The advice is to have an assessment that takes into account the physical, psychological and social impact of the pain. Your path back to living life to the full may include talking therapies, acupuncture, injections, stronger painkillers and surgery. Recent research suggest a course of antibiotics which also act as anti-inflammatory drugs may help, but further work is needed.
Seek emergency care if you experience: Difficulty passing or controlling urine. Numbness around your back passage or genitals. See your GP if you experience: Severe pain worsening over several weeks. Fever, weight loss, feel unwell. Other problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis or cancer.
Numbness, pins and needles, or weakness in one or both legs. Why does my back hurt? When is back pain not from the back? How do I know whether my back pain is dangerous? Heat offers comfort and in many cases relaxation, and is a natural pain relief option. This makes it ideal for non-inflammatory pain, however it should never be used on new injuries.
It is also not always the right option for those with arthritis.
For lower back pain it can provide wonderful relief, and a larger pad such as the Thermophore Large MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy Pad, which delivers three levels of heat, can be easily adjusted to produce the level of relief you need across your whole back. Similar to acupuncture, acupressure is a technique which targets key healing points within the body. However unlike acupuncture it uses the pressure of a firm finger rather than needles. To help achieve acupressure at home, you can purchase an acupressure mat.
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An acupressure mat has small raised plastic points that can be focussed on an acupressure point, of which there are a number of most common ones to help you get to the source of the pain. A highly recommended option for acupressure mats is the Spoonk Acupressure Mat, as well as the mat it comes complete with a travel mat and a ball so you can manoeuvre the pressure to exactly where you need quickly and easily.
The Spoonk Acupressure Mat has plastic points, and promises to help you unwind in just 25 minutes! The following video from TriggerPoint one of the market leaders for this product type gives some examples of foam rolling techniques to help with lower back pain:. It also comes with free instructional videos to help you get the most from the product.
An inversion table essentially tilts your body to varying angles, which is proven to relieve pressure on your spine and elongate your joints , making it the ideal solution for decreasing nerve pressure and realigning the spine. If you are considering one, first make sure you have adequate space — because despite most of them folding — they can take up a lot of room. One of the higher priced back pain relief products, but commonly recommended as a treatment option, is a home ultrasound machine. Home ultrasound machines cause vibrations around the pain generating heat within the tissue which in turn increases your blood flow, and reduces the pain.
Research has also suggested that home ultrasound machines can help to produce more collagen, to speed up the healing of soft tissue. The Heal-O-Sonic Pain Management System is one of the most popular home ultrasound machines available and comes with one wide transducer and various different intensity settings that can be easily controlled with a simple dial.
Another effective treatment solution when looking for back pain relief products to use at home is a yoga DVD, which can help you better manage your back pain through exercise. Yoga has a number of key benefits , helping you to improve your flexibility and increase your muscle tone and strength, and through research, yoga has been found to be effective in the treatment of back pain. The Viniyoga Institute applies the principles of yoga but tailors it to the needs of the individual.
His yoga practices are recommended by the National Institute of Health for their focus and effectiveness on back pain , and his DVD tailored to the treatment of back pain, is a best seller. There is evidence that certain natural anti-inflammatory foods can be effective in the treatment of back pain, as they reduce inflammation in the body. There are a number of different foods which are believed to possess this ability, including turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, which through research has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation.
You will receive order confirmation and access information by email. A There is no paper book. I sell digital reading material only: Health care information changes fast! You can also print the book on a home printer. Feel free to lend your tutorial: I do not impose silly lending limits like with most other ebooks. No complicated policies or rules, just the honour system!
You buy it, you can share it. You can also give it as a gift. A Literally safer than a bank machine. Card info never touches my servers.
Why put a time limit on refunds for a digital product? A To help prevent fraud, to help with order lookups in the future … and nothing else. No legalese, just plain English. Save a bundle on a bundle! More information and purchase options. Other articles on PainScience. Testimonials on health care websites reek of quackery, so publishing them has always made me a bit queasy.
Everything you ever wanted to know about back pain (but were afraid to ask)
These are all genuine testimonials, mostly received by email. In many cases I withold or change names and identifying details. Thank you immensely for the best, most sensible and credible information on back pain. So glad you came up in my google search. Credible, reassuring, and humorous too. I purchased the low back tutorial recently and got the free trigger points one also. I had already accessed the perfect spot series and have been working on my trigger points.
It is very pleasing to have the full discussion of the physiology , and I now have a much better idea about the whole ghastly business. Your presentation is excellent. I spent seven hours straight sitting at my computer and my back didn't hurt at all! I had suffered from undiagnosed and seemingly untreatable low back pain since late August last year. Three physiotherapists, my GP, two RMTs, and my generally excellent personal trainer failed to help me make any progress.
At my last visit to my GP in late December, he maintained his insistence that I just needed to loosen up my hamstrings!
When to seek advice
The systematic approach you took to reviewing all the supposed cures and providing a clear analysis of each and no doubt saved me thousands of dollars and months of frustration. That gave me the focus to work on trigger points known to cause LBP with the help of some additional books and a great TP therapy app for my phone. I love what you do, I read your site often, and I recommend it to friends. Thanks more than you know. I have had life-altering low back pain for more than 8 years. Sarno himself, injections, dry needling of trigger points and massage from a physiatrist, chiropractic work and more.
Your low back pain tutorial is refreshing. It was nice to read something clear and logical that is actually consistent with my experience. I teach a course, Medicine in Society , at St. Leonards Hospital in Hoxton. I originally stumbled across your website whilst looking for information about pain for my medical students, and have recommended your tutorials to them. Your work deserves special mention for its transparency, evidence base, clear presentation, educational content, regular documented updates, and lack of any commercial promotional material.
Oh, I get those too! I do not host public comments on PainScience. I have made many important changes to this tutorial inspired directly by critical, informed reader feedback. Some people demand their money back and get it. The complaints of my most disatisfied customers have strong themes:. Thanks first and most of all to every reader, client, and book customer for your curiosity, your faith, and your feedback and suggestions, and your stories most of all — without you, all of this would be impossible and pointless.
Writers go on and on about how grateful they are for the support they had while writing one measly book , but this website is a much bigger project. Thanks to my wife for countless indulgences large and small; to my parents for possibly blind faith in me, and much copyediting; and to friends and technical mentors Mike, Dirk, Aaron, and Erin for endless useful chats, repeatedly saving my ass, and actually building many of the nifty features of this website. Steven Novella , Dr. Harriet Hall , Dr.
Stephen Barrett , Dr. Greg Lehman , Dr. This tutorial has been continuously, actively maintained and updated for 14 years now, staying consistent with professional guidelines and the best available science. The first edition was originally published in September , after countless hours of research and writing while I spent a month taking care of a farm and a beautiful pair of young puppies in the Okanagan.
Regular updates are a key feature of PainScience. As new science and information becomes available, I upgrade them, and the most recent version is always automatically available to customers. Unlike regular books, and even e-books which can be obsolete by the time they are published, and can go years between editions this document is updated at least once every three months and often much more.
This tutorial has gotten major and minor updates since I started logging carefully in late plus countless minor tweaks and touch-ups. Continued the process of making this section into a more substantive exploration of the idea of specific back pain, and added a new example, a case study of back pain caused by a tumour on a nerve root. October — Example added: September — Substantial editing: Merged content from the back and neck pain tutorials, resulting in major upgrades to two important sections in both books.
The role of true nerve problems in low back pain. The nerve pinch myth. August — Minor improvements: Discussed potential harms of strength training in a little more detail. Core strengthening has failed to live up to the hopes and dreams of therapists and patients. July — New section: A new standard chapter for most PainScience.
Some important things to keep in mind about placebos. July — Important update: Added an important new sub-section about anticonvulsants. June — Major science update: New key new citations and thorough analysis. Do you really need to lose some weight? Added much more detail about the basics of neuropathy and revised everything else quite thoroughly. Expanded the discussion of implications of Jayson as promised last month.
May — Science update: A science update … with quarter century old science about blood supply and radiculopathy see Jayson. April — New section: Just a new section. March — Major revision: Phase 1 of a reboot of this part of the book. An introduction to your care options. January — Major new section: Well, new to the book anyway. It has been available as a free article for quite a while, and it will remain so indefinitely. Although this content is not exclusive to the book, it definitely does belong here.
Kill it with fire! Treatment by nerve destruction. Needles for back pain: The section has been re-written and expanded significantly, with a key change in position. After reviewing the same scientific papers previously cited more carefully, I decided that they were much less promising than I originally thought. Diagnostic numbing of facet joints. Added a substantive footnote explaining the relationship between ulcers, stress, and H. Low back pain is the new ulcer. Although the topic is not covered in detail here, much study went into making this summary possible.
The evidence for massaging back pain. The bottom line is now that the science is inconclusive and discouraging instead of optimistic. Added an excellent recent example of awful back pain information. Added discussion of orthotics to treat leg length differences for back pain. An important and interesting acknowledgement that mechanical causes of back pain do exist. Some light editing of everything else in the chapter.
Save Yourself from Low Back Pain!
Added a small but key new point and citation about genetic factors in degeneration; and an important new citation about the disconnect between imaging results and pain. Your low back is not fragile! Discussed important new review of SMT for acute low back pain. Significant revision of the section.
Complete Guide to Low Back Pain ()
Spinal manipulative therapy SMT: Adjustment, manipulation, and cracking of the spinal joints. Even serious structural problems in the low back are often painless. Newer, better, evidence-based good news about disc herniation resorption. Updated references for debunking of TENS for back pain. Added ultrasound to the section. A few more snack-sized reality checks: Sitting, chairs, and ergonomics. Added discussion of a remarkable example of poor MRI reliability. An evidence-based reversal of position and advice about sitting and back pain, correcting a long-standing error: The fascinating case of acupuncture, formerly a contender in low back pain therapy, but which has now miserably failed well-designed scientific tests.
Thorough revision and modernization. Although I revised this section just five years ago, it needed it again! A trigger point checklist: There is now a good scientific concensus on the subject of spinal fusion, thanks to papers like Mannion and Hedlund