Two treatment options for lower back pain

Posted on: 12 September 2017

Lower back is an extremely common issue, which can be caused by a variety of things, including, but not limited to, poor posture, autoimmune conditions that affect the joints (such as arthritis), and incorrect heavy lifting techniques. Here are two common treatment options used to alleviate pain in this area of the body.


Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are frequently used by those who suffer from lower back pain. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can help to reduce inflammation (i.e. the swelling and pain) that typically accompanies back problems.

However, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication is only effective for mild to moderate levels of pain. Those who suffer from severe lower back pain usually need to get more potent prescription medications from their doctor.

If the person's back pain is the result of their muscles seizing up, their doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants; as the term itself implies, this medication is designed to release the tension in a tightened or cramping muscle.

In extreme cases, the sufferer might be prescribed opioids (such as codeine). Opioids are very effective at relieving pain; they reduce a person's perception and reaction to the uncomfortable physical sensations they are experiencing. However, they can be highly addictive and as such, are usually only provided on a short-term basis.

Osteopathic treatment

Many people who suffer from lower back pain choose to undergo osteopathic treatment. The theory behind osteopathy is that good health can only be achieved when a person's connective tissues, ligaments, muscles and bones are functioning correctly and in harmony with one another.

Osteopaths are trained to identify and treat health conditions by using massage and muscle manipulation techniques.

Activities such as deep-pressure massage and stretching can help to increase blood flow to the lower back (and thus encourage injured areas to heal at a faster rate), release muscular tension and improve joint mobility; this, in turn, can drastically reduce the amount of pain in the patient's back and make it easier for them to return to their previous physical activity levels.

If the patient has a habit of slouching over when they sit or walk and this is exacerbating their pain, the osteopath may also teach them how to improve their posture, so that they do not worsen their existing back issues.

Unlike the above-mentioned medication, osteopathic treatment does not simply relieve pain, but can actually help to address the root cause of the person's back problems. As such, it can be useful for those who do not wish to permanently rely on medication to alleviate their symptoms.