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7 On Your Side Carrying an overstuffed purse, briefcase, or handbag can strain the low back. If you must carry a heavy load, consider using a wheeled briefcase instead. By reducing the amount of weight you're carrying, you reduce the amount of pressure on the spine. Help keep your kids' backs healthy by making sure their backpacks are not overloaded. A heavy backpack could mean future back pain for your little ones.
Care & Treatment Ankle Pain Tel: 847-378-0500/888-566-AANS (2267) When is Surgery a Good Idea for Back Pain? 3.14 How do you know it’s working? Getting a trigger point to “release”
Cancer Strengthening exercises. Strengthening the abdominal, hip, and gluteus muscles that support the spine, also called the core muscles, can help relieve low back pain. Two common programs are the McKenzie method and Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization.
Strategic Plans Break out that bag of frozen peas (or an ice pack, if you want to get fancy) for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad. Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, which helps ease the swelling, says Lisa DeStefano, an associate professor at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. Cold also thwarts your nerves' ability to conduct pain signals. Heat, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation, bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.
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Added to Sleeping on your stomach can be bad for your back. If this is the only way you can fall asleep, the Mayo Clinic recommends placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to prevent back strain.
Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, weight loss and stress management
Everything For ACPA@theacpa.org The second cause for lower back pain after sleeping is an old or bad matrass.
Lying down minimizes stress on the lumbar spine; however, staying sedentary for more than a day or two can actually prolong and worsen pain. In a new study from Sweden, back pain sufferers who remained active recovered more quickly and felt less depressed than those who took it easy. "Low-impact activities like walking and swimming boost blood flow to back muscles while relieving pain and stiffness," Dr. Venesy says. Yoga, with its emphasis on stretching and strengthening, may be one of the most effective spine soothers. After three months of weekly sessions, 60 percent of back-pain sufferers who participated in an Archives of Internal Medicine study reported less discomfort, and 40 percent were able to cut back on pain meds.
Enough vitamin D may protect against some cancers » It's no secret that struggling with pain can take a toll on your mental health, and studies have shown that people with back pain are more likely to be depressed. But now doctors are discovering that the reverse may be true as well: In research from the University of Alberta in Canada, people with major depression were four times as likely to develop disabling low-back and neck pain. Some scientists believe that poor coping skills related to depression, such as withdrawing or avoiding problems, may trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, causing back and shoulder muscles to tense up and spasm. "The result can be a devastating cycle of chronic pain and depression," Dr. Moyad says. Antidepressants as well as mood enhancers like exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help ease stress and make you feel better.
Artificial disc replacement is considered an alternative to spinal fusion for the treatment of people with severely damaged discs. The procedure involves removal of the disc and its replacement by a synthetic disc that helps restore height and movement between the vertebrae.
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HomeNew OnlineCurrent IssueFor Authors Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS provides pulses of electrical stimulation through surface electrodes. For acute back pain, there is no proven benefit. Two small studies produced inconclusive results, with a trend toward improvement with TENS. In chronic back pain, there is conflicting evidence regarding its ability to help relieve pain. One study showed a slight advantage at one week for TENS but no difference at three months and beyond. Other studies showed no benefit for TENS at any time. There is no known benefit for sciatica.
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Funding Which health care specialties treat low back pain? Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications can be used to help control chronic back pain. However, most come with unwanted side effects and are not intended for prolonged use.
Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting such as on a long car trip.
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Disc degeneration remains a key cause of chronic low back pain and the pain often persists despite surgery. NIH-funded basic science and preclinical studies are investigating molecular-level mechanisms that cause discs in the spine to degenerate, as well as protective mechanisms involved in disc remodeling that may diminish with advancing age. Such studies may help identify future therapeutic strategies to block degenerative mechanisms or promote remodeling processes. NIH also is funding early research on stem cell approaches to promote disc regeneration and rejuvenate cells of the nucleus pulposus, the jelly-like substance in the center of intervertebral discs that loses water content as people age.
Thermometers A 2008 study published in the journal Spine found "strong evidence that acupuncture can be a useful supplement to other forms of conventional therapy" for low back pain. After analyzing 23 clinical trials with a total of 6,359 patients, the study authors also found "moderate evidence that acupuncture is more effective than no treatment" in relief of back pain.
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