Do You Suffer From Back Pain? What Can Be Done About It?

You might have intermittent back pain, or perhaps it’s been a long-term problem and there seems to be no cure. If you are one of the 80 per cent of Britons who suffer from back pain, you might be wondering what, if anything, can be done to alleviate it.

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Some causes of back pain

There are several possible causes of disc pain, but generally, if the pain persists, nerve fibres may have grown into the disc’s interior instead of residing in the outer layers of the disc as they normally do.

You may experience lower back pain because of a disc injury. This might have made the material from the centre of the disc shift to the disc’s outer layers. This will irritate the nerves in those layers, so producing pain.

Back pain can result from:

  • lifting a heavy object without adequate training in how to do this safely.
  • a fall or injury.
  • a sports injury.
  • sitting in one position for some time without adequate back support.
  • carrying a heavy bag, whether in your hand or on your shoulder.
  • being overweight.

Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)

If you have chronic lower back pain, you may wish to consider Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET). It is a relatively new surgical procedure that can be done in your local outpatient’s department. There’s no need for you to stay in hospital. The procedure can be carried out using a local anaesthetic. It is usually used for people who have been suffering with chronic disc-related pain for between 3 to 6 months, despite using orthopaedic back supports, spine supports, and so on.

However, there is not really any evidence that IDET works and according to some researchers, notably R. Chou and his fellow researchers. They concluded, in their 2009 study published as ‘Surgery for low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society Clinical Practice Guidelines,’ (Spine Journal, Spine, 34(10): 1066-1077) that there was very little benefit to IDET when compared with non-surgical therapy. Most experts in the field do not recommend it.

Wait and see

Luckily back pains often get better on their own. However, there are things that you can do to help get rid of them.

  • Having a warm bath helps relax the muscles and some people swear that swimming in the sea helps too.
  • Try putting a hot water bottle or a heated pad on the painful area.
  • Don’t stay in bed for more than a day or two, as if you do, you could make the pain worse.
  • Yoga can help, as can doing stretching exercises.
  • Visit a chiropractor or osteopath and have them massage your back.
  • Book an appointment with an acupuncturist and try this type of therapy.

Of course, there are many painkillers on the market, but don’t come to rely on them. There are also creams specially designed to relieve muscle pains.
Try these easy ways to relieve your back pain before deciding to opt for surgery, which should be seen as a last resort.

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