What Is The Best Way To Treat Low Back Pain?

Dr. Steven Ludwig answers the question: 'How Do I Best Treat Low Back Pain?'

BySteven C. Ludwig, M.d., Chief Of Spine Surgery, University Of Maryland Medical Center
November 11, 2008, 5:56 PM

— -- Question: What Is The Best Way To Treat Low Back Pain?

Answer: There's a wide range of treatment options available for low back pain. Treatment depends on what is causing the pain and for how long. The majority of low back pain goes away on its own within a few weeks.

As you consider your treatment for your low back pain, keep the following in mind: if you recently developed low back pain stay as active as you can and consider taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. If low back pain persists for more than six weeks, then additional studies should be considered to diagnose the source of the low back pain and develop a treatment plan.

A variety of treatment procedures are available. Physical therapy programs that combine low back strengthening exercises with aerobic conditioning can help improve your function and manage your pain.

If you have pain traveling down your legs, also known as sciatica, weakness in your legs or problems associated with your bowel or bladder function, you should consult your doctor right away.

Surgery is rarely needed for low back pain. If you have a herniated disc, your condition is likely to improve without surgery.

Next: What Are The Chances My Back Pain Will Get Better On Its Own Without Treatment?

Previous: What Can I Do To Prevent Low Back Pain?

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