8/22/13

Back Pain: Diagnosis and Treatment of Backaches - Facts You Should Know

Are you dealing with pain in your lower back? Back pain is a common complaint from people of all ages. In fact, studies show that approximately 80-90% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life - and 31 million Americans experience a backache at any given point. Furthermore, lower back pain is reckoned to be the #1 leading cause of missed work days! Therefore, it is important to understand a few important principles and some options to help ease the pain.

What Causes Back Pain?
Many factors can contribute to a backache. Mechanical problems with the back may cause discomfort. Examples include:

  • Disk breakdown
  • Muscle spasms
  • A ruptured disk
  • Tense muscles
What is the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Back Pain?

Acute back pain arrives suddenly and can last for a period of 6 weeks or less. It is the most common type of backache and may result from normal daily activities such as sleeping in a bad position, lifting heavy boxes, shoveling snow, falling, being tackled in football, etc. On the other hand, chronic pain lasts for over 3 months and is less common than an acute backache.

How is Back Pain Treated?

The best treatment for backaches largely depends on the type of pain you are experiencing. 

Acute back pain, for example, is often treated by taking an oral pain killer such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to help alleviate the discomfort. An individual may also opt to use an all-natural pain relief cream such as MuscleMagic Pain Relief cream applied topically to target the pain source fast, which presents a nice alternative to oral medications, or can act as a complement to oral pain killers. Exercise and surgery are not usually used to treat acute back pain.

Chronic Pain on the other hands can be treated in different ways as indicated below:

Hot or Cold Packs
Hot or cold packs (or both) have proven to help soothe a sore, stiff back. Heat reduces muscle spasms while cold helps to reduce inflammation and numbs pain. Using hot or cold packs may alleviate the pain temporarily, but this treatment does not fix the cause of chronic back pain - and as such, some people opt for a combination of several solutions.

Medications

* Analgesic medications are over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen and aspirin or prescription pain medications.

* Topical analgesics refer to cream, gel or sprays applied to the skin to alleviate soreness. MuscleMagic Pain Relief Cream has been proven to deeply penetrate the affected area quickly as it is enriched with pure Emu oil known to have high transdermal properties, which means it is quickly absorbed through the skin, and conveniently transports the other active ingredients to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Methyl salicylate and Camphor specifically reduce swelling, while Capsaicin produces a warm, tingling sensation to distract attention away from the pain. 

Exercise
Proper exercise can help ease chronic pain but should not be used for acute back pain. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you determine the best type of simple exercises you should do in order to alleviate discomfort.


Finally, it is important to highlight that the experience of low back pain tends to be different for many people. For example, two people can have the exact same condition, yet for one person the pain is incapacitating and for the other it is a mere nuisance.


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