The lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) regions of our spine are responsible for bearing our weight and are involved in moving, bending, and twisting. It is the reason why these areas are more prone to strain.
Lumbar strain and sprain cause lower back pain. Abnormal muscle stretch or tearing of muscle fibers is a leading cause of lumbar muscle strain, whereas a sprain is caused when the ligaments stretch abnormally. Both these could be due to injury or gradual overuse.
The abnormal stretching of muscles and ligaments causes inflammation in the soft tissue leading to pain and muscle spasm.
Although lower back pain due to lumbar strain and sprain can be very severe, it does not require surgery. You may deal with it through other non-invasive treatments.
Let us walk you through the management options for chronic spinal pain-
- Physical therapy
Visit a spine center in Spokane and your therapist will recommend you exercise. Your spine therapist will curate exercises to counter your condition and symptoms.
Working out under the guidance of your spine therapist or physician will bring immediate relief to your pain.
Physical therapy for spinal pain includes core strengthening exercises, flexibility and stretching, aerobic exercises, etc.
Injection-based treatments are very effective in dealing with severe spinal pain. Various spine centers in Spokane extend this treatment entailing nerve blocks, nerve excision, epidural steroid-based injections, and other such procedures. This modality is indicated only when the underlying cause of pain is known.
However, injection-based treatment provides temporary relief in pain. It may stop or reduce the intensity for some time but cannot offer a long-term solution.
- Meditation and mindfulness
Not only physically, but chronic spinal pain can also drain you emotionally. You may feel irritated, depressed, and frustrated. To deal with the psychological facets of persistent spinal pain, your therapist may refer you to a rehabilitation psychologist.
Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and other such types of cognitive and relaxation therapies help in relaxing your mind.
A high-inflammatory diet comprising refined sugar, trans fat, and processed foods can flare pain. Some healthy dietary changes can bring relief to chronic back pain.
- Lifestyle changes
Chronic spinal pain can interfere with your life. It may limit your movements and affect you mentally too, and hence, it becomes necessary to accept it and adapt to it.
With chronic spinal pain, you can’t expect yourself to lift heavy weights or mow the lawn in one go as putting more stress on the body can worsen the pain. Taking a break from straining physical activities can prevent the worsening of the existing issue.
Furthermore, nicotine can worsen the pain and prolong healing. Giving up smoking can help with chronic spinal pain.
- Alternative therapies
Alternative therapies like acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, massages, stimulation of nerves, and laser therapy can relieve the symptoms of chronic spinal pain.
The pain clinics in Spokane extend these alternative treatment therapies to deal with pain.
- Pharmacological treatments
Although it offers only symptomatic relief, taking analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxants can relieve back pain for a limited period. However, their prolonged use can cause severe side-effects and addiction.
Hence, it is best to avoid popping medications.
The bottom line
Numbers say that 50 percent of all working adults deal with the symptoms of back pain every year. Lower back pain is counted amongst the leading cause of disability across the world.
So, if you are dealing with back pain, do not ignore it. Visit a pain doctor, take therapies, and make lifestyle modifications to deal with it.