Your back pain may not go away completely, or it may get more painful at times. Learn to take care of your back at home and how to prevent repeat episodes of back pain. This can help you continue with your normal activities.
Your doctor may recommend measures to reduce your pain, including:
- A back brace to support your back
- Cold packs and heat therapy
- Physical therapy, involving stretching and strengthening exercises
- Counseling, to learn ways to understand and manage your pain
These health care providers can also help:
- Massage therapist
- Someone who performs acupuncture
- Someone who does spinal manipulation (a chiropractor, osteopathic physician, or physical therapist)
If needed, your doctor may prescribe medicines to help with your back pain:
- Aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Advil), which you can buy without a prescription
- Low doses of prescription medicines
- Narcotics or opioids when the pain is severe
If your pain does not improve with medicine, physical therapy, and other treatments, your doctor may recommend an epidural injection.
Spinal surgery is considered only if you have nerve damage or the cause of the back pain does not heal after a long time.
In some patients, a spinal cord stimulator can help reduce back pain.
Other treatments that may be recommended if your pain does not improve with medicine and physical therapy include:
- Epidural injection
- Spinal surgery, only if you have nerve damage or the cause of your pain does not heal after a long time
- Spinal cord stimulation, in which a small device sends electric current to the spine to block pain signals
Some people with low back pain may also need:
- Job changes
- Job counseling
- Job retraining
- Occupational therapy