Within my life, mypainweb is chronic pain due to an initial low back injury. In the event your chronic pain is due to other injury / disease, then you will want to identify steps specific to your particular medical situation.
What’s the right thing to do when you first experience severe low back pain?
“Conservative” therapy is the first step:
Lie down on any bed, or couch and in any comfortable position. Try lying on one’s side, or back with the hips and knees somewhat flexed (bent). This will relieve forces that a vertical position, or even sitting, imposes on the discs, ligaments, and muscles of the spine.
Use anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen). Anti-inflammatory drugs will relieve pain and reduce reflex muscle spasm. They also reduce inflammation in injured tissues.
Apply heat or cold, whichever feels better.
You can expect some relief within 2 to 3 days on this “Conservative” regimen. In some people, progress may take as long as 6 weeks.
Remember, we’re not talking about absolute bed rest. “Conservative” therapy is a balancing act of controlled activity.
Too much bed rest will result in loss of muscle conditioning, bone loss, and a sense of weakness, setting the stage for further pain.
There is an important exception to “Conservative” therapy as the first step. Loss of bladder or bowel control indicates nerve roots at the end of the spinal cord are being injured. Immediate medical attention is required for this. A major back injury as in a motor vehicle accident requires prompt medical attention. Fever or weight loss could indicate a systemic illness which requires medical attention. Anytime your legs and/or feet are weak, tingling, or numb this may indicate progressive nerve damage which requires medical attention.
Low back pain is common. Four out of five adults will experience significant low back pain at least one time during their life. After the common cold, problems caused by lower back pain are the most frequent cause of lost work days in adults under the age of 45.
Most cases of low back pain are not serious, and respond to simple “Conservative” therapy.
What can you expect from your initial Doctor’s visit?
You can expect these 3 steps from your Doctor during your first visit:
1) Thorough history, examination, investigation
2) Diagnosis; assess pain & cause, loss of function
3) Discuss treatment options:
a) holistic, multidisciplinary
- coping strategies
- psychosocial support
- yoga, meditation
- muscle relaxants (Flexeril)
- opiates – rarely required
- psychosocial support
- anti-seizure medications
- anti-depression medications
Early recognition and aggressive management of chronic pain is critical to a successful outcome.
mypainweb “Timeline” shares in detail the multiple therapeutic treatments I’ve had including:
- magnetic therapy
- bracing / orthotics
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- pain management rehabilitation
- intrathecal pump
- spinal cord stimulator
- epidural injections
- trigger point injections
- behavior modification
- diet / nutrition