Low Back Pain Treatment
What you need for treatment depends on the cause of your low back pain.
Your doctor may recommend temporary use of medications to relieve pain. These might include over-the counter medicines such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Sometimes stronger medications may be prescribed for pain treatment. If pain is severe or lasts, you may need oral or injected steroids.
Physical therapy or chiropractic can bring relief for many. These targeted treatments may include:
- Ice or heat
- Ultrasound or electrical stimulation
- A specific program of stretching and strengthening exercises
- Spinal manipulation
A doctor, physical therapist, or other health care professional can guide you in a safe back exercise program. Depending on your medical condition or cause of your back pain, certain exercises or activities may not be safe for you. For many people, gentle low-impact aerobic exercises like walking or swimming about 30 minutes a day can help to keep muscles strong and flexible. These are often combined with specific exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your back.
In certain cases where back pain does not get better with nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be an option.