Alleviate soreness in your lumbar region by following our exhaustive guide on what to do for lower back pain.
At the Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County (OCPBC), we encounter dozens of patients who suffer from lower back pain every year. Discover what you can do to address the discomfort in your lumbar area below.
Identify the Cause of Your Lower Back Pain
Determine the root cause of the tenderness and stiffness in your lumbar spine before undergoing any form of aggressive treatment. Some of the most common reasons for lower back pain include:
- Bulging or herniated discs (resulting in pressure that causes lower back pain)
- Age (weakened abdominal and lower back muscles; deteriorating discs)
- Injuries (acute pain from recent injuries; chronic pain from past injuries)
- Arthritis (may result in thinning of the cartilage)
- Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
Try Conservative Treatments First
Ease into a conservative treatment regimen before jumping into more aggressive, surgical solutions. If you find yourself trying to figure out what to do for lower back pain, explore some of the best non-surgical treatment options below.
Ice and Heat
Reduce inflammation and loosen up tight muscles with cold and hot compresses. Ice can minimize swelling, pain, and inflammation after an injury, but it can also work for chronic back pain. Try applying a cold compress for a few days before switching to a hot compress to improve blood circulation and ease tense muscles.
If you already have an inkling regarding the cause of your lower back pain, consider making some changes to your daily routine. Maybe you need to hire someone to perform some of the more strenuous chores around the house. Or, perhaps a standing desk will ease the lumbar pain caused by sitting in an office chair all day.
Daily stretching and mild-to-moderate exercise can sometimes alleviate lower back pain. However, you must stick to the exercise schedule laid out by your physical therapist to understand whether this type of treatment remains viable. Some of the ways that physical therapy can help your back pain include:
- Strengthening core muscles
- Enhancing flexibility
- Improving posture
Manipulation and Massage
Physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage professionals can often relieve lower back pain through manipulation or massage. Sometimes, a quick and easy adjustment can realign the spine, providing immediate relief. Alternatively, loosening up your back muscles during multiple massage sessions can also reduce the amount of lower back pain that you feel.
If non-pharmaceutical pain treatments prove ineffective at reducing your lower back pain, you may need to try medication before looking into surgical solutions. A doctor may inject you with a nerve block or mild steroid to provide immediate relief. You may wish to follow up an injection with prescription analgesics, muscle relaxers, or anti-inflammatories.
Speak with a Spine Surgeon
When all else fails, and you still find yourself in debilitating lower back pain, you may need to speak with a spine surgeon regarding any surgical treatment options that remain available to you. Some of the signs that indicate you may need to schedule a surgery include:
- Unresolved herniated discs
- Weak, numb limbs
- Balance issues
- Spinal stenosis
- Chronic pain
- Gait hitches
OCPBC | Your Best Chance at Long-Lasting Back Pain Relief
Experience life without back pain by contacting the Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County for a consultation. If you have been trying to ascertain what to do for lower back pain, call 561-967-6500 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians at our Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, or Wellington offices.