Getting Back To Pain-Free Living

Most adults experience back pain in their lives. Lower back pain, in particular, is so common that as many as 80% of adults have suffered from it. Drug companies are financially doing quite well with non-prescription and prescription medications to combat tightness, pain, swelling, inflammation, etc. But there are natural alternatives to help fight the problem as well. Let’s first understand common causes, then give an overview of treatments, and finally, review prevention techniques.

Back Pain Causes

Common risks for lower back pain include:

  • Age
  • Fitness level
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Genetics
  • Work-related conditions
  • Mental health
  • Backpacks (particularly in children)

The NIH explains, “In many cases, low back pain is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.” Examples include:

  • Sprains and strains: affecting ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles
  • Disc degeneration, herniation, or rupture: pertaining to spinal discs
  • Radiculopathy: related to a spinal nerve root, such as the sciatic nerve
  • Spondylolisthesis: involving out-of-place vertebra causing pinched nerves
  • Injury: traumatic occurring as the result of a car accident, sports injury, workplace fall, etc.
  • Spinal stenosis: when the spinal cord narrows and as a result, results in undue pressure
  • Scoliosis and lordosis: referring to skeletal anomalies

Back Pain Treatments

The list of treatment options is overwhelming, and effectiveness, especially long-term, varies from helpful to unproven. Common back pain treatments include:

  • Medications
    • Analgesics: specifically for pain, including, but not limited to acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), aspirin (e.g. Bayer), opioids (e.g. codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine)
    • NSAIDs: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (e.g. Advil), naproxen sodium (e.g. Aleve)
    • Anticonvulsants: primarily used for treating seizures
    • Antidepressants: whose benefit for lower back pain is up for debate
    • Topicals: such as creams and sprays
  • Non-surgical back pain treatments
    • Hot packs
    • Ice packs
    • Stretching
    • Strengthening exercises
    • Physical therapy
    • Massage
    • Chiropractic care
    • Acupuncture
    • Biofeedback
    • Far infrared technology
  • Additional back pain treatments
    • Nerve block therapy
    • Epidural steroid injections
    • Electrical stimulation such as TENS
  • Surgical back pain treatments
    • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
    • Spinal laminectomy
    • Discectomy or microdiscectomy
    • Foraminotomy
    • Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET)
    • Nucleoplasty
    • Spinal fusion
    • Artificial disc replacement

Back Pain Prevention

Although some back pain cannot be prevented, there are many recommendations to help keep your back healthy. Here are “Six Simple S’s” to keep in mind for optimal spine satisfaction:

healthy back gladiator

  • Sleep: fetal position isn’t just for babies, and can help, as can avoiding a mattress that is not firm enough
  • Stretch: before physical activity, whether it be for work, exercise, competition, etc.
  • Squat: when lifting, bend the knees and keep the back straight
  • Straighten: when standing or sitting, don’t slouch and keep your weight balanced
  • Support: from your chair to your desk to your keyboard (at home and at work), be sure you have the proper lumbar support within the objects and tools you use every day
  • Stop: among so many other dangers, smoking can adversely affect blood flow to the spine and can increase the risk for serious conditions such as disc degeneration and osteoporosis

If you are suffering from chronic back discomfort and are not sure where to turn, give Gladiator Therapeutics a try. You have nothing to lose except back pain! 844-IT-WORKS

NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.