Treatments and Drugs

Back pain gets better by following some lifestyle changes. A few days of bed rest and home treatments can help in some cases. However, if these do not work well your physician may advice medications or any other therapies.

Medications

Depending on the pain condition and the type of pain, your doctor may prescribe medications.

  • Pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Effective in relieving back pain
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers – Relieves mild to moderate back pain
  • Muscle relaxants – These cause dizziness and make you feel asleep
  • Narcotics – Treat pain by inducing sleep
  • Antidepressants – Low doses are prescribed to help relieve chronic back pain

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is essential for treating back pain. A physical therapist applies various techniques like heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and muscle release techniques to relieve the pain in the back muscles and soft tissues. As the pain begins to improve, the therapist teaches certain exercises which help to strengthen the back, increase the flexibility and improve the posture. Regular exercises help in preventing the back pain form recurrence.

Injections

If the above measures do not work and the pain seems to radiate down the leg, the physician may inject anti-inflammatory medicine (cortisone) into the epidural space (space around the spinal cord).

In some conditions, the physician may inject cortisone and numbing medication into the nearby structures like facet joints of vertebrae that are believed to cause back pain.

Surgery

Very few cases may need a surgery for back pain. If you have persistent back pain along with muscle weakness or radiating leg pain, then surgery becomes necessary.