HealthHow should back pain be treated?

How should back pain be treated?

Back pain is an extremely common condition that affects people of all ages. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it difficult to move. While some cases of back pain will go away on their own with rest and home treatments, others require medical attention and more advanced therapies to find relief. 

Understanding the various options for treating back pain can help sufferers find the right solution for their specific type of pain.

Causes of Back Pain

Muscle and Ligament Strains

One of the most common causes of back pain is straining the muscles or ligaments in the back. This can happen due to improper lifting, sudden movements, poor posture, lack of exercise, or simple overuse. Muscle and ligament strains can cause anything from mild to severe pain, depending on the extent of the injury. 

Bulging or Ruptured Discs

The discs in the spine act as cushions between the vertebrae. If they become damaged and bulge outwards or rupture completely, it puts pressure on the neighbouring nerves and causes radiating pain, numbness or weakness down the arms and legs. This nerve compression is known as sciatica when it affects the sciatic nerve.


Spinal arthritis happens when the cartilage around the joints wears down over time.  Bone spurs can also form, causing inflammation, stiffness and back pain. Arthritis-related back pain tends to be chronic and get worse with age.

When to See a Doctor

 It’s important to consult a doctor if your back pain persists beyond a few days, causes concern or is accompanied by any warning signs. These include pain down the legs, numbness/tingling, fevers, unexplained weight loss or bowel/bladder changes. Seeking timely medical care can prevent small issues from becoming serious.

Treatments for Back Pain

Home Remedies

For mild strains and pain, home treatment may be enough for relief. This includes rest, cold/hot packs, OTC pain medication, gentle stretches and modifications to activities that aggravate the pain. While these won’t cure any serious underlying problems, they can provide short-term comfort.

Physical Therapy 

Physical Therapy Ashburn is often one of the first treatment recommendations for back injuries that don’t resolve on their own with basic home care. A physical therapist will evaluate your spine’s condition and then develop a customized treatment plan. This could involve manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises to improve strength/flexibility, posture training, traction devices, heat/ice therapy and more. If you want a customized treatment plan for your back pain, you can contact State of the Art Physical Therapy in Ashburn VA.


Various massage techniques can help relax tense muscles, increase blood flow to injured tissues and provide pain relief. Massage may be recommended on its own or in conjunction with other therapies. Types of massage used to treat back pain include Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point and neuromuscular therapy.


Acupuncture involves placing very thin needles at specific pressure points on the body to reduce pain signals and encourage natural healing. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the needles manipulate chi (energy) flow to restore proper function. Acupuncture can provide relief for both acute and chronic back pain.


Stronger medications may be prescribed alongside other treatments for moderate to severe back pain. These include muscle relaxants to stop painful muscle spasms, narcotics for severe pain relief and steroids/anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and inflammation.


If the source causing the pain is something like a herniated disc, bone spur or severely compressed nerve root, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying structural problem. Examples include laminectomy, discectomy and spinal fusion. Surgery has risks so it’s typically the last resort when other conservative treatments have not worked.

The holistic Approach Is the Best

Treating back pain often requires an integrative approach with multiple therapies for the best relief. The specific treatments recommended will depend on what’s causing the pain and the severity. Starting with gentle therapies then progressing to stronger or more invasive options as needed is generally the smartest approach. This gives the back time to heal while also providing pain relief. 


Back Pain Ashburn has many potential underlying causes and should be properly evaluated by a medical professional. Home remedies and physical therapy can provide relief in milder cases. Other options for more moderate to severe back pain include massage, acupuncture, medications, surgery or often a combination of multiple therapies. 

Finding the right solution is crucial, so don’t hesitate to seek help. An integrative approach focused on treating the root cause is key to stopping the pain and its progression.If you’re struggling with stubborn back pain, get an evaluation from State of the Art Physical Therapy in Ashburn, VA. Their experienced physical therapists can determine the source of your pain and get you on the road to recovery.

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