Back Pain Treatments
If you experience acute back or neck pain, it may simply improve with some rest. Over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may also help with the discomfort. You should try to move gently during this period, so that you will not become stiff and lose mobility.
If you have chronic pain of your back and neck, you should try several remedies that may be helpful, before seeking surgical options. These include:
- Hot or cold packs (under your health care provider’s instructions)
- Specific exercises to strengthen muscles and ease pain, such as stretching and flexing. Your healthcare provider can provide and demonstrate these exercises
- Aerobic exercise may be permitted and can help with your overall fitness and strength
- Certain anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants may be used, with your health care provider’s supervision
- Braces or corsets for extra support
- Injections for pain relief in the area
- Nerve block, which decreases pain signals from the affected nerve
For severe, disabling, or chronic back and neck pain, rehabilitation programs can be designed to meet your needs. The type of program will depend on the type and severity of your pain, injury, or disease. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of rehabilitation programs.
The goal of back and neck rehabilitation is to help you manage disabling pain, return to your highest level of functioning and independence possible, while improving your overall quality of life. The focus of rehabilitation is on relieving pain and improving mobility.
To help reach these goals, back and neck rehabilitation programs may include the following:
- Exercise programs to improve range of motion, increase muscle strength, improve flexibility and mobility, and increase endurance
- Help with obtaining assistive devices that promote independence
- Patient and family education and counseling
- Pain management techniques
- Smoking cessation counseling
- Gait (walking) and movement retraining
- Stress management
- Nutritional counseling
- Ergonomic assessments and work-related injury prevention programs
- Vocational counseling