Massage to Medications: Choosing Treatment For Low Back Pain
It’s no secret that getting a massage feels good. There’s something about getting deep pressure on the muscles that just relaxes the body and mind. But does the feeling subside after the massage is done? Sometimes those relaxing feelings can last for days. Massage can become a part of your treatment plan for low back pain. Science backs up benefits from massage like lower blood pressure and less pain. Keep reading to learn more about the best treatment for low back pain.
Self-Care and Lifestyle Modification
Taking care of low back pain on your own is very important. They include keeping a good posture, avoiding activities that worsen the pain, and taking breaks from sitting or standing for long periods.
A short rest can help relieve severe pain, but you shouldn’t stay in bed too long because it can weaken your muscles and slow your recovery. Putting hot or cold packs on the area can help ease the pain and swelling.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Physical therapy aims to make the back and core muscles stronger, more flexible, and able to move more freely. A physical therapist will make an exercise plan for you, including stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic exercises.
Some of these are the McKenzie exercises. These exercises focus on centering and reducing back pain, and others are core stabilization exercises, which strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen.
Massage therapy involves moving the body’s soft tissues, such as muscles and connective tissues, to relieve pain and relax people. Based on what each person needs, different methods can be used.
Swedish massage uses long, kneading strokes to improve blood flow and make you feel more relaxed. Deep tissue massage works on the deeper layers of muscle to eliminate pain and tension. Trigger point therapy focuses on specific areas of muscle tension or “knots” to relieve pain and increase the range of motion.
Chiropractors use manual manipulation of the spine to get the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, back into place. The goal of these adjustments is to relieve pain, improve function, and help the body heal itself. In addition to the adjustments, chiropractors may offer treatments like massage, stretching, and exercises.
Low back pain can be temporarily helped by over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). NSAIDs are also good for reducing swelling.
Sometimes, a doctor or nurse may give you stronger painkillers or muscle relaxants to help with severe pain or muscle spasms. But these medicines are usually only used briefly because of the risk of side effects and becoming dependent on them.
In some cases, when other conservative treatments haven’t provided sufficient relief, facet injections for back pain may be considered. Corticosteroids and local anesthetics are injected directly into the facet joints of the spine. This helps to reduce inflammation and ease pain. This option is usually only for people with very bad pain or who haven’t gotten better with other treatments.
Choose the Right Treatment for Low Back Pain
Overall, choosing the right treatment for low back pain can provide effective pain relief. Deciding whether to use massage or medications depends on a person’s preferences, treatment success, and the type of injury. If you are unsure which option to pursue, consult your doctor for personalized advice.
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