3 Ways To Reduce Back Pain Without Medication
When you have ongoing back pain, finding a way to reduce the problem without using medication or at least avoiding an increase in the medication you use is best. There are several strategies to reduce back pain that do not involve medication.
In some instances, chronic back pain can be the result of or increased by excess weight, especially if you generally carry excess weight around the abdomen. This extra weight can pull your spine forward and increase stress on your back muscles. In some people, excess weight also causes spine compression and can contribute to the degeneration of their vertebrae. When you are already physically limited by weight and/or back pain, you should discuss strategies with your doctor. Some people may benefit from medical weight loss interventions, such as medically supervised diets or bariatric surgery. Those who do not have as much weight to lose may only need a combination of nutritional counseling and help from a fitness coach. Working with a fitness coach who has a background in helping people with different physical issues means they have an understanding of what your body can do without causing new problems.
There are several pain management strategies that do not involve medications. For example, retail or prescription lidocaine is one option. This is available in the form of a cream or patch that can be applied to your back and may reduce some of the pain. Since the retail version is a lower concentration of lidocaine, you may want to ask your doctor for prescription-strength versions. Many people find retail heating or cooling ointments can also be effective, especially if your pain is due to either muscle tension or arthritic changes. These products may not be as effective if you are dealing with neuropathic pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices are also available at retail outlets or better devices are available by prescription. Since these devices send a signal to interrupt pain signals, they can be effective at reducing some types of back pain. You should be cautious about using TENS units if you have back spasms since the electrical current could aggravate this problem.
Attending regular physical therapy sessions should be high on your list of ways to reduce back pain because virtually anyone can benefit from sessions. Physical therapy can involve many different activities and the use of assistive devices. For example, your physical therapist may want you to engage in exercises that help strengthen other muscles and place less strain on your back, in addition to working on your posture. Assistive devices, such as a back brace, can also be helpful. Sometimes back pain is caused or exacerbated by other problems, such as issues with your weight-bearing joints. When you are compensating for bad feet, ankles, knees, or hips, it is easy to ultimately add stress to your back. All of these issues will need to be addressed in physical therapy before you notice a decrease in back pain.
Although medication is sometimes necessary to reduce back pain, you should continue to explore other back pain treatment options that might have long-term benefits. In some cases, improving strength and reducing excess strain on your back will give you more long-term reductions in back pain.