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Back Pain Archive
Reduce or avoid back pain during these everyday activities
A number of strategies can help when back pain strikes suddenly. When driving, for example, a person can turn on heated seats if a vehicle has them, or use a lumbar pillow. Someone who has pain when sitting at a desk can get up, walk around, and do some stretches. If back pain lasts more than a week, the person should see a doctor for an evaluation. The first line of defense will most likely be exercise and strengthening regimens—two keys to staving off an aching back.
Certain medications are better than others for managing spine pain
Certain medications are safer and more effective than others for treating spine pain in older adults, according to a recent study. Among these are the over-the-counter drugs acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) and some nerve pain drugs, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.
Relieve low back pain with stretching
Stretching the muscles that support the spine can help alleviate persistent or recurring low back pain. The muscles to stretch include the erector spinae muscles along the spine, the iliopsoas muscles connecting the spine to the lower limbs, and the abdominal muscles in the front of the body that help prop up the torso. Other muscles that support the back include those in the front of the hips, back of the thighs, and buttocks. An example of a back stretch is lying on a bed and pulling the legs close to the chest for half a minute.
Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?
Low back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide. A recent review of dozens of studies suggests that combining physical therapy with psychological approaches to treating pain led to better overall results in improvement of pain.
Rowing or paddling after age 60
Water sports that use oars or paddles are effective forms of exercise with many health benefits. However, the sports may pose health risks, especially after age 60. The sports have a repetitive component to them. Paddling can stress the shoulder tendons. Rowing can lead to low back strains. Neither sport would be a good idea for people with tendinitis at the shoulder, elbow, or wrist; a diagnosed back problem such as a disc injury or spinal stenosis; or a previous back surgery.
Pool therapy beats physical therapy for chronic low back pain
A small, randomized trial published online Jan. 3, 2022, by JAMA Network Open suggests that aquatic or pool therapy is more effective at reducing chronic low back pain than physical therapy.
Easy exercises to shore up your core
Got back pain? Can virtual reality provide real pain relief?
Chronic low back pain is a leading cause of long-lasting pain and disability worldwide. Treatment options help some people but not all, leaving millions seeking safe, effective treatment. An 8-week program using a virtual reality device aims to offers lasting relief, but valid questions about evidence of effectiveness have not yet been answered.
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