Low Back Pain
Experts divide low back pain into two categories:
- Acute: This is pain that has lasted less than 3 months. Most people get better with home treatment.
- Chronic: This is pain that has lasted longer than 3 months. People with chronic back pain are usually helped with more intensive treatment.
Treatment for acute low back pain
Learn about the Reference first aid steps you can take when you first get back pain, such as using heat or ice, taking medicine, and not resting too much.
Sometimes acute low back pain lasts longer than a few days, even after you try first aid steps. In such a case, you might add another treatment, such as Reference manual therapy Opens New Window or stronger pain medicine.
If your pain is very bad, your health care provider may recommend short-term use of an Reference opiate painkiller or a Reference muscle relaxant. Some people consider Reference epidural steroid shots.
Answers From an Expert:
"Stay as active as you can. Doctors used to say to rest, but it turns out that this is not the case. The more active you are, the better you will be, and the faster you will heal."—Dr. Robert Keller
One Woman's Story:
"I thought, 'Okay, it will hurt for a day or two, and that's it.' But it lasted a lot longer. It took about 3 weeks. I guess we're used to fast cures. We take an aspirin, and the headache goes away. We take the antibiotic, and the infection disappears." —Lorna
Treatment for chronic low back pain
If you have chronic back pain, one type of treatment by itself doesn't always stop your pain. Reference Spinal manipulation can work to relieve low back pain. Other treatments can too.
- Reference Acupuncture
- Reference Biofeedback
- Reference Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Reference Massage
- Reference Comprehensive rehabilitation programs
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 19, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
- Topic Overview
- Health Tools
- What Happens
- What Increases Your Risk
- When to Call a Doctor
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment Overview
- Living With Low Back Pain
- Other Treatment
- Coping With Chronic Back Pain
- Other Places To Get Help
- Related Information