Saturday, September 3, 2011

Medical treatments for Back Pain

Natural treatments for back problems, it should be obvious from the range of medical conditions that can cause back pain that natural treatments are not capable of curing every problem that might cause such pain. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs (more commonly known as nonspecific anti-inflammatory drugs) can sometimes be useful for reducing the pain in your back, and also bringing down any associated inflammation. However, like all pharmaceutical drugs, even NSAIDs can have side-effects such as an increased risk of gastro-intestinal bleeding.

Thus, they are not ideal for everyone who suffers from a back pain problem, and they should be taken for as short a period of time as possible. In addition, there are narcotic pain killers that will reduce the pain symptoms, but they can also be used only for a limited period of time with any degree of safety. Drug based muscle relaxants might also be prescribed by your medical attendant if the primary cause of your back pain problems is muscle spasms. In this case, however, muscle relaxants (such as Valium) are likely to make you drowsy, so once again, great care has to be applied if you intend to take such drugs.

If you are suffering from inflammation around the spinal nerves, your medical practitioner may recommend an epidural steroid injection that will reduce both the pain and the inflammation around the nerves at the same time. Steroids are another pharmaceutical drug that you should only take for a limited period of time, and most people who have had an epidural will tell you that it is no walk in the park!

The final solution is spinal surgery, but this actually only happens in a small number of cases. Spinal surgery only becomes necessary after trying all other treatments without success, hence it is most commonly used as a treatment of last resort.

Spinal surgery is only really effective for a limited number of conditions such as spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis or to remove a ruptured disc should that become necessary (which is unusual).

Most physicians will only consider surgery when they believe that the risk of not undertaking surgery is greater than the risk of doing so. For example, if after a considerable period of non-invasive treatment, a slipped or ruptured disc is not getting any better, it can quite easily start to get worse. In this situation, it is possible that spinal surgery will be considered.

Balanced against this, there is always a risk involved in such surgical procedures, specifically the risk of paralysis, because this is surgery undertaken in very close proximity to the individual patient’s spinal cord. Surgery is generally only considered when all else has failed and the situation is clearly deteriorating.

Beyond this short list of recognized medical treatments for various causes of back pain and associated problems, there are many natural treatments that you can apply to reduce the severity of your back pain, and to treat your condition at the same time.

Before starting to look at these natural treatments in greater detail, however, let me first set out what I would consider to be a sensible approach to consulting a qualified member of the medical profession about your back pain problem.

As suggested, the majority of back problems that most people suffer from are likely to be caused by muscle strains of one form or another. In this situation, it is unlikely that there will be any need for serious medical attention or treatment.

While not belittling the fact that back muscle strains can be very painful indeed, there is very little that your medical practitioner can do to help you in this situation other than prescribing painkillers and relieving creams or ointments. Unless you know that these are 100% natural, you may not want to take or use them in any event.

If you have a new case of back pain that you cannot explain, you may want to contact your medical practitioner for an evaluation.

However, there are certain situations where you should definitely seek medical attention for your back pain, because it may be that it is a symptom or an indication of something that might be more serious. In particular, make sure that you contact your doctor if:

• The pain lasts more than a week or so, and does not seem to be decreasing in severity;
• You have a back pain that is accompanied with an inability to properly control your bladder or bowels;
• You have chills, fevers. sweating, trembling or find that you feel alternately hot and cold. In this case, you have a fever as well as back pain, which clearly needs checking at the soonest opportunity;
• You notice any other unusual additional symptoms that would not normally be associated with a muscle strain or ligament sprain. Share Health|Fitness
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1 comment:

  1. Wow. You missed what even the AMA is recognizing as a superior treatment approach for uncomplicated, non-specific acute and chronic low back pain - Chiropractic. You're right that not all cases respond to any one treatment, and a good exam by a qualified professional is an absolute necessity to make sure you are approaching the situation in the best possible way. You mentioned reasons to consult a doctor, but didn't indicate why. Chills, fever -- could indicate infection which can go south very quickly if it is involving the spine. Incontinence can indicate a rare but potentially devastating nerve bundle compression in the low back. These aren't just a matter of seeing a doctor - these are "See a doctor... NOW!" While you are thinknig about all this, go get a Chiropractor you know and trust on your family's healthcare team. If you don't know one, ask around... There are great chiropractic doctors out there.