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Low Back Pain Treatments


Treatment options include:

Bed Rest

Short-term bed rest is not generally recommended in normal individuals. It is only recommended in those with severe debilitating back pain, and for not more that 1-2 days. Movement helps in cases of muscle spasm and to maintain muscle strength.


  • Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bayer), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Muscle relaxants for muscle spasm—These medications are not used in cases where you need to be alert, such as driving or operating machinery.
  • Cortisone injections
Antidepressants are also sometimes prescribed for low back pain. While these medications may be effective for depression, there is little evidence they effectively relief chronic low back pain, whether patients are depressed or not.

Physical Therapy

  • Hot or cold packs
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises for back and abdominal muscles
  • Education about how to deal with back problems
  • Massage —Massage might be helpful especially if it is combined with education and exercise.
  • Ultrasound treatments or electrical stimulation

Your doctor may recommend that you restrict activities for 3-6 weeks, then resume activities as soon as possible.

Alternative Medicine


Only a small number of patients need surgery. It may be needed if nerve problems develop or other treatments fail to provide relief. Common procedures are diskectomy , laminectomy , and spinal fusion .

If you have low back pain, follow your doctor's instructions .

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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