Lower Back pain


Chronic Lower Back Pain Treatment

Chronic Lower Back Pain Treatment

The lower back, also known as the lumbar spine is the last part of the spinal cord. It is made up of bones which are called vertebrae. Between each vertebra, there are discs which are made of tissues that have an elastic texture, making the lower back strong and flexible. The vertebrae are connected to each other with the help of ligaments which help in giving strength and support to the spine. Lower back pain occurs in that part of the spine which has the maximum movement. When a person stands upright, it is the lower back that has to support and bear the weight of the whole body. Besides, it is because of the flexibility of the lumbar spine that we are able to perform various movements like bending, rotating, etc. The lower back also plays an important role in protecting some tissues of the nervous system and organs of the abdomen and pelvis
As the lower back does not remain stable all the time, it is at high risk of getting injured due to accidents or while bending to pick up something. This can result into pain in the lower back. Lower back pain can also occur due to irritation in the nerves that connect the spine to the nervous system. Usually lower back pain is acute, triggered by factors such as strain to it or minor accidents and goes away in some days time. However, when the pain continues for a long period of time (more than three months), then it can be said that a person has chronic lower back pain

Chronic lower back pain is a severe condition and can cause major discomfort to an individual. Sometimes it also happens that the exact cause of lower back pain is not detectable. The physician may check the patient's medical history and do some physical examination tests. If these are not enough, then pathological tests may be recommended, like, X-ray, MRI, CT scan, blood tests, EMG, bone scans, etc.

Treatment for lower back pain depends on the severity of the condition and the reasons for the development of pain. It would involve a combination of methods, like, medications, physical therapies and also sessions to teach coping skills.

Physical Therapy: Many people take to the bed when they have lower back pain, as any sort of movement causes them severe pain. But this is wrong as sometimes resting may aggravate the pain in the lower back. The physical therapist teaches the patient some stretching exercises to strengthen one's lower back. Although one may have to do these exercises for a long period of time, the results are quite effective. Physical therapy depends on the age of the person and the cause of the pain. Along with exercises, acupuncture also helps in reducing chronic back pain. Massage therapy is another form of treatment which would help in reducing lower back pain.

Medications: Medicines are given by the physician to reduce the pain in the lower back. The most common medicine that is prescribed for pain in the lumbar spine is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. If the lower back pain is due to some nerve irritation, then antidepressants and anti seizure medications may also be prescribed. However, these drugs should not be taken without consulting a doctor, as they have many side effects.

Coping Skills: As chronic lower back pain remains with a person for a long period of time, it is likely that the patient may get anxious and depressed. For this reason, it is necessary that the patient must have therapy sessions with a psychologist, who would teach the patient some skills to cope with the chronic pain.

If the chronic back pain is extremely severe, surgery may have to be performed. However, this very rare and if a doctor recommends it, the patient should preferably take a second opinion. Lower back pain diminishes with the help of effective treatment, however there have been cases where the pain springs back again. Continuing to do back exercises and other general exercises like running, swimming and walking would surely lessen the chances of the occurrence of chronic lower back pain.

By Deepa Kartha
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/chronic-lower-back-pain-treatment.html