Back pain can be slightly bothersome or it can be debilitating depending on the individual and the condition or injury. It is also hard to predict if the pain will be a subtle ache or appear as a stabbing pain. With the new regulations placed on pain medications, many Las Vegas back pain patients are looking for other ways to cope. According to Kent Bitsko, of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal, more people in southern Nevada have died from prescription drug abuse than methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine combined.
There are a few ways to alleviate back pain without the use of prescription pain medication. Of course, over-the-counter pain medication is still available. Although, if you are looking for additional ways to reduce pain and inflammation, then the following suggestions may help.
If the back is not tender to the touch, a massage can loosen any tight muscles. When the massage is focused on the correct muscles, blood flow will improve. Spine-Health states that two muscles in particular can be responsible for back pain, the quadratus lumborum (QL) and the gluteus medius. It is recommended to request the massage therapist to spend 60 minutes on these two muscles. The muscles would need to be stretched and massaged at the same time to promote healing. Sometimes the pain is due to blood supply being decreased. Once the blood supply is available again, the pain should subside.
Ice packs can reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Apply the ice pack to the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, a few times each day. It is recommended to have a layer of clothes or use a towel between the ice pack and skin. Do not use the ice pack for more than 20 minutes on the area at one time. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may need to use an alternative method.
If massages and ice packs are not sustaining relief, a chiropractic adjustment may be needed. The chiropractor will x-ray the back and an evaluation will be made. The diagnosis will be discussed with the patient. It may be that a vertebrae or disc is misaligned and pushing slightly into the spinal canal or onto a nerve root. This nerve compression can cause pain in the localized area as well as radiating pain down the arms or legs.
A chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, will be made to realign the spine. Depending on the severity of the back pain, this may take several sessions to relieve pain.
Back pain can be a symptom of a problem in the musculoskeletal system that is affecting the nervous system. Any back pain that does not go away after conventional treatments of over-the-counter medication, ice packs, or massage, should be seen by a doctor. Consulting with a chiropractor for treatment before the pain becomes severe is recommended.