The length of treatment required and type of low back pain management needed depends on the cause of the low back pain. Low back pain treatment can include:
Non- surgical options include:
Osteopathy: An osteopath can help with relieving your discomfort and pain that is a result of the low back pain. The treatment would include a range of different hands on techniques that aim to:
- Improve blood flow and circulation to the affected area which helps improve the body’s natural healing response.
- Muscular treatment aiming to release and stretch the affected area to allow for improved movement and function.
- Release endorphins. These are hormones that circulate the body and act as natural pain relief.
- Exercise programs which aim to increase strength in the deep spinal stabilising muscles.
Pain management techniques, including the use of hot and cold therapy along with advice about returning to activity will also be provided by your treating osteopath.
Lower back pain can be effectively treated and rehabilitated with the use of exercise. Your practitioner will aim to improve the mobility and strength in your lower back and core muscles as well as educate and encourage improved posture. It is essential that the exercise program is tailored to your needs and targets the specific underlying cause of your lower back pain. Adherence to the exercises is essential for long term relief from lower back pain.
Medication for low back pain: if you require strong pain relief from your back pain, your GP may prescribe you.
- Over the counter painkillers and anti inflammatory medications ..
- Muscle relaxant medication to reduce the spasms.
- Antidepressants or anticonvulsants in severe circumstances can be prescribed by your GP to assist with nerve pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI): in some instances a GP or sports doctor may recommend a steroid injection to reduce your pain. ESI is a technique in which a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic is injected into a space around your spinal cord called the epidural space. The ESI aims to give you temporary relief from your low back pain, it does this by reducing the inflammatory response within the tissues of the low back.
Surgery may be considered for individuals who have not responded to other, no invasive forms of treatment. Surgical options are varied and should be discussed in detail with a spinal surgeon. Many factors come into play when discussing surgical options:
- Cause of low back pain
- Age of the patient
- Mental health of the patient
- Ability to function in everyday life
Below are a few different types of spinal surgery:
Discectomy: this is a surgery in which part or all of a damaged intervertebral disc that is compressing a nerve is removed.
Laminectomy: this is a surgery in which the back part of one or more vertebrae in the lumbar spine (low back), known as the lamina is removed. This creates more space for the spinal nerves and reduces the likelihood of the nerve being compressed.
Spinal Fusion: this is a surgery in which the affected bone in the spine is joined together to the bone below to stabilise and strengthen the spine.
Balloon Kyphoplasty: this is a surgery that is commonly used for vertebral compression fracture. It is a minimally invasive technique where a small incision is made and tiny balloons are inflated within the fractured vertebrae. The inflated balloon restores vertebral height, and the cavity is then filled with bone cement to maintain the vertebral height.