Back and neck pain are the most common chronic pain conditions. Back pain can arise from soft tissues, bony parts of the back, and joints holding the spine in alignment. It can arise directly or indirectly from the discs in the back, and it can occur when nerves and nervous tissue, normally protected by the bones of the spine, are compressed (pinched) by those bones. Pain can be constant or intermittent (off and on) and its intensity can vary from a dull ache to agony. The onset may be short-term, with or without apparent reason, or gradual and long-term.
Many things can cause or trigger back pain most commonly occupation, age, hereditary, diet, lifestyle choices, herniated discs, movement problems or injury.
It can also be caused and triggered by sciatica. Your sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and interestingly is the largest nerve in the body. Sciatic pain is caused by compression on this nerve and can travel into the buttock or all the way down the foot. It most commonly occurs from a herniated disc.
In many cases, it is not necessary to see a doctor for back pain because the pain can usually go away without medication; however, an individual should see a doctor or their healthcare practitioner if they experience numbness or tingling, severe pain, or pain that does not improve with medication and rest. Applying ice to the back area will sooth, and decrease the inflammation and swelling if there is any. Heat can be applied to loosen the back muscles
Regardless of the cause, the most frequently prescribed treatment for back pain from a conventional standpoint is medication. These include muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories. Although they may help temporarily, they have side effects and often do not provide long term relief since the cause of the back pain still remains to be determined. Furthermore, patients often overexert themselves when taking these medications since their body's pain signal has been removed.
The most important focus in an effective treatment plan is finding the cause of the back pain. This is best done with a chiropractic doctor as well as with someone trained in osteopathic medicine. Natural treatments include therapies such as manual adjustments, IMS (intramuscular stimulation) and medical acupuncture with electro-stimulation, massage, active release therapy and hydrotherapy techniques. Natural anti-inflammatory remedies can also be helpful in managing the pain.