Backache Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 12 December 2023
Backache Treatment

A myriad of reasons can give rise to back pain. Back aches are common and can occur due to many reasons, like overactivity, medical conditions, injuries and many more. It can happen to people of any age, but the chances of developing lower back pain is more prevalent in old age. The treatment for backache varies, considering the reasons causing it.

What are the Types of Backache Treatment?

Usually, the first thing you should try is to take some rest. If the pain does not subside after resting for a few days, you should consider undergoing some treatment.

There are several different types of treatments available in case of back pain. 

  1. Home treatments:
    1. Home treatments include over the counter pain medication, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. You can also consider some home remedies, such as applying heat to the affected area. Home treatments can also include making some lifestyle changes such as stretching exercises. One should also switch to light activity instead of intense physical exertions if that’s a part of their daily routine. Additionally, depending on how bad the pain is, one should take prolonged bed rest.  
    2. In most cases, back pain is fixed by home treatment. If the pain persists after undergoing several weeks of home treatment, one should opt for medical treatment.
  2. Medical treatment: 
    1. Medication
      1. The doctors prescribe grade pain medications, which are stronger than the counter painkillers and is used only after over-the-counter medicines have failed to work. 
      2. These medications may include narcotics and are only prescribed for a short period. In some cases, the doctors may suggest muscle relaxants as well.
    2. Physical therapy
      1. Physical Therapy includes different kinds of physical stimuli like electrical stimulation, applying ice or heat, ultrasound, etc. 
      2. It also includes some muscle relaxation techniques that can help in reducing back pain. Exercises for flexibility and strength are also introduced in physical therapy when the pain starts subsiding. These exercises are prescribed to prevent backache and some posture improving techniques that can be extremely helpful in avoiding back pain in the future.
    3. Cortisone Injections: It is used in cases where no previous treatments worked for the pain. These are anti-inflammatory injections that are injected into the epidural space (space around the spinal cord). Cortisone injections help in reducing any inflammation or swelling around the nerve roots near the back.
    4. Traction: At times, the doctor uses pulleys and weights to stretch the back. This can help in reducing the pain temporarily in situations like the dislocation of a herniated disc.
    5. Radiofrequency Neurotomy: It is a procedure in which a needle is passed through the skin near the affected area. After this, radio waves are passed through the needle which affects the nearby nerves and interferes with them resulting in the blockage of signals from the affected area to the brain. Thus, blocking the delivery of pain signals to that area. It can help temporarily but this procedure does not solve the root cause of the pain.
    6. Cognitive behavioural therapy:  A type of psychological therapy that doctors may also use in certain situations like, wherein the pain is related to mental stress, etc. It encourages patients to think in new ways and introduces them to new relaxation techniques. 
    7. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: It is a type of nerve stimulation that helps patients with chronic back pain. In this therapy, the machine delivers small electrical pulses into the body via the points where electrodes are placed on the skin. This therapy is considered non-expensive, non-invasive and safe and is used when other medications do not work.
  3. Other options:
    1. Going to a chiropractor. Chiropractors deal with joint muscle and bone-related issues, focusing on the spine.
    2. Shiatsu, which is finger pressure therapy, may also be helpful. It is a type of massage.
    3. Going to an osteopath is someone whose speciality is dealing with muscles and skeletons.
    4. These therapies are often known as complementary therapies as they work when used as an adjunct with the other therapies.
  4. Surgery: In extreme cases of back pain, one might have to opt for surgery. It is very rare to have to go through surgery for a backache. One of the reasons that can lead to surgery for back pain is in the case of a herniated disc. 

When you should see a doctor?

Since so many different factors can cause back pain, ascertaining when one should see a doctor can truly be determined on a case-to-case basis. However, if the pain has persisted for a long time and none of the home remedies has been helping, seeing a doctor would likely be the right decision.

You can do a few things before visiting a doctor, these are:-

  1. Make a list of all the information regarding the different types of risk factors in your life along with the symptoms you are facing and a detailed timeline regarding how long you have been facing them.
  2. You should also make a list of all the medications you are on. It will help the doctor understand your medical history. 
  3. Enlist all the questions you have and wish to ask your doctor. 

During the doctor’s appointment

The doctor will likely ask you questions regarding your back to figure out the root cause of pain. The questions can range from if you ever had a back injury before or not. You might also be asked about the kind and nature of work you do and whether your work in your daily life includes a lot of physical activity. You might also be asked about the time frame for experiencing the pain and many more. These questions help the doctor figure out which treatment route should be taken.

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Updated on : 12 December 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

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