Research Suggests Alternative Treatments for Lower Back Pain

People older than 60 have a higher chance of suffering from pain resulting from spine joint degeneration. Osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis are two common causes for lower back pain in seniors, writes Peter Ullrich, MD, for Spine-health.

While some people may be inclined to take pain killers including acetaminophen and steroids to alleviate chronic lower back discomfort, new research suggests that may not be beneficial and that other treatment options may be healthier, Andrew Seaman writes for Reuters.

If an individual has recently begun experiencing lower back pain, he or she can take non steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. However, chronic lower back pain—pain that has continued for more than 12 weeks—that does not radiate to other parts of the body should not be treated that way.

A review of studies conducted by the American College of Physicians (ACP) indicates that “people who have been suffering with chronic low back pain [should] try non-drug therapies such as exercise, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy or spinal manipulation,” Seaman writes.

If those strategies don’t work, the ACP recommends the use of NSAIDs or the pain medications duloxetine, which is marketed as Cymbalta, or tramadol, which is marketed as Ultram, Seaman writes.

If you experience chronic lower back pain, you may want to try exercises to ease the discomfort. Check with your doctor to ensure your exercise plan will be helpful rather than harmful. Specific exercises exist to strengthen the back and ease pain. Click here for some suggestions to get you started.

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