Lower back pain affects as many as four in five people at some point in their lives. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. The pain may be caused by a variety of factors, such as muscle strains, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or osteoarthritis. Symptoms may include stiffness, limited mobility, and muscle weakness. No matter what causes your lower back pain, one thing remains certain: You deserve treatment that works.
Lower back pain can also radiate to other areas of the body, such as the legs or hips. In some cases, it can be debilitating and interfere with daily activities. Treatment options may include physical therapy, pain medication, and surgery. Although spine surgery may be the best option for some people, it is far from the only option!
The lower back pain experts at Dayton Orthopedic Surgery will create a custom treatment plan, that will go through every available non-surgical treatment available, if that is your wish.
If you have low back pain, we might recommend:
1 – Improving your posture
Poor posture can put extra stress on the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the lower back.
When the spine is not in its proper alignment, it can cause the muscles in the lower back to work harder than they should, leading to strain and pain. Good posture helps to distribute the weight of the upper body evenly across the spine, reducing the strain on any one area and promoting proper alignment of the spine. Additionally, good posture can help to improve the function of the abdominal and back muscles, which can help to support the spine and reduce the risk of injury.
2 – Modifying your Activities
Modifying your activities can help alleviate lower back pain by reducing the stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the lower back. This can be achieved by:
- Limiting activities that involve heavy lifting, twisting, or bending
- Avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing
- Incorporating regular exercise, such as swimming, walking, or cycling, which can help to strengthen the muscles in the lower back and improve flexibility.
- Incorporating regular stretching, which can help to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
- Utilizing proper body mechanics when performing activities, such as lifting heavy objects by bending the knees and keeping the back straight.
- Using assistive devices, such as a back brace or a lumbar roll, can help to support the lower back and reduce the stress on the muscles and joints.
3 – Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is a structured treatment, designed to address the cause of your lower back pain. Physical therapy helps you gain strength, improve your posture, and navigate daily life with less pain.
In the office, your physical therapist guides you through exercises to build strength in your back and core to alleviate pain. We may also prescribe stretches and exercises for you to do at home. A simple stretching routine can make a big difference for many back pain sufferers.
4 – Finding the Right Pain Medication
We often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxers, or other types of medication for our patients with acute lower back pain. We are also licensed to prescribe medicinal marijuana within the State of Ohio, which can make a world of difference for people with chronic pain. For many people, medication offers temporary relief, so they can focus on other treatments to manage pain more effectively.
We work closely with you throughout treatment in an effort to minimize side effects and ensure the medication is having its intended effect.
5 – Consider Spinal Stimulation
Read our article on spinal stimulation for more information about this potentially transformative treatment!
Spinal stimulation works by ‘jamming’ or ‘fuzzing out’ pain signals before they have the chance to be registered by the brain. This can be achieved with a temporary TENS machine, or a permanent implanted stim machine, similar to a pacemaker.
6 – Spine Injections for lower back pain
They sound pretty horrific, we know, but they can offer welcome relief from lower back pain. These targeted treatments administer a steroid, a numbing medication, or both into the precise area causing pain. Types of injections for back pain include: nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and nerve ablations, and treatment can block pain signals from reaching your brain.
When your back hurts, you need practical, personalized advice to start the healing process. Come to Dayton Orthopedic Surgery to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan that’s right for you.