Anyone can develop lower back pain in Las Vegas, but it is common among older people due to body changes that occur with age. You can have pain in your lower back due to muscle strain from poor posture or injuries. Sometimes it may signify an underlying medical condition such as osteoarthritis, sciatica, kidney infection, or spine cancer. Fortunately, you can manage or reduce the pain with self-care measures such as hot or cold compresses. However, this may not benefit everyone, especially those with chronic back pain. Here are other approaches used to treat lower back pain.
Sometimes pain in your lower back may be due to poor sitting posture, obesity, and habits such as smoking. For example, losing extra pounds can help reduce the pressure on your back, and quitting smoking can help reduce and prevent back pain. Proper sitting and standing positions may also help reduce and lower the risk of back pain development.
- Anti-inflammatory medications. These drugs are available over-the-counter and usually do not require a doctor’s prescription. They only help reduce the pain and do not address any underlying problem. You can consult with your doctor if you are unsure which drug to use. Since overuse can result in side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, you can only use them over a recommended period.
- Muscle relaxants. Your doctor may recommend muscle relaxants if you don’t find relief with anti-inflammatory drugs or if you have a condition like ulcers that do not allow you to use those drugs. It would be best if you only used muscle relaxants upon a doctor’s prescription and for the advised time since they can cause addiction. They are associated with side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, and dry mouth.
- Topical painkillers. These are available in different forms, including patches, ointments, and lotion. You can find them at your local medical store, but sometimes they may be a prescription from your doctor.
- Opioids. They include drugs such as oxycodone and are usually used if other medications don’t offer relief from pain. Since they are highly addictive, they should only be used for a short time and may not be an option for individuals with chronic pain.
Physical therapy is usually among the first line of treatment for chronic lower back pain patients. It may include exercises to strengthen your core, stretch your muscles, improve flexibility and test your pain tolerance. Physical therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach since specialists tailor activities to meet the specific needs of patients. Exercises are helpful in both pain management and prevention. Consider working with a specialist instead of figuring out the practices yourself at home for the best results.
Corticosteroid injections offer temporary relief from pain and may be combined with local anesthesia. Your doctor injects the drug in the epidural space, which usually requires an imaging test such as ultrasound for guidance. Patients whose pain results from nerve root compression may benefit from cortisone injections. You may need another injection after the drug’s effect wears out and pain returns.
Do not let back pain interfere with your day-to-day activities. Visit your specialist at McNulty Spine for treatment to improve your quality of life.