One of the reasons back pain can be difficult to treat and even more difficult to cure, is because we suffer for quite some time before seeking any medical advice. Many back problems begin as slight discomfort or a nagging ache and we chalk it up to forgetting to exercise, too much time in front of the computer or falling asleep on the sofa. Each of these is a legitimate reason for mild back pain that goes away. But chronic back pain is another matter altogether.
Chronic back pain often begins as little more than mild discomfort, but because the back is such an integral part of human movement the more we use it when the pain is bearable, the closer we are to making the pain unbearable. Every step you take, every second you stand and every moment you take to bend and pick something up, you are putting strain on your back.
Before you can find back pain relief however, you need to figure out what type of back pain you’re experiencing. Ineffective back pain treatment will only prolong your suffering.
Muscular vs. Skeletal Pain
Back pain that is muscular in nature, means that the source of your pain is one of the muscles. The cause of muscular back pain is often overusing the back muscles, a pulled muscle or a knot in your back. You’ll know you suffer from muscular back pain because you will experience pain as you move during everyday activities such as walking, reaching, bending or even standing. If you do any of these for long periods at a time, the pain will become excruciating.
Skeletal back pain on the other hand, means the source of the back pain is the spine. You probably have skeletal back pain if you’ve recently been in an accident, suffered a back injury such as a fraction (or something as benign as bruising), or even a medical history of spinal problems. The only way to be certain is to have your physician confirm a skeletal complication so you can start a back pain treatment plan immediately.
Once you have identified the type of pain you suffer from, you can start to experience back pain help in the form of therapy, painkillers or other relief.
Back Pain Relief
Treating back pain is a multi-step process that usually begins with some form of immediate pain relief. Keep in mind however that back pain help such as pain relief creams and gels or painkillers will only really help with muscular back pain. Hot compresses and heating pads will help reduce the pain, and even for skeletal back pain they will allow you to relax and feel some form of pain relief.
Your search for back pain relief should always begin with natural non-invasive treatments such as massage, chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, acupuncture or acupressure. These treatments are natural but costly and they only provide relief for short periods of time. For either skeletal or muscular back pain, you may need a combination of natural and chemical treatments.
To treat skeletal back pain your physician may refer you to a chiropractor or physical therapy depending on the source of the spinal pain. Medical problems may be difficult to treat, but there are professionals with experience creating long term treatment plans for arthritis or degenerative disk disease.
Muscular back pain can be helped by taking advantage of several types of stretches. Prior to stretching you should use heat in the form of a heating pad or hot compress to relax muscles and allow for effective stretching. You don’t have to be incredibly flexible in order to perform these stretches as many are basic muscle stretches similar to a warm up or cool down stretch when exercising. Your physical therapist or chiropractor will have you spend about 20 to 30 minutes stretching each day to avoid back pain.
As you can see, there are several options available to you for back pain help. Suffering is pointless when there are natural or medical treatments for any type of back pain you experience. Try different treatment plans and see what works until you find a combination of treatments that keep your back pain at bay.
Written By: Updated: June 23,2011