GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Nearly 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Health.
It’s the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading cause for missed work days. Within the past 3 months, over a quarter of American adults have experienced low back pain.
According to Bon Secours St. Francis Nurse Practitioner Jamie Elliotte at Piedmont Orthopaedic, treatment depends on the type of pain. Most low back pain is short term, but anything lasting over 12 weeks is categorized as chronic. She recommends using a cold compress for initial injuries, but heat for chronic injuries.
For natural remedies, Elliotte recommends turmoric, glucosomine, acupuncture and lidocane rubs, which are over the counter.
So when should those with back pain seek professional help?
“When you start getting symptoms of numbness and tingling into your legs and things like that, ask for physical therapy,” she says. “See if those symptoms resolve. If those persist, those are things you need to see somebody about. A lot of times people are given diagnosis especially in older populations saying ‘Oh, I have neuropathy.’ Really they have spinal stenosis, something that can be fixed with surgery.”
If patients are not a candidate for corrective surgery, she recommends looking into a spinal cord stimulator.
“It’s used to treat neuropathic pain and it basically fools the brain into not feeling the pain,” Elliotte says.
To avoid arthritis or other back issues, she says practicing good posture, maintaining a healthy weight and lifting correctly are key.
“Yu want to lift with your legs not your back,” she says.
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