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Overview

Lower Back Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

The low back or lumbar spine is a remarkably well-engineered structure which connects the bones, nerves, joints and ligaments. All the muscles work together to provide flexibility, strength and support. However, there is a disadvantage to this complex structure. It leaves the lower back susceptible to pain and injury. Medical treatments aim to provide relief by reducing the pain. On the other hand, these treatments are not known to treat the underlying conditions in the human body. The work of a doctor is to typically prescribe treatments along with specific regimens and physical therapy. Lower back pain may occur due to a surgery, sprain or any other cause. To guide the treatment, it is important that there is an accurate diagnosis identifying the underlying cause.

There are many treatment options available depending on an individual’s needs. These include medicinal remedies, administration at home, alternative care, or even surgery. A person’s diagnosis determines certain treatments which are more effective than others. In many cases, combination treatment has proven to be the most beneficial. The common medical treatments associated with lower back pain are muscle relaxants, back braces, narcotic pain medications and epidural steroid injections. In some cases, a surgery is considered if the lower back pain is severe is not getting better even after 6-12 weeks of medications. Surgery is performed only in rare cases and by the patient’s full consent.

How is the treatment done?

Muscle relaxants are known to increase the movement of tense muscles, act as a depressant of the central nervous system and relieving pain from muscle spasms. In case of chronic pain management, these medications don’t provide any relief. Narcotic pain medications are known to treat acute, intense or short-term pain. These are also known as painkillers or opioids. These work by weakening the signals which are sent to the brain in order to alter one’s perception of pain. Owing to the reason that narcotic medications can become addictive in case of long term treatment, it’s treatment is limited to short-term usage only. These may also have quite a lot of side effects. Back braces are yet another method of providing relief and comfort to a patient. It possibly reduces the pain as well. It is like an inelastic corset worn daily along with a few physical therapies. Epidural steroid injection treatment is associated with a steroid which is directly administered into the dural sac’s outer part, which surrounds the spinal cord. Fluoroscopy is a live x-ray which is used to direct the needle to the corrected area. This injection’s aim is to relieve pain temporarily followed by a reducing the inflammation of the compressed nerve root.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Pain is itself a symptom that occurs mainly due to injury of bodily tissues. However, some of the symptoms that are associated with pain and might help someone to understand whether or not he/she is eligible for treatment are: depression, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, numbness, muscle spasms, inability to concentrate, sleep disturbances and unexpected weight loss. When a person experiences low back pain together with some other symptoms, it may be indicative of a life-threatening ailment. A person should consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment. The doctor will take the final call on whether a person is eligible for treatment or not.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Pain can be experienced due to a variety of causes. A person can wrongly diagnose any pain arising out of any serious complication to be back pain. Some serious diseases which are commonly undiagnosed can be nerve diseases like diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy and chronic disorders like fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine and chronic pain syndromes. Thus it is of paramount significance to visit a doctor and get the proper diagnosis. People suffering from severe diseases or underlying conditions and experiencing pain due to that are not eligible for the treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Some of the side-effects of low back pain relief are: fatigue, soreness, muscle twitching, lightheadedness, emotional distress and bruising. Some medications relieve pain and their side effects include indigestion and other gut problems, headaches, dizziness and drowsiness. Prolonged usage of medications can affect kidneys, liver, heart and blood circulation and can also cause fluid retention. Furthermore, some of the side-effects of analgesics are constipation, drowsiness, skin rashes, dry mouth, upset stomach and ringing in the ears.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The recovery period of a patient who has undergone low back surgery depends on several factors, including the condition of the patient before the surgery, the experience and skill of a surgeon and the extensiveness of the surgery. A microdisectomy is considered minimally invasive for a patient with a lumbar herniated disk. In this case the patient usually does not have to stay in the hospital overnight and the recovery period lasts a week. Doctors advise the patient to avoid activities which put exertion on the spinal structures. Physical therapies are typically prescribed to encourage healing and rebuilt the range of motion, flexibility and strength.

How long does it take to recover?

For a soft-tissue injury to heal properly with the help of medications or alternative therapy it may take between 3-6 weeks for full recovery. This is the average reported timing. In case of chronic pain it may also take longer than this period.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of surgical treatment for low back pain is Rs. 3,25,000 to Rs. 5,20,000. The cost of medication ranges from Rs. 315 to Rs. 500.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Analgesics, acupuncture and massage therapy helps to deal with low back pain. But this pain is a sharp and sudden sensation that may occur due to a number of reasons. A person undergoing a surgery will experience pain even if he had had medication and had undergone treatment for it before. An accidental cut on your body or a broken bone can also herald the onset of low back pain. Thus this sensation is never permanently cured.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are several alternative treatment methods for lower back pain. These include releasing your inner endorphins which is the natural hormones created within the body. There are three ways in which you can do so. These ways include meditation, massage therapy and aerobic exercise. Other methods include exercising to the core, getting enough restorative sleep, cold or hot therapy (application of a cloth dipped it cold or hot water to the painful area), and stretching exercises.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Low Relative Risk: High Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 315 to Rs. 500

Popular Health Tips

Highly Effective Treatment To Get Relief From Lower Back Pain At Home

MBBS, D.Ortho, DNB-Orthopaedic Surgery, M.Ch - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Highly Effective Treatment To Get Relief From Lower Back Pain At Home

Back pain is a very normal condition. It tends to last anywhere from a few days to weeks. About 80% adults suffer from this pain at some point in their life. While there are many ways to get relief from lower back pain , there are some simple home remedies as well which can be used.

1 person found this helpful

Homeopathy For Lower Back Pain!

BHMS
Homeopath, Faridabad
Homeopathy For Lower Back Pain!

Due to an increase in sedentary lifestyle, the number of incidences of lower back pain is on the rise, and that too, at a pretty scary pace. People who suffer from it look at a variety of treatment options such as allopathic painkillers and physiotherapy, but many of them overlook one of the most effective methods that exist – homeopathy.

Homeopathy is the most customised and a highly comprehensive way that one can use to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. This is due to it being tailor-made to fit the patient rather than being a ‘one size fits all’ solution like much of allopathy is.

Homeopathy treatments
When lower back pain is being treated with homeopathy, there is a range of medicines that can be used. One of the most common is Arnica Montana, which is used in the case of minor trauma arising from injuries and falls, or even exerting too much pressure. The reason why this is useful is because it addresses the stiff and bruised muscles one has in such a situation and provides relief.

Talking about the stiffness of the lower back, Bryonia is also a very common homeopathic medicine to address such a problem, especially when one feels that there is tearing pain in the back. Most lower back pains have to do with muscle tissues, which are not in the condition they should be in. As a result, Magnesia Phosphorica, which is a combination of magnesium and phosphorus can be used to good effect as it is one of the homeopathic salts, which improve the tissues. For people who experience spasms in the muscles, this medication is very likely to have a high degree of success because it works as a nerve stabilizer. People who have this sort of pain usually feel that their pain improves if warmth is applied to the area.

Due to spending too much time sitting down and not moving around, it can be so that one experiences pain when standing up from a sitting position. As a matter of fact, this pain may radiate to the hip and make one feel as if the legs are heavier than normal. Unlike other cases, the pain here may not be a shooting one, but it might just be dull, thereby resulting in muscle weakness.

Rhus Toxicodendron has its origins in poison ivy and is used to effectively treat the pain felt from initial movement, which is eased by backward bending and heat. No matter the sort of back pain, homeopathy has a definite cure it. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5119 people found this helpful

Health Tip

MPTh/MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Guwahati
Health Tip

Health Tip

2 people found this helpful

Lower Back Pain - When To Visit A Neurosurgeon?

MS - General Surgery, MBBS, MCh - Neuro Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Hyderabad
Lower Back Pain - When To Visit A Neurosurgeon?

Pain causes a lot of discomfort in the body no matter whether the pain is in the back, legs or in the head. Almost all people experience lower-back pain at some point in their lives, which can be extremely painful and can cause considerable annoyance. The first medical specialty that comes to mind for relief of lower-back pain is Orthopedics. The other two specialists that play a vital role in treating lower-back pain are the neurosurgeons and the physiatrists.

Pain in the Back
It is very difficult for the body to source the pain when it is deep and this pain could be due to infection, disease or injuries in the back, stomach and heart. It is even possible that the pain radiates to different places in the body. Often back pain is accompanied by body changes like redness, fever, neurological problems, heat, and changes in body functions and for that diagnosis of the back pain may be very severe. Patients suffering from lower-back pain and with symptoms that comprise of weakness in the foot or other symptoms of a neurologic insufficiency must definitely see a neurosurgeon.

Back pain that occurs due to reversible problems is known to vanish in a few hours or in a day. However, if it continues longer and is accompanied by body changes, then there are chances that the condition can become worse. Visiting a doctor becomes a must for back pain if any of such characteristics are witnessed. It is always better to get evaluated by a physician.

When to Consult a Doctor Immediately

  1. Back pain that is followed by a shock like a car accident.
  2. The pain in the back worsens and is constant
  3. Back pain continues for more than 4-6 weeks
  4. The pain does not improve even after taking typical remedies such as taking pain relievers or after resting.
  5. Severe pain in the back in the night and that is alleviated by rest
  6. The back pain is accompanied by abdominal pain
  7. Numbness in the upper thighs, buttocks, groin or in the genital area
  8. Weakness or tingling sensation in the arm or legs

Role of a Neurosurgeon
The neurosurgeon provides non-surgical as well surgical care depending upon the nature of the illness or the injury, and he does not just operate. The neurosurgeons are experts and offer treatment to patients suffering from any injury or disease in the spine, brain or peripheral nerves that deal with arms, hands, feet and legs. But there are many other neurosurgeons that confine their practice to treating back pain.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1982 people found this helpful

Lower Back Pain - Know the Causes and Treatments Available!

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship Joint Replacement Surgery
Orthopedist, Delhi
Lower Back Pain - Know the Causes and Treatments Available!

Lumbago or Lower back pain is a condition that is characterized by mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region. Lower back pain is more prevalent among the youth whose work includes physical exertion or sitting for long hours and is also common in individuals belonging to the 'retirement age' because of their sedentary lifestyles. The pain might be acute (sudden and extreme) or chronic if it has been endured over a span of three months. 

The most common causes of lower back pain are: 

  1. Overuse of the muscles and includes strains or sprains of soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments and vertebral compression fractures. 
  2. Pressure on the roots of nerves due to conditions such as spinal canal stenosis (narrowing down of the spaces within the spine) or herniated disc (a condition of the rubbery disc present between the spine bones (vertebrae)). 
  3. Osteoarthritis is a condition wherein the shock absorbers, found in the joints, progressively break down. 

When it affects the spine, the condition causes back pain by stiffening the spinal joints. Symptoms of Lumbago (Low back pain) include: 

  1. Stiff back 
  2. Numbness in the legs 
  3. Loss of weight 
  4. Difficulty in urinating 
  5. Sciatica, which is the pain running down the lower back to hips, legs and thighs. This occurs due to a compression by an intervertebral disc in the back, which leads to a pinched nerve. 

How to diagnose lower back pain or a ​slip disc?

Some methods that can be utilized for diagnosing back include Xray, CT Scans, Myelogram and MRI scans. 

Treatment options available -
Exercises along with correction of bad posture for relieving back pain are a common component of any treatment plan. Factors such as type and severity of the pain as well as the patient?s history can help in determining the type of treatment that can be administered. In most cases, the recovery time is usually six weeks without surgery. Typical treatment of back pain includes use of muscle relaxants, painkillers and physiotherapy. Surgery is suggested in severe cases. Some other treatments are discussed below: 

  1. Rest: A period of rest and inactivity would help the injured tissues to recuperate and relieve back pain. However, extended periods of rest lead to weakening of muscles and hence might prolong the existing back pain. 
  2. Heat and ice packs: Both heat and ice therapies are used according to the patient's preference to reduce inflammation. 
  3. Medications: A large variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are available. Some reduce back pain caused by inflammation and others prevent the pain signals from travelling to the brain. Examples would include acetaminophen, celecoxib and diclofenac. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
4024 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I have mild lower back pain, I work in IT industry. Request you to share how can I strengthen my back. Thanks in advance.

Doctor of Osteopath, MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy), BPTh/BPT, MSc Osteopathy, Certification In Applied Manual Therapy, Certification From Bell Rogerouth & Harris / Upper and Lower Quadrant Dysfunction, Certified Dry Needling Practitioner, Certified Wheel Chair Trainer
Physiotherapist, Lucknow
1st take proper breaks from your fixed sitting. Take back support it also helps Strengthen your core muscles Do stretches of your back.
1 person found this helpful

I am suffering from lower back pain and burning sensation as well as in urination. Whom do I consult for that. please suggest.

BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
It's due to urinary Tract Infection, antibiotics need to started asap, drink plenty of water to flush bacteria present, avoid holding urine for long hours, keep your private area clean, without moisture, keep yourself clean. You can consult General physician if infection persists.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am having pain in my right lower back and the pain radiates downwards from glutes to legs. I think I am having sciatica. My glutes psoas muscle is very tight. A year earlier I had similar pain but Mri of spine was normal. Suggest me what to do to get rid of this pain.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Anaesthesia, PDCC - Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Dear lybrate-user You may be suffering from something known as the "Piriformis syndrome" To be sure, you need to properly evaluated by a Pain Physician. If confirmed to be the same, treatment is 100% possible be means of an USG guided injection. Regards.

Paining all the bones if stands or walks more than 15 minutes also starts lower back pain. And all the muscles of whole body are getting cramp if I do movement or stretching. All the joints are making sound if do movement. Please suggest me any homeopathic medicine.

BPTh/BPT, Mullligans Manual Therapy
Physiotherapist, Chandigarh
Hi would request you to get your muscle charting done sometime our muscles are so week that thy don't support are day to day activities .if possible get your vitaminb12 and Vitamin D vitamin E checked it will make more clear what supplement you require more. Thanks.

I am suffering form lower back pain .It's starts from lower back and ends at heel. Some time I feel pain at hamstring.

Doctor of Osteopath, MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy), BPTh/BPT, MSc Osteopathy, Certification In Applied Manual Therapy, Certification From Bell Rogerouth & Harris / Upper and Lower Quadrant Dysfunction, Certified Dry Needling Practitioner, Certified Wheel Chair Trainer
Physiotherapist, Lucknow
It may be due to tightness of your posterior structure. Do stretches of your hamstrings, calf. Back muscles with some flexibility exercises. If possible take MFR with help of physiotherapist. It must cure you.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?