If you suffer from lower back pain, you are not alone – over 3 million Americans feel your pain. While some cases are acute and go away on their own in a few weeks, others can be chronic and don’t seem to respond well to traditional lower back pain treatments. After exhausting epidurals, steroids, chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture and medication, some people are left thinking that surgery is their only option for relief.
At Greenberg Regenerative Medicine, we understand the frustration of living with chronic pain. But we’re here to tell you that surgery often isn’t the answer. That’s why we offer regenerative treatments and alternative therapies to alleviate your pain and get you back to your normal activities.
If you experience acute back pain, there are things you can try at home to relieve the pain. Acupressure can be administered by a trained acupuncturist or self-administered at home. A study has found positive results using acupressure on lower back pain; those who performed relaxing acupressure felt their pain had improved after six weeks.
What Is Acupressure and How Can It Help Lower Back Pain?
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used for centuries to improve chronic pain. It is similar to acupuncture but instead of needles, pressure is applied with a finger or device to specific points on the body. This can be done by a specialist or even self-administered at home. However, it’s best to visit a specialist to learn the basics; they can teach you the proper way to administer this therapy at home.
Is Acupressure Effective?
A study examined the effects of acupressure on chronic lower back pain compared to usual care, which consists of painkillers and physical therapy. The study measured fatigue, pain, sleep quality, and reported disability. Back pain was reduced by 36% in the acupressure groups. The acupressure groups also experienced an improvement in fatigue. Compared to usual care, acupressure showed positive improvement in pain.
Although acupressure has shown positive results in alleviating acute back pain, severe or chronic pain unresponsive to conservative treatments will likely require a comprehensive treatment approach. Dr. Greenberg offers regenerative therapies, including stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and prolotherapy, which are great non-surgical options for pain relief and healing joint damage. Acupressure can be used in conjunction with these lower back pain treatments to decrease fatigue, improve sleep quality, and promote relaxation. It is also a great way to relax the body, which can improve your wellbeing.
What Can Cause Lower Back Pain?
The lumbar spine supports the weight of the upper body, which is why it is a common site of pain. Any part of its anatomy – the vertebrae, intervertebral disc, ligament, tendon, or muscle – can be tweaked or injured, leading to pain. The vast majority of lower back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning it is related to the degeneration of the spine (natural wear and tear).
Acute Low Back Pain
Sprains, strains, and spasms cause the majority of acute lower back pain. Sprains occur when you microscopically tear a ligament, while strains occur when you tear a tendon or muscle. Certain movements can also trigger spasms in the back muscles. These injuries can occur when lifting something improperly, lifting something that is too heavy, or overstretching. Sometimes, a sudden movement may trigger a shift in the pelvis, resulting in a tilt.
Chronic Low Back Pain
Chronic cases of lower back pain are caused by an existing condition of the spine, intervertebral discs, or surrounding nerves that have not healed over time. The most common cause of chronic low back pain is degenerative disc disease, which refers to the progressive wear and tear on the vertebral column that can degenerate the cushiony pads over time. Intervertebral discs can also become too compressed, causing them to herniate. In cases of spondylolisthesis, a vertebra may slip out of place and push on nearby structures such as the disc.
If a disc becomes slipped or compressed, it can pinch surrounding nerves. This can lead to radiculopathy, a condition caused by compression, inflammation, or injury to the spinal nerve root. It usually causes pain, numbness, or tingling (pins and needles) sensation that can travel to other areas of the body that are connected to that nerve (arms or legs). Sciatica is a type of radiculopathy in which the sciatic nerve is compressed. The sciatic is a large nerve that runs from the buttocks down the back of the leg. If it becomes compressed, it causes shock-like or burning low back pain throughout this area.
There are other factors that can contribute to your low back pain. Have you ever heard someone say they have one leg that is shorter than the other? According to studies, between 90-95% of Americans have functional leg length discrepancy. This condition cannot be seen to the naked eye – most people don’t even know they have it. Rather, it causes a slight pelvic tilt that leads to problems with gait (the manner in which you walk). It can cause pain in the low back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
What Are My Lower Back Pain Treatment Options?
The best approach to lower back pain is a comprehensive evaluation of the structures of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, and legs. All of these joints work together to create the movement of the spine, and any one of them may be contributing to the pain.
This evaluation is referred to as a Comprehensive Kinetic Diagnosis and is done to augment X-Rays. It enables the doctor to not only see the structures in the back but also evaluate how the body creates movement that may be contributing to the pain.
Although some doctors may say that surgery is your only treatment option, there are alternative regenerative lower back pain treatments that can relieve your pain and heal the condition. These include stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and prolotherapy. If you have visited other doctors that either can’t seem to help you or are recommending risky surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Greenberg for a safe, holistic approach to chronic pain relief. Dr. Greenberg also invented the treatment to reverse a pelvic tilt immediately, which often provides instant relief.
Life without chronic pain is possible, and the answer isn’t surgery and/or painkillers. Don’t give up hope – your body has the power to heal itself. Dr. Greenberg is a leading expert in regenerative and holistic treatment options designed to help you return to your normal activities.
Call Greenberg Regenerative Medicine today at (833) 295-8230 to book a consultation or schedule it online. Take the first step toward a pain-free life, today.