According to a widely publicized study, four out of five individuals will suffer low back pain at some point in their lives. The condition affects both men and women, usually occurring between ages 30 and 50.
The findings of several studies point to the aging process as a major contributive factor in the development of low back pain between these ages. However, the condition has also been found to occur as a result of sedentary lifestyles with too little exercise, or too much exercise which the body is not accustomed to.
But while lower back pain can be a source of anxiety and great discomfort for the affected person, much of the low back treatment options currently available do not necessarily include surgery. In fact, the most common low back treatments in use today do not involve surgery at all.
Analgesics, reducing inflammation, preventing recurrence of episodes, restoring proper function and strength to the back, among others are the focus of most low back pain treatment methods.
The application of ice or heat packs/compresses as a method of low back pain treatment has never been scientifically proven. Even so, it remains the most common quick fix for low back pain. Following trauma, patients apply these compresses to the affected area to help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility.
- Apply ice or cold compress first to the injured area. Keep the compress on for up to 20 minutes several times a day.
- After 2-3 days, apply heat compress for brief periods. This will help relax the muscles and improve blood flow.
This form of lower back pain treatment should only be done for a period of one to two days at most. In a study conducted by Finnish scientists in 1996, it was found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest after an episode of low back pain appeared to have better flexibility than those who stayed in bed for a week. Several studies seem to correlate these findings as they observed that too much bed rest may make back pain worse or cause other complications, such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs.
This one way to keep active even while recovering from back pain. This low back pain treatment method will not only speed up recovery for low back pain but will also help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. For a list of gentle exercises that will help you keep your muscles moving and flexible without exerting too much strain, consult your doctor or therapist.
There will most likely be mild discomfort in the beginning of the exercises. However, as your body gradually becomes accustomed to the activity, the discomfort will disappear. Building and maintaining muscle strength through this low back pain treatment method is especially important for those suffering from skeletal irregularities.