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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

Lower Back Pain - Can It Be Cured With Physiotherapy?

Dr. Saroj Rustgi 88% (42 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Lower Back Pain - Can It Be Cured With Physiotherapy?
Lower back pains may underline a host of diseases, some of the most distinctive being the degeneration of lumbar disc and strain of back muscles. If left unattended, these acute durations of severe pain can lead to further complications, beyond the scope of both active and passive physical treatment regimes. Hence, it is always recommended to attend to these minuscule symptoms as soon as they are detected. How physiotherapy works wonders in lower back pains: Physiotherapy is recommended when lower back pains are frequent or stretch for days at a time. Most medical works of literature, which shower their unanimous support in favor of physiotherapy for back pain, make note that physiotherapy relieves pain, as well as improves the functions, which are most likely to be affected by this disorder. Pain emanating, following a surgery, is recognized as one of the most significant aspects where benefits of physiotherapy are more visible. Generally, patients are advised to undergo physiotherapy sessions after surgical procedures irrespective of age and gender, unless the move is contraindicated in specific cases. Muscular spasms and muscle shrinking is a highly familiar phenomenon observed in individuals who are relatively less active. Muscle shrinking can often be attributed to very low usage of certain muscles, while muscle spasm can occur when neurons at the affected muscles are irritated. Physiotherapy is observed as both the first line as well as the second line of the treatment regimen in such occurrences; a routine for gradual and slow stretching is recommended by physiotherapists involving the muscles of legs, hips, abdomen and lower back, based on their intensity of pain. Advanced stages of a physiotherapy treatment regime upgrade the simple stretching exercises to more rigorous ones like specific stabilizing drills, exercises involving balancing machines and/or exercise balls. This aspect of physiotherapy caters to the secondary spine muscles of the human body. The area of the body considered to be the core of lower back pain (lower back muscles and muscles of the abdomen) requires more than just stretching or exercises involving machines. Workout focused on these core areas are based on a complex set of exercises, which may have to be improvised such that the aforementioned muscles absorb the maximum shock. In addition to these conventional exercises, which are based on applications of gravity, some centers a different environment for individuals who are unable to perform activities in normal conditions. The concept of aquatic pools addresses the issue, and makes exercising quite an easy feat for the physically challenged individuals.
4224 people found this helpful

Lower Back Pain - Why Visit A Neurosurgeon?

Dr. Parimal Tripathi 86% (119 ratings)
FRCS - Neurosurgery(UK), M.Ch - Neuro Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Ahmedabad
Lower Back Pain - Why 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 Back pain that is followed by a shock like a car accident. The pain in the back worsens and is constant Back pain continues for more than 4-6 weeks The pain does not improve even after taking typical remedies such as taking pain relievers or after resting. Severe pain in the back in the night and that is alleviated by rest The back pain is accompanied by abdominal pain Numbness in the upper thighs, buttocks, groin or in the genital area 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. Basically, neurosurgeons treat back pain. Orthopaedic, psychiatrists and physiotherapist help too.
1846 people found this helpful

Putting Wallet in Back Pocket can Cause Fat Wallet Syndrome/Lower Back Pain

Dr. Priyanka Saini (P.T.) 92% (77 ratings)
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Advanced Dry Needling Therapist
Physiotherapist, Noida
Putting Wallet in Back Pocket can Cause Fat Wallet Syndrome/Lower Back Pain
Wallet can be one of the reason for your back and the waist pain, and it can even lead to shooting pains down the legs. Sitting on a wallet for prolonged hours leads to the compression of sciatic nerve, which is right behind your hip joint, gets pinched between the wallet and your hip itself, and can sometimes be diagnosed as sciatica/piriformis syndrome also known as fat wallet syndrome. Think about sitting on an uneven surface with one hip higher, after long hours, day after day, and year after year. Over time this will chronically shorten one side of your body and one side of the pelvis can become stuck in an elevated position, which puts more stress on your spine. Instead of sitting upright, you actually round your lower back which can sometime leads to a reason for your lower back pain.
2 people found this helpful

Lower Back Pain - How You Can Manage It With Physiotherapy?

Dr. Mahesh G 85% (10 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Lower Back Pain - How You Can Manage It With Physiotherapy?
Patients experiencing low back pain are regularly recommended to a physiotherapist for exercise based recovery. This is done before a patient considers other aggressive options like back surgery. The objectives of exercise based recovery are to eliminate back pain, increase functioning and educate the patient about a regular pain prevention program for back pain in the future. Low back stiffness is to a great extent dependent on the abdomen and lower back muscles. The abdominal muscles give support by putting pressure on the abdomen, which is then exerted, on the spine. This provides an external support column from the front of the spine. The low back muscles balance out the spine. Simply put, the hard spine and circles are surrounded by muscles, and the stronger these particular muscles are, the less strain is put on the plates and joints of the spine. The patient needs to develop a belt of muscles around the spine. Most physiotherapy methods that are intended to treat low back pain and some radicular pain (pain extending down the leg), include a number of the following kinds of activities: Stretching: Appropriate stretching of the muscles alongside dynamic activity will keep up the usual scope of movement and give alleviation to muscles. These are the muscles that are gradually shrinking or are an ill fit from wrong stance or nerve aggravation. For some patients it is best to follow a stretching schedule that has been exclusively made for them by their physiotherapist. Dynamic exercises: These activities include the use of a number of activities that might include exercising balls, adjusting machines or particular balancing out activities. The purpose of stabilization activity is to strengthen the muscles of the spine and backing the spine through different scopes of movement. Core strengthening exercises: These are particular activities to strengthen the abs and low back muscles (erector spinae) to give the previously mentioned 'belt of muscle' around the spine. Abdominal strengthening: These kinds of exercises include sit-ups, crunches, stomach machines, and leg raises. Hyperextensions: These can be performed on machines or by lying on the stomach and gradually raising the stomach off the ground. This activity uses the lower back muscles to "hyperextend" the spine. Make sure not to do it with sudden jerks. The stretch should be slow and gradual to prevent ligament tear from happening. Lumbar traction: With lumbar traction, the patient lies on his back and is secured on a special table with a link or cable coming from the foot-end of the table that joins to a strap that has been set around the patient's hips. The link or cable is connected to weights at the foot-end of the table that gives a consistent and soft pulling power on the hips toward the foot-end of the table.
1 person found this helpful

Lower Back Pain - Know Its Treatment and Care!

Dr. Deepak Thakur 88% (105 ratings)
M.CH. (Ortho), MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Lower Back Pain - Know Its Treatment and Care!
Back pain is a common source of pain, which can be acute, subacute or chronic in nature. Back pain is classified along the segments of the spine and can be divided into neck pain, middle back pain, lower-back pain or tailbone pain. Lower back pain is a type of back pain, which affects the lower back portion of the body. It may occur from arthritis or due to sudden jerking during movement. Lower-back pain may cause serious discomfort and aching and may disable a person from moving about. It should be treated and cared for properly. Here are several treatments and care procedures for lower-back pain. Take some rest: Most people who get lower-back pain get obsessed with it and end up getting MRI scans, x-rays done and take injections without recognizing the intensity of the pain. It is advised not to rush into the matter. A simple way to cure the pain is by resting. 90% of lower back pains resolve by themselves in 6 weeks and so you must give your back a break instead of taking medical action and give your back some to heal. Pills: Sometimes, a lower back pain can suddenly become severe. In this case, you should intake anti-inflammatory pills such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These pills will help you ease the pain. However, you should not take them for more than ten days at a stretch as continuous pill consumption can cause side effects. Hot & cold compress: Apply a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack to the affected area in your lower back for 48 hours after the pain appears. Every session should be about of 20 minutes and you should take several sessions each day. After two days, repeat the same procedure using a heat pad. The cooling procedure shuts down your blood capillaries, reducing the flow of blood to the affected area. The swelling is then eased. The heating, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and helps to increase blood circulation. Replace your mattress: People who sleep on firm mattresses and cushions on their beds are at a higher risk of experiencing lower-back pain. If you sleep on a medium-firm mattress, your chances of getting lower-back pain are less. In case your mattress is sagging or is very old, you should replace it. Lower-back pain is likely to cause great discomfort and trouble. You will be unable to carry out your daily chores because of the pain. Therefore, proper treatment and care are required for lower-back pain.
8 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 34 years old women, suffering fm sciatica pain fm last 2, 3 years. But pain was under control coz only leg was paining. But fm last 4 days my lower back s paining a lot causing me so much discomfort that I am not able to walk properly. Kindly enlighten my way.

Dr. Lochan Arora 93% (117 ratings)
MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy, Diploma In Diet & Nutrition, MSc - Dietitics/Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
If pain is more visit physiotherapist, they will provide you treatment for quick relief. Plan some medications like vitb12 to provide strength to your nerve as well.

I am a female, 38 years, married, from INDIA. I have been suffering from lower back pain (slipped disc, sciatica) since last 6 years. The pain becomes unbearable now from lower back to tow (left leg). Right leg gets numb if I stand for more than 3-5 minutes. My first MRI report (7 years ago) shows I had slipped disc L4-L5 & L5-S1. My recent MRI (week ago) shows same thing. I had consulted few doctors. Most of them suggested for a surgery. Couple of them suggested complete rest for 15-20 days with medicines. I am unable to do complete rest or surgery. Please suggest other alternatives to remove pain ASAP. The pain is unbearable now. Thank you so much.

Dr. Rahul (Pt) 91% (135 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Agra
Hi, Lybrate-user, as per you medical history is concern, first not to take more pain relief medicine in longer term ,you should try other option like physiotherapy modalities like ultrasound therapy, tens ,ift which is truly medicinal less and have not any side effects gives you relax a lot, another home care measures you also follow like hot and cold therapy for some days to reduce swelling and subside pressure over spinal section .some mild exercises and stretching also have to follow to subside the symptoms of scitica .take some medicine for short term for immediate relief after then stop this to be taken.
2 people found this helpful

I am having dull pain in lower side ,in middle of my waist. It subsides sometime and then starts again after some days. I am moderately active person. Please help me out. I am having this issue from a quite a long time.

Dr. Rahul (Pt) 91% (135 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Agra
Hi lybrate-user you can go to near by physiotherapist for learinig pelvic tilt exerciese, partial curl, extension exercise for back pain and take ultrasound therpy and ift for more pain relif. Regards.

I am male of 14 year I have pain in lower back and legs joint and random chest pain doctor give me echo its normal and mri it show left side scrollitis so sir what is problem with me.

Dr. Julie Mercy J David Raja 88% (4766 ratings)
Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
This is a general low back ache and for this you can follow these measures: one keep a pillow right under the knee while sleeping, next is you can keep ice in the painful area for about 5--10 minutes, if pain still persists you can stretch your body by twisting the waist on both sides how we used to do in the school drill similarly you can try which will help you relax as well will reduce the pain. It looks like you are anaemic. If you have back pain after you sit for long hours then it is due to your haemoglobin levels as it is important to check that. Anaemia always leads to the symptoms of being tired and also having back / leg pain though there may not be any pathological reasons for back pain. If you have leg pain then you have to rule out the casues for having leg pain. First of all check your weight and your haemoglobin levels, as Anaemia always leads to the symptoms of being tired and also having leg pain though there are no issues with the knee joint or back pain. If not if the pain radiates down the back of thigh and legs then it might be due to sciatica. Kindly consult the nearby physiotherapist. Hope you recover soon from the leg pain. •Standing hamstring stretch: Place the heel of your injured leg on a stool about 15 inches high. Keep your knee straight. Lean forward, bending at the hips until you feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh. Make sure you do not roll your shoulders and bend at the waist when doing this or you will stretch your lower back instead of your leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. •Cat and camel: Get down on your hands and knees. Let your stomach sag, allowing your back to curve downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then arch your back and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10. •Quadruped arm/leg raise: Get down on your hands and knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine. While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg slowly and alternate sides. Do this 10 times on each side. •Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax. Do 3 sets of 10. •Partial curl: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles. Tuck your chin to your chest. With your hands stretched out in front of you, curl your upper body forward until your shoulders clear the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Don't hold your breath. It helps to breathe out as you lift your shoulders up. Relax. Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of 10. To challenge yourself, clasp your hands behind your head and keep your elbows out to the side. •Gluteal stretch: Lying on your back with both knees bent, rest the ankle of one leg over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the thigh of the bottom leg and pull that knee toward your chest. You will feel a stretch along the buttocks and possibly along the outside of your hip on the top leg. Hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. •Extension exercise: Lie face down on the floor for 5 minutes. If this hurts too much, lie face down with a pillow under your stomach. This should relieve your leg or back pain. When you can lie on your stomach for 5 minutes without a pillow, then you can continue with the rest of this exercise.

I am 63 years old male no sugar. Bp control with medicine. Last 3 month I have problem. My neck pain and lower back pain. Till knees. Up to knee my leg heavy. And feel shake while standing. Please suggest medicine.

Dr. Shivram Sinwar 91% (5418 ratings)
M.D.(Ayu.) Basic Principles, B.A.M.S., I.P.G.T.& R.A., GAU
Ayurveda, Ajmer
Hi Lybrate User use Dashmoolarishtam 20 ml two times a day after taking meal. Use Rasnasaptak kashyam 15 ml two times a day before taking meal. Take Tablet Reumacalm two tablets three times a day. Apply oil Ksheerabla and than do hot water fomentation. Thses medicines definitely cure your problem. Tc Thanks Regards.
7 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Back Pain - How Physiotherapy Can Help?

Dr. Mahesh G 85% (10 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Back pain is very common and almost all of us experience it at some point of time in our lives. For patients suffering from back pain that lasts for more than two weeks or for patients experiencing it frequently, physiotherapy may be recommended. Take the following quiz to understand how physiotherapy can help patients suffering from back pain.
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