Lower Back Pain Relief
Few randomized, controlled studies are available to help guide the management of patients with acute lower back pain. Consequently, there are wide variations in care for acute lower back pain. Medical treatment for the acute phase of this condition usually begins with bed rest and non-prescription analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and/or prescription muscle relaxants.
According to several studies (e.g., Andersson 1999), chronic lower back pain is back pain that lasts 8 – 12 weeks or longer. For chronic back pain sufferers, spontaneous improvement is infrequent. Various lower back pain relief treatments include exercise, bed rest, electrical acupuncture, epidural injections and more invasive surgical treatments. All of these treatments are of unproven benefit (Deyo, et al. 1986; Weinstein, et al. 2006). If progression to the chronic phase occurs, antidepressants are sometimes added. In addition, anticonvulsants are used in cases where neuropathic pain is suspected. On occasion, narcotic analgesia is required for acute flare-ups. Narcotics can also be employed in the treatment for chronic pain as a final step for nonparenteral pharmacologic treatment. Local anesthetics and steroids are also often used.
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