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Treating and Managing Low Back Pain – Know the Options

Low Back PainWhether you lift heavy items or simply experience a slipped disk from an irksome athletic injury, back pain is likely to trouble you at some point in your life. Regarded as a very common problem, this condition affects about 80 percent of adults and is one of the top cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. Though the pain or discomfort can happen anywhere in your back, the most commonly affected area is the lower back. This is because the lower back supports most of the body’s weight. Low back pain can result from a sudden or acute injury to the muscles and ligaments supporting the back or from chronic overuse that leads to arthritis. The type of pain can range from moderate to severe and debilitating. Leading pain management and rehabilitation centers based in Brooklyn, NYC offer effective non-surgical treatment modalities to address the immediate symptoms of back pain.

Both men and women are equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant pain to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Many factors can contribute to low back pain. Long hours of sitting at work,poor posture (when using computers), incorrect body movement, carrying or lifting heavy items, bending for long periods, and overstretching can strain the back and cause problems over time. Structural issues such as ruptured discs, sciatica, arthritis, scoliosis and osteoarthritis also cause back pain.

Symptoms

One of the prominent symptoms of low back pain is an ache or pain anywhere in the back, and sometimes all the way down to the buttocks and legs. People may also experience any of the following symptoms –

  • Weakness in your legs and feet
  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain in your leg, hip, or the bottom of your foot
  • Dull achy feeling or sharp pain

Treatment Modalities – What Are the Options?

Initial diagnosis of low back pain will begin with a detailed physical examination and assessment of symptoms. The physician will examine your back and assess your ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs. These assessments help determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move before pain forces you to stop, and whether you have muscle spasms. In addition, diagnostic imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI scans, CT scans, nerve studies and bone scans may be conducted to evaluate the state of the soft tissues in the back.

Leading multi-specialty healthcare and rehabilitation centers in Brooklyn, NYC have a special team of pain management doctors on board who coordinate and provide effective low back pain treatment. Physiotherapists, neurologists, orthopedists, chiropractors and other physicians work as a team to identify the root causes of pain. They then develop and implement a customized treatment plan on that basis. Common treatment modalities include –

  • Physical therapyPhysical therapy consists of therapeutic exercise programs such as general strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercises that help to improve normal function and movement of joints.
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) – This therapy utilizes low-voltage electrical current to reduce muscle stiffness and pain.
  • Chiropractic treatment – This involves spinal manipulation using the hands or a special instrument.
  • Heat/Ice Application – Heat application relaxes and soothes the muscles and heals the injured tissue. Cold therapy on the other hand, lowers blood flow to the affected area, thereby reducing swelling, inflammation and pain.
  • Radiofrequency ablation – An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.
  • Pain medications – Medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, and muscle relaxants may be prescribed to alleviate back pain.

Practicing proper body mechanics and improving physical condition will help people to avoid low back pain or prevent its reoccurrence in the long run. Maintaining a healthy life style by engaging in regular body exercise, consuming a nutritious diet, maintaining a good posture, and lifting objects in the proper way are some of the best strategies to avoid backache. In addition, do not sit or stand for long periods of time and always adopt the right posture to ensure optimal pain relief.

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