As discussed many times on this website, attempting to relieve back pain through less invasive means is always recommended however we totally understand when a shot can do the trick. There are of course many individuals that cannot bear their back pain any longer so they resort to using a solution like a back shot for pain relief. Though it can definitely create faster results due to the direct area of injection, there are numerous things which you might want to consider about these kinds of injections for back pain, especially the side effects.
Now why would anyone resort to this option if there are side effects right? Be aware that shots can be utilized to deal immediately with back discomfort and if monitored by a doctor, one can determine what is causing the back pain in the first place. Though there are many approaches to properly diagnose the reason for a persons back pain, a number of health professionals often choose to use injections for back pain since it can generate faster results. Yes, it will help you with the pain however make sure the reasoning to use injections is sound and not just to avoid not having to use other methods which would more than likely be safer.
What you want is a physician that would only consider using injections for back pain as their last resort if the pain can no longer be taken care of or relieved by some other medicinal and non-pharmacological ways for the patient. A good doctor would not let you even consider allowing an untrained personnel like a close relative or friend administer the injection for back pain relief into your body!
So we’ve discussed why someone would want to get a back shot to relieve their pain as well as stressed the fact that only a professional should perform the injection but we haven’t really discussed the options. One of the main diagnosis for back shots are related to chronic back pain associated to lower back pain and sciatica. Epidural steroid injections otherwise known as ESI’s are the common treatment option when a back shot is recommended and a critical component of a non-surgical treatment plan for back pain relief.
There are many debates about the long term benefits of implementing an epidural steroid program which usually involves on average of about three injections in a year. Those against back shots say that studies have shown that placebos have had similar results so the negatives of injecting someone and potential hitting a critical nerve are not worth the risks.
Of course, there are also many who say they’ve effectively managed their chronic back pain strictly with the use of ESI’s. A major thing to observe is if an x-ray is being used properly to locate the source of the back pain so the back shot can be inserted very near or exactly on the source. You may or may not be surprised but there are quite a few doctors that would skip this step and give you a back shot without doing the x-ray, which may be associated to the costs involved for doing so.
The risks of an epidural steroid injection are rare however one should be aware of them, which are common for any procedure that is invasive but important to consider due to the proximity to the spine. Chances of infection, bleeding, something specific known as a Dural puncture or also called a “wet tap” and the scariest of all, nerve damage to the spine.
As you can see, back pain shots in the form of epidural steroids have their benefits and their drawbacks so deciding if you will actually have it done is something you have to decide upon. Hopefully what we discussed gave you a better idea about back shots but if that wasn’t technical enough for you, more specific information on ESI’s can be read on this trusted back health site here. In the end, the decision comes down to you so do your due diligence on back pain relief and injections that can help.
These described activities can sometimes put so much pressure and weight on your back to eventually cause some low back injuries such as muscle strain or spasms, which can lead to sprains of ligaments, joint problems, slipped disks and other back problems. Now for those who have never experienced back pain, when we eventually experience it, you will realize it affects our daily functions and routines. The pain can range anywhere from something slightly annoying to so unbearable you cannot move! Understanding what caused your back pain is something you need to discuss with your doctor and will go a long way to figuring out how to help you avoid this or at least start you on the road to rehabilitation.
A common back pain problem is a slipped or herniated disk. If a disc between the bones of the spine inflames or bulges, and starts pressing on the surrounding nerves, a slipped or a herniated disc occurs. The reason one would experience this is usually caused by someone twisting while lifting something. Now, once you have a herniated disk, you may experience difficulty in doing common everyday tasks or activities like sitting and bending over. Obviously, when the injury is very severe, you have a tendency to avoid movement of all kinds due to the intense pain you experience. Many people do not realize what caused their slipped or herniated disk in the first place, but it is worth knowing that the damage will usually not lead to paralysis, and treatment is readily available by a competent doctor.
Natural Back Pain Relief
Treatment options for herniated or slipped disc can fall into either a non-surgical or surgical methods category with both treatments having some risks and benefits. It is important that you discuss these things over with your doctor to get a complete picture so you know what might work best for you. Most back pain problems are relieved by some simple methods that doctors would suggest, and at first will discuss natural techniques to reduce the irritation of the nerve and see if it helps. Natural pain relief techniques combined with enough bed rest, proper posture when sitting with the assistance of good chairs, and regular exercises can do the trick many times so you can avoid surgery.
Here are some back pain relief tips:
When you ready to go to bed, know that the best position to sleep in for your back is to be on your side with your knees bent. Of course a pillow under your head is recommended to support the neck and what would help alot is to use a pillow between your knees. This is the most recommended position for sleeping but if it doesn’t work for then you can also lie on your back on a firm mattress with simply pillows under your knees.
Or you can try lying on the floor with your hips and knees bent and placing your feet on a chair or elevated object as this will take the pressure and weight off your back. You might only need about two days or so of this sort of resting to relieve back pain of an injured back. Actually, too much bed rest can weaken your muscles in the back and then slow your recovery down.
Try to move as much as possible, even when it hurts sometimes, for short periods of time, for like a few minutes every hour. Such regular motion will help maintain your muscle tone, but remember to limit activities like prolonged sitting, lifting and bending which can aggravate the back pain symptoms.
A proper seating position can certainly help provide pain relief. Select chairs with straight backs or lower back support and if within your budget, the purchase of an ergonomic chair will do wonders for your back. A tip to help your back is to make sure you keep your knees a little higher than your hips while sitting. Make adjustments to your seat to achieve this or simply use a low stool to support your feet on. When you turn to do something in your chair, move your whole body rather than just turning your waist to do so.
There are many people who drive for a living, or at least spend long periods of time in a similar position. We’re sure you know that driving for long hours can strain your back so take this tip if this applies to you. Try to sit straight, moving your seat as forward as possible to keep you from leaning forward when you have to reach for some of the other controls. A way to help is to use a small pillow or rolled towel behind your back if you can’t adjust your sitting position to accomplish this.
Now for those people whose work requires that they stand stationary for a long time should find a way to rest one foot on a low stool from time to time and try to switch with the other foot every 5 to 15 minutes to help their back. Maintaining a good posture is always necessary to prevent future back pain and it’s advised to work on this as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to always try to keep your ears, shoulders and hips in a straight line with your head up and your stomach pulled in.
At the end of the day, when you still have this nagging pain in your back, sometimes you just need to relax any painful muscle spasms by using heat pads compressed on your back for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Also, ice packs and a good massage can give the same or even back pain relief benefits depending on the masseur.
Sometimes, painkillers are necessary when the pain gets too much to handle or when a surgical route is in order but you need relief immediately. Muscle relaxant medicines and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to relieve this pain and discomfort until the body heals itself or you have that surgery. Be aware that some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen sodium, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke so make sure to fully inform your doctor of your complete health condition and other medications you may be taking, as well as any previous family medical history.
As you can see, back pain relief and alleviation of other body aches are not impossible if addressed properly. Different drugs and therapies plus doing things to be proactive such as described above are options for people who need to regain their health and resume their normal life, to be free from pain and discomfort as much as possible!
Except in only a few instances, exercises for back pain are effective for all types of back pain, whether it’s in the lower back or upper back. Good exercises also provide a solution for back pain which may be related to genetic or trauma related deformities and subsequent pain that is associated with this.
Some Causes of Back Pain
Before we explore exercises to help relieve back pain, we should have a general understanding of the human spine and the possible causes of back pain. The human body depends on the spinal column for structural stability and mobility so any problems associated with it can cause imbalance in everything else.
The spine, sometimes better known as your backbone, gives one the necessary support to bend, twist or move the way we do. The spine comprises 24 vertebrae, which are placed on top of one another all the way from the skull to the pelvis, tightly wrapped by muscles and ligaments throughout. Now it goes without saying that any type of injury in these muscles or ligaments in your back can result in pain. To eliminate or reduce such pain, one can perform proper back pain exercises.
Exercises-The Safest Cure For Back Pain
Many times, back pain is commonly a result of spasms of the muscles supporting our spine. This happens because of improper back posture or sudden movements or jerks as well as repetitive actions.
Also but not talked about widely, diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, viral infection, bladder or kidney infection, gynecological problems in women, as well as tumors and trauma can also contribute to back pain.
It is well known that excess weight and the usual belly associated with being heavier can effect your back as well as wearing the wrong shoes or carrying heavy weights constantly can also result in pain.
The best remedy for back pain arising from these reasons is to perform exercises to relieve the pain in the back. The reason it is so effective is mainly because the exercises that one is to perform are usually much safer with less possible side effects that are usually associated with other treatments for back pain.
However, it should be known that back pain exercises are not proving to be effective in the cases where the pain is not caused by a wrong posture or sudden jerky movements, or those accompanied by bowel or bladder control problems. In such cases it is advisable that the person suffering from back pain should consult a doctor and get the appropriate medical treatment.
The best way to prevent back pain is to maintain good posture and keep your muscles in good condition by doing the right back pain exercises. To further avoid problems, never bend at the waist or stoop to pick up an object but instead we should lower our body to the level of the object by bending our knees and using the power of our legs to lift the object.
The most common but simple back pain exercise is to stand straight or sit in a comfortable chair that provides adequate support for your back so you can maintain good posture. You should avoid sitting or standing in the same position for a long time and get up and move about when you can.
Even when you sleep, you should be careful about the type of mattress you use and invest in a great bed appropriate for you. Slouching or leaning forward is something to be avoided at all times and it honestly does take an effort to constantly monitor this but it is worth it. Performing yoga and mediation goes a long way to relieving common back pain problems and are worthwhile endeavors to pursue.
Prevention, it is said the best cure for anything and back pain is no exception. To avoid back pain as much as possible, undertaking some sort of back pain exercises on a regular basis is the way to go. These exercises strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and spine area, which ensures that there is enough support for the spine to maintain great posture.
Research exercises such as wall slides, leg raises, and bent over rows are some of the best back and abdominal strengthening exercises that are proven to be effective in toning up our muscles which would lead to less back problems.
Be sure to read our related articles for more details on specific back pain exercises and be sure to see some back massage techniques which can also help. Check out this back exercise video and see how it can help you with your back pain:
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Low back pain however is not a specific disease, but rather a symptom that can occur from a variety of different reasons which usually have to be examined in order to find the source.
Despite enduring a thorough medical examination, 85% of people with low back pain can find no specific cause of the pain, thus compounding the problem. America, unsurprisingly, spends about $50 billion a year on low back pain cases with sadly, many of them going unresolved.
Just some simple tweaks can work wonders when it comes to keeping your spine very healthy. Taking the time to keep an eye out for these things is called preventive maintenance, and this is equivalent to a very old saying you may have heard once or twice before, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure.”
Here are some helpful tips for preventing back and neck pain.
1. Pay Attention To Your Body and Develop Body Awareness
The body is a cohesive machine – an abnormality in one part will effectively create a deficiency in other areas in your body. (This is commonly known in the medical industry as the kinetic chain.) Back postural alignment is the science of how parts of the body relate to the rest of your body.
In an ideal situation, bones are centered and in balance with respect to one another, totally free from muscle spasms, which effectively allows them to do their job of moving the body.
Really pay attention to how the muscles, bones and joints feel in response to various activities you perform. How do your muscles react when you wake up in the morning? Does staying seated cause your back to feel different than walking? Honestly answering questions like these will help you track what effects your movements have on your back, so you can then make more efficient movement choices.
2. Do What You Can To Strengthen Your Core
If you weren’t aware, the abdominal and back muscles work together to keep the trunk of your body upright. The effect of these muscle groups working together balance each other to support this area. Weak or tight torso muscles, compounded by any strength imbalances between the rest of your muscles may be a precursor to spinal cord injuries.
Core strengthening programs such as Pilates, yoga and water exercise (to name but a few) are excellent ways to build your trunk muscles which will totally strengthen your core.
3. Learn To Use Your Body Well
If you’re like most people, you have certain activities that you more than likely will perform many times during the day. Have you ever stopped to consider if you do them in a more efficient way, you’d help avoid the chance of any back pain ever?
As well all know, over time, the most routine daily activities become a matter of habit which we rarely think about. If you are repeatedly performing something, unconsciously using incorrect muscles when others could do a better job, you may be setting yourself up for injuries and or major back strain.
Learning and practicing proper body mechanics is often a matter of forgetting your old habits of doing things you’re used to, but which also can be stressful to the joints and making a conscious effort to improve what you are doing. This is especially true when lifting heavy objects or reaching for something requiring you to stretch beyond your reach.
4. Maintain A Healthy Weight For The Long Term
A healthy back is the functional combination of nerves, muscles, bones and much more working together in unison. Being overweight puts pressure on these structures, which causes imbalances that lead to back pain. If you are at a healthy weight for your height then this will reduce your risk of back pain for sure as research has linked being overweight with an increased risk of disc ruptures and other back problems.
5. Breathing Properly
Were you aware that the same muscles that enable you to breathe also act as posture muscles which support your back? Breathing exercises taken from martial arts, yoga, pilates and even vocal techniques can all be valuable in developing a strong core which leads to healthy postural alignment. Core muscles are responsible for great posture and very worthwhile to develop not only to prevent back pain but much more.
If your spine is in good alignment, and trunk muscles are flexible and strong, your posture will easily hold up against gravity, which in the end is a major culprit of severe back pain for many people. Breathing right and strengthening your core muscles will enable you to perform many other moves fluidly as well. A great reason to breathe well eh?
Paying attention to how you move your body and adjusting to be more efficient in your movements as you can see can be very helpful in combination with strengthening your core muscles which would in turn help you to keep a healthier body weight. Breathing properly with the proper posture would also help one relieve or prevent future back problems. These are just a few tips to help alleviate back pain. Make sure to check out more back pain relief throughout our website.
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