Practitioners near you who treat back pain

Back pain is when you feel sore in any part of your back area – upper, middle or lower.

Your back pain could throb from a pulled muscle, ligament or joint. It could burn from a nerve injury. Or it may feel sharp and relate to bone problems. Sometimes, it relates to something more serious.

A complex connection of vertebrae, discs, muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons flow through your back. It’s because there are so many areas where dysfunction can occur, that there are many causes of back pain.

Upper back pain

This often relates to injuries, poor posture, neck problems or arthritis.

Middle back pain

Can occur from injuries, acid reflux, pinched nerves, bulging discs, osteoarthritis.

Lower back pain

May result from straining injuries, postural problems or bone issues.

To complicate things, your back pain could be a mix of these factors. Or relate to other health conditions that contribute to back pain.

It’s because there are so many causes that there are so many back pain relief options. Many of these are self-care remedies that you can use at home.

This is great if your back pain is mild. But, if it’s more disabling and stops you from living your normal life, it’s time to look deeper.

Contact your health practitioner if your back pain:

  • Lasts more than a few weeks
  • Is severe
  • Doesn’t improve with rest
  • Radiates down your legs, especially below your knee
  • Creates numbness, tingling or weakness in one or both legs.

Occasionally, back pain symptoms relate to a serious medical condition. Please see your doctor asap for back pain that:

  • Occurs after a fall or injury to the back
  • Is associated with unexplained weight loss
  • Presents with a fever
  • Causes bowel or bladder problems.

Celebrities with Back Pain

Many celebrities have spoken about their back pain symptoms.

Rene Russo is an American actress and model. She developed back pain at a young age because of scoliosis. For her, back pain relief came from wearing a back brace. In fact, the brace was so effective that it stopped her from needing surgery. These days, Rene exercises often and uses acupuncture to control back pain.

Charlize Theron is an award-winning actress and producer. Her upper back pain began after she slipped and landed on her neck whilst filming Aeon Flux. The injury was so bad that Charlize herniated her 3rd and 4th vertebrae. It also caused the right side of her body to go numb. Corrective surgery was the best neck and back pain treatment in this situation. It fixed the problem, and Charlize was back on set after only 6 six weeks. She says physiotherapy helped her make a swift recovery.

Unfortunately, back pain symptoms can occur at any age. Rene is a prime example of this as her scoliosis was diagnosed when she was 10 years old.

Preventing Back Problems

The best way to decrease your risk of back pain is to know the contributing factors:

  1. Being 40+ years of age
  2. Sedentary lifestyle
  3. Being overweight
  4. Poor posture
  5. Improper lifting technique
  6. Smoking
  7. Having anxiety or depression.

Signs and Symptoms

Back pain symptoms vary depending on the cause of your condition and its location. Whether you have upper back pain, middle or lower back pain, you could experience:

  • Pain or discomfort in the back 
  • Back muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Impaired movement
  • Bowel or bladder changes
  • Fever
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability.

Treatments

Back pain treatment aims to decrease discomfort and increase mobility. Yet, this may not be enough if back pain is a symptom of another condition. In this instance, seeking treatment for the primary condition is the best way to get back pain relief.

Medical Suggestions

  • Medications:
    • NSAIDs – Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, can relieve back pain from many causes. However, they come with side effects and are best for short term relief only.
    • Muscle Relaxants – These may be used if NSAIDs don’t work or give insufficient relief.
    • Narcotics – While these can relieve pain, they’re potent and only considered as a last resort in the short-term. Recent studies suggest that over-the-counter doses offer little relief. 
    • Antidepressants – Some antidepressant medications can help chronic back pain. They work by modulating neurotransmitters and pain responses in the brain.
  • Surgery – This may be necessary if the pain is severe or you’ve injured your back. The most common back surgery is called a Laminectomy. It treats lumbar spinal stenosis by removing parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the back. This helps to ease pressure on spinal nerves, which are responsible for pain signals.
  • Other procedures:
    • Cortisone Injections – These may be used if pain radiates down the leg and other treatments haven’t helped. They may decrease pain and inflammation, but usually only help for a month or so.
    • Implanted nerve stimulators – Involves implanting a small device that blocks pain signals under the skin.

Supportive Medical Suggestions

  • Weight Loss – Being overweight or obese can strain the lower back and cause pain. Use exercise and dietary changes to support weight loss.
  • Limit Alcohol – Large intakes of alcohol can decrease the amount of water in vertebral discs. If these discs dehydrate, they shrink, become painful and swollen. If avoiding alcohol isn’t an option, you can limit your intake to 2 standard drinks a few days per week.
  • Alternative Therapies – Health Practitioners can assess and treat your back pain naturally. Helpful choices include Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Exercise Physiologists.

Causes

The causes of back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Nerve injury
  • Poor posture
  • Herniated disc
  • Accidents involving the neck or back
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis (there are 100+ types)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acid reflux
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Diabetes
  • Scoliosis
  • Cancer.

What Works For Back Pain – Natural Options

Physiotherapy – Uses hands-on techniques to diagnose, assess and treat back pain. It’s especially useful if an injury or muscle/ligament strain is causing your pain.

Chiropractic Care – Involves manipulating the spine to align the vertebral column. It’s useful when back troubles relate to postural issues or nerve impingement.

Osteopathy – Great if you want spinal manipulation… but aren’t comfortable with chiropractic techniques. Osteopaths use gentle, holistic methods to support the back and relieve pain.

Myotherapy – Ideal for chronic back pain. Treatments include trigger point therapy, soft tissue massage, muscle energy technique, joint mobilisation, exercise routines and more.

Massage – If your back pain relates to tight or tense muscles, massage can help. It’s a great way to relax muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins.

Acupuncture – Studies regularly show that acupuncture helps reduce pain and inflammation. It also stimulates the release of feel-good hormones that make you more relaxed.

Exercise – Avoid sitting still for long periods of time if you have back pain. Movement helps blood, oxygen and healing nutrients reach the site of discomfort faster. Exercise also helps to prevent stiffness and help you maintain a healthy weight. Yoga and Pilates are great pain-relieving options. Exercise Physiologists can also help with exercise routines specific for your back condition.

Herbal Treatments

 Analgesic and anti-inflammatory herbs can help with back pain relief. They’re also a great alternative to pharmaceutical medications. You may want to try:

  • Turmeric – Contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic. It’s a great alternative to NSAIDs. Plus, it can help regulate serotonin and dopamine (feel-good chemicals) in the brain.
  • Jamaican Dogwood – Choose this analgesic herb if your back issue relates to nerve problems. It helps reduce discomfort, inflammation and swelling. However, it can also make you feel sleepy.
  • Stinging Nettle – It’s super-rich in magnesium and many other minerals that are essential for bone, muscle and nerve health. 

Find A Professional

The following health experts can help your back feel better:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Acupuncturists
  • Myotherapists
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Naturopaths
  • Ayurveda Practitioners
  • Pilates Instructors
  • Yoga Instructors

Supporting Someone With Back Pain

Here’s how to support someone with a sore back:

  1. Patience. Having a sore back can slow you down. Be patient if your friend moves slower than they normally would. Try slowing your pace a little to stay with them, as it will make them feel less stressed.
  2. Help. Your friend may struggle to complete common tasks. Packing the dishwasher, hanging out the washing and even lifting small items can be hard. Ask if they need help with anything while they’re in severe pain.
  3. Encourage. It’s best to keep moving, at least a little, when your back is sore. If your friend is sitting on the couch all day, encourage them to move a little. A short walk or gentle stretching may help speed up their healing. Do the movement with them as a gesture of support.

FAQs

What contributes to upper back pain?

  • Muscle sprains/strains
  • Neck problems
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Poor posture
  • Arthritis

 

What are natural back pain treatments?

You may get back pain relief from using these natural options:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Massage
  • Analgesic Herbs, e.g. Turmeric, Jamaican Dogwood
  • Exercise
  • Weight Loss
  • Alternating hot and cold packs
  • Muscle rubs.

 

What is the most common reason for back pain?There are many causes of back pain. However, injuring a muscle or ligament is the most common reason for back pain. These injuries usually heal within a few weeks and can be treated at home.

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