4 Popular Treatments for Lower Back Pain that Work

By Sherwin Nicholson | SN Health Resources

treatments for lower back pain

Back pain and treatment 

Back pain is the most common cause of pain, loss of work productivity, sick leave and more.  It is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders.  However, due to its complexity, there are several methods of treatment established.

Most cases of lower back pain usually resolve themselves entirely without any treatment whatsoever.  Usually, rest and medication are deemed sufficient.  These cases are considered to be acute or mild in nature.

When treatment is necessary 

Chronic lower back pain, however, does not resolve itself so easily. With the right treatment chronic pain can be treated.  While some cases are genetic, neurological or disease related, the vast majority are mechanical and treatable.

Numerous options are available these days.  Many are quite different from one another.  Most involve some degree of physical activity or exercise to help facilitate the recovery process.

Choice can affect your outcome 

Choosing the right treatment option can be difficult due to your particular condition.  Your choice can influence the long-term outcome of your recovery.  One option, surgery has had mixed results.  Here as much as 20% of surgery patients still report pain.

85% of lower back pain is mechanical.  Combined with the many different methods of treatment, this can make it one of the most difficult conditions to treat.  It can become tough, if not discouraging for the average sufferer of pain to find adequate help if the wrong recommendatherapy for lower back paintions are followed.  Many go from one treatment option to another while some eventually abandon them entirely.

It is important not to allow these obstacles from deterring one from getting appropriate help.  Below is an outline of 4 popular and successful methods of treatment for lower back pain.

Treatment options for lower back pain

These options are non-invasive and non-surgical.


This treatment has been increasingly popular in western culture in the past few decades.  The placement of fine needles at specific anatomical points of the body.  Insertion of the needles at predetermined areas and depths are done strictly for therapeutic purposes.  The treatment involves different techniques including needle thrusting, rotation, and electrical stimulation.  Other methods include moxibustion, injection and laser acupuncture.

It is used to encourage the body to produce natural analgesics.  It is considered safe and convenient with few complications.  There is some degree of discomfort after treatment but temporary.

It is regarded as a popular method for the management of lower back pain.  With the addition of dry needling, outcomes have improved as compared to acupuncture alone.

Physical Activity

When an episode of lower back pain strikes, bed rest is often recommended by the family physician.  Recommending rest infers that the patient invests the majority of their recovery period in bed with little activity.

As beneficial as this is, there is a limit to the amount of rest necessary for recovery.  Too much bed rest has been observed to impair or even limit the recovery process.

physical activity

Currently, it has been demonstrated that physical activity is more advantageous than that of best rest alone.  Incorporating activity with bed rest speeds up the recovery process.  It counteracts the negative effects of extensive rest.

Excessive rest causes muscle weakness, shortening, and tightness.  It is found that resuming a course of gentle and gradual exercises and stretching after a few days of rest is highly beneficial for recovery from lower back pain.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is used to invoke muscular stimulation through the placement of electrodes on the skin.  The stimulation is used to contract the muscle (or muscles) in order the strengthen them.  This helps to increase fitness and decrease muscle spasms.  Treatment involves stimulation for up to 30 minutes, a few times a day, weekly.  EMS helps to restore muscle function, circulation, conditioning for lower back pain.

This is a successful treatment for patients that have difficulty stimulating their muscle to the level required for EMS.  There are caveats where EMS is not recommended such as pregnancy, pacemaker use, implanted devices, vascular and skin conditions.


This popular and successful treatment has been practiced for many years.  Exercise therapy varies greatly exercise for lower back painamong practitioners.  Examples of therapy include exercises performed at home.

A health care professional initially recommends the use of exercise to treat back pain and prescribes it is an option to be practiced at home without supervision.  This method includes the same principles as mentioned before, but with the added requirement of returning to the treatment specialist on specific periods for progress monitoring.  Exercise therapy can also be performed with multiple patients or on a one-to-one basis.

This is a popular, recommended method of treatment for lower back pain.  Because each patient has his own unique lower back pain condition, the treatment or exercise is also unique.  Provided that the patient is properly diagnosed and referred to the correct form of exercise therapy, a positive result is expected.  Because of the complexities of back pain, it is essential for a proper diagnosis.

Exercise therapy can cause mild to moderate muscle soreness.  With the right recommendations, an ideal treatment can be used to improve pain relief and restore lower back function.

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