Back pain is quite common, and in most cases, the pain is related to how the discs, muscles, and ligaments work together. While many people experience acute back pain from mechanical injuries and strains, others suffer from back pain due to inflammation. It is important to be able to tell the difference between mechanical back pain and inflammatory back pain. Diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis are related to back pain that is inflammatory in nature.
How can you tell if you have inflammatory back pain?
If your back pain has been chronic (more than three months) it is possible your back pain is due to an inflammation. If your pain improves with exercise but not with rest, and if your pain worsens at night, it is possible that you have inflammatory back pain. The pain starts slowly in most people who are under 40 years of age, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications lessen the pain. Inflammatory back pain gets worse with immobility.
Inflammatory back pain symptoms:
- Onset before age 40
- Pain has been chronic
- Pain is worse in the mornings
- Movement relieves pain
- Anti-inflammatory drugs help
- Sleep is interrupted
- Pain in buttocks
The only sure way to know if your pain is mechanical or inflammatory in nature is through a doctor’s musculoskeletal evaluation. The symptoms of back pain can be similar to many other sources of pain.
How can you treat back pain due to inflammation?
According to research, chronic inflammation can be a culprit in everything from cancer to diabetes, along with back pain. Stressful lifestyles and toxic environments can add to the inflammation. A misaligned back is more painful when your body is coping with additional causes of inflammation.
It is possible to alleviate your back pain if it is caused by inflammation. Many cases of back pain have resolved with time without the need for surgery. There are many treatments that are safe and non-surgical that can work well for you. With a careful combination of exercise and pain relief, you can manage your back pain successfully. It is not easy, of course. But a change in lifestyle can be a great help. Eating foods that alleviate inflammation, avoiding foods that cause it and becoming more active are the most important things that you can do to alleviate your back pain from chronic inflammation.
Another helpful thing that you can do in your effort to relieve your back pain is to keep a record of your pain levels every day. You can do this in a journal to help identify any patterns. Include what you ate that day, what you did, and how you felt.
It is possible that certain foods that you eat can cause inflammation. Some foods that are known to spark inflammation are tomatoes, dairy products, GMO corn, sugary foods, and foods with trans fats. Alcohol intake can also be a culprit in causing inflammation.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that can be linked to inflammation, and it involves a breakdown of the cartilage in your joints. Also, rheumatoid arthritis can be a reason you have inflammation in your joints. It is an autoimmune disease that is different from other forms of arthritis
Non-surgical treatments for inflammation and back pain
There are many treatments that do not require surgery:
Exercise- There is a variety of strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and strength in surrounding muscles. Non-impact or low-impact aerobic exercise is best for those with back pain.
Physical therapy- This form of treatment combines passive modalities with therapeutic exercise to improve the health of your spine.
Massage- A good massage can do wonders for inflammation and back pain by melting away stress, and producing endorphins. It also increases circulation and has overall great body wide effects.
Heat/cold therapy-This type of treatment helps to reduce inflammation and pain. The heat eases muscles stiffness, while the cold reduces swelling.
Ayurvedic healing- An ancient approach that involves diet, massage, yoga, and herbs. It’s best to work with a skilled Ayurvedic doctor instead of treating yourself.
Aquatic therapy- This treatment includes whirlpools, water spas, and swimming pools. Water temperature and movement is varied to help soothe and relax muscles.