perceived is played by the way that the brain interprets and of course, processes the pain signals. There are ways in which a person can learn to control the pain to a certain degree by correct use of the mind. The mind is a powerful instrument, and can play an important role over how much pain a person may need to experience overall.
The first point of call for back pain for most people is the local GP. However, most GP’s are not trained extensively in this kind of pain management, so they will often refer you to a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath or even an acupuncturist.
Seeing a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy is a common form of treatment for back pain and is based locating the cause of the injury, applying various techniques to help to alleviate the pain and also incorporating exercises or the muscles to help to free tension, stretch tight muscles and enhance movement.
Seeing a Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a practitioner who specialises in problems arising from the spinal column itself. They work to correct issues of the spine that may be causing referred symptoms in other areas of the body.
Seeing an Acupuncturist
Acupuncture therapy is now also more commonly being referred to by Western doctors. Acupuncture has been found to be effective for certain types of back pain and can help to lessen the severity of the pain experienced, increase blood flow to the area and assist with other therapies.
Seeing an Osteopath
Osteopathy is also a physically manipulative therapy, like chiropractic. However, osteopathy works on a more generalised system of the whole body, rather than having its focus on the spine.