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Lower back pain treatment: Fast lower back pain relief.

Lower back pain treatment: Fast lower back pain relief.

Dr. Michael Derry, DPT, PT, OCS Jacksonville, Florida
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Lower back pain treatment: Fast lower back pain relief.

As a physical therapist, I see many people with lower back pain. It’s the most common condition I treat. It affects millions and costs billions. The challenge is treating it. There are so many ways to treat lower back pain and some are supported with literature and some are not.We need to remember evidence-based practice includes expertise and patient values as well as research. After treating back pain for years and focusing my residency on it, I have put together my treatment strategy for lower back pain.This strategy is focused on self-management with the intent to avoid surgery, injections, and medications.

How do I treat lower back pain quickly?

How do I treat my lower back pain? New lower back pain often needs time and gentle movement. Almost everyone gets better over time. There are somethings that can help speed up recovery and make it easier on you. These include heat, ice, medication, massage, and manipulation or popping your back.

Should I use ice or heat for lower back pain?

Warm shower usually feels good right? 
Recent research has shown that it really doesn’t matter. For lower back pain, heat usually helps relax the area and will allow your spasms to decrease. Right lower back pain and left lower back pain can be treated like this as well. Ice may help provide a feeling of numbness. I recommend finding what works for you! Try them both. Here are some pictures and links from what I have used before with good results.

Is massage good for my lower back pain?

Massage is generally really good for lower back pain. Massage is really good for back pain and pain that radiates into your butt.With lower back pain massages can feel really good.
3 things to to consider when getting a massage for lower back pain.
1. Laying on your back or side may be preferred depending on your pain. Find a comfortable position so you can relax.
2. Spasms in your lower back can respond very well to targeted massage. Ask you massage therapist to start gentle but let them work into the areas that are uncomfortable or that feel tight.
3. Ask them if they have experience massaging people in pain. You want to make sure they know what they are doing and can adapt to your specific problem.
Massage should NEVER make you feel worse. If it does, the something was lost in translation. Make sure to stand up for yourself and be open and honest.

Upper back massage. Here's a tip. Consider looking for discounted massages on Groupon! 

For lower back pain you doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, or consider imaging and therapy.

The most common medications I see are ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam, and Flexeril (muscle relaxer). Medications are not long-term management strategies but may help you do more and feel better in that moment. Make sure you talk to your physician to make sure they don’t interact with other medication you may be taking.

For lower back pain it is important to stay positive.

Most back pain gets better on its own. It’s true! If you have had back pain for a long time, you know that some days are better than others and that over time it does feel a little better.

Is popping your back good for back pain?

Yes, it has been shown to decrease pain! With that said there are some caveats. Try not to pop your own back if you are in pain. Your back may be in spasm and you will not get the area that you should get when you try to do it on your own. In the state Florida physical therapists can’t use the term, “manipulation” but many providers have been trained in the techniques that can cause your back “pop”. This includes physical therapists, chiropractors, and D.O.’s. When someone is popping your back it should be comfortable and don’t let someone do it if it hurts. It should NEVER hurt!

If you want to take control and manage your back pain, learn relevant information, and aren’t interested in injections, surgery, or medications…Check out my self-paced course!

Make sure to subscribe to my blog to continue learning more about back pain and the best ways to manage and relieve it.


Reference: George SZ, Fritz JM, Silfies SP, Schneider MJ, Beneciuk JM, Lentz TA, Gilliam JR, Hendren S, Norman KS. Interventions for the Management of Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Revision 2021. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Nov;51(11):CPG1-CPG60. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.0304. PMID: 34719942.

Dr. Michael Derry is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and board certified in orthopedics. He is very passionate about treating lower back pain and helping people build their resiliency. He has spent time assisting at universities as well as managing large clinics before starting his own practice in Jacksonville, FL.

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