Episodes of back pain occur in more than 80% of people at least once in their life. Soreness of this type is one of the most common complaints faced by therapists, neurologists and physicians of other specialties.
There are a number of problems that can lead to lower back pain. Relief from pain should happen timely and take into account causes of occurrence of disease states.
The main causes of discomfort in the lower back are:
- injuries to muscles, ligaments or joints
- degenerative changes in the spine
- narrowing of the spinal canal
- low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue
- fibromyalgia syndrome
Relatively rare causes of lower back pain can be neurological and infectious diseases, ankylosing spondylitis, vertebral fractures, vertebral tumors and diseases of the internal organs.
It is normal to feel lower back soreness, especially for physically active people. This happens due to the body’s natural reaction to microtrauma of soft tissues. Workouts, sharp movements and weight lifting are the most common causes of light lower back pain.
Pain relief in humans can be pleasurable and rewarding. Simple exercises aimed at strengthening of the muscular corset and normalization of the blood supply can be performed at home or at work. To do this, you do not need to have special knowledge and spend a lot of time.
Physical exercises will relieve back pain and will help reduce the likelihood of injuries in the future. They can be performed by a person of any age and with any level of physical fitness. Type of injury and the person’s age should be taken into account when choosing intensity and duration of exercise.
Heat helps to speed up healing of soft tissues in the long term. Application of ice or cold compresses reduces inflammation immediately after the pulled muscle.
If light pain does not disappear or worsens, it is better to consult a physiotherapist. Such specialists help people affected by injuries, diseases, disability, as well as women experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy.
Pain relief and other distressing symptoms contribute to rapid recovery and strengthening of muscle tissue. As a result, quality of life is improved in people and they are able to stay healthy as long as possible.
Physiotherapists apply their skills and knowledge not only to reduce back pain. Physiotherapy is based on involvement of the person in the process of helping himself. Consultation with such specialists will allow to learn more about prevention of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory and other disorders.
A qualified physiotherapist will find out about the person’s existing or past health problems. Then the physiotherapist will determine the cause of lower back soreness, will offer treatment and help prevent development of further health problems. The patient can be offered a number of procedures that have proven their effectiveness in dealing with back pain, such as massages, acupuncture or yoga.
Tips for lower back pain relief will help to remain employable and physically active. However, if soreness of the back is caused by moderate or severe soft tissue injuries, skeletal injuries, stenosis, osteoporosis or other diseases, use of the following medications can be required:
- Weak analgesics
- Vasoactive drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Opioid analgesics
NSAIDs or weak analgesics are most often used for treatment of patients suffering from back pain. Such drugs have analgesic effect, reduce physical suffering and rarely cause side effects.
Unlike other drugs, NSAIDs provide analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, if the disease states are caused by inflammation, NSAIDs are recommended.
The main mechanism of NSAIDs action is to block prostaglandins production (mediators of inflammatory pain). During use of such drugs, the amount of prostaglandins in the inflammatory focus is rapidly decreasing and physical suffering disappears.
Lower back pain relief is achieved within a few hours after taking medications of the NSAIDs group. Use of recommended doses of NSAIDs several times per day will allow to maintain a stable analgesic effect.
NSAIDs are considered safe drugs, but sometimes adverse reactions occur during their use. The most frequent of them are heartburn, dry mouth, gastric ulcer and other gastrointestinal side effects.
NSAIDs or mild analgesics can be taken in combination with vasoactive drugs, muscle relaxants and medications of other types. Their application helps:
- Reduce duration of treatment
- Reduce risk of developing adverse reactions
- Reduce excess muscle strain
- Improve functional capacity of the musculoskeletal system
- Maintain activity in everyday life
If physical suffering is intolerable or musculoskeletal disease is incurable, opioid analgesics or other powerful medications for lower back pain relief are used. Medications of this type are very effective, although their use is associated with certain risks.
Patients taking opioid analgesics may become addicted to them. Excess of the recommended dose causes a feeling of euphoria. Because of high risk of addiction and other side effects, such drugs are sold by prescription only.
It often happens that opioids are the only method of acute or chronic back pain relief. When such analgesics are taken under careful supervision of the treating physician, opioids are a safe and effective method of reducing physical suffering.