The back is essential to daily activities. A minor back injury or pain can disrupt your day. More severe pain and chronic conditions can even affect the quality of life. Back pain is prevalent, primarily because of bad posture and improper form. In addition, high-contact sports have a higher risk of back injuries.
Treating back pain is essential. Without prompt treatment, there is a risk of developing permanent disabilities. Fortunately, this article discusses back pain treatment with an emphasis on laser therapy. We also explore the benefits of laser therapy for back pain. Kindly read along.
Causes Of Back Pain
There are several causes of back pain, including;
Incorrect posture is the primary cause of back pain. If your posture is terrible, you can develop back pain from standing or sitting. In addition, people who primarily sit during work may not have proper back support, which takes its toll on the back.
Furthermore, moving heavy objects over time can cause back pain, even when you lift them correctly. Another cause of back pain is standing in worn-out, uncomfortable, or unsupportive shoes for long periods.
Sudden or repeated movements can strain the back muscles and ligaments, damaging the surrounding structures. Back pain resulting from muscle or ligament strain causes severe ongoing discomfort until it is treated properly.
The spine’s vertebrae have spinal discs that pad the spine, preventing spinal bones from grinding against one another. Severe back pain occurs when the spinal discs are herniated or ruptured.
A fall or accident can cause chronic, long-lasting back pain even after the injury is healed. Therefore, although accidents happen, it is essential to be mindful and avoid risky behaviors that can cause them.
Chronic conditions that cause back pain include osteoporosis, arthritis, and scoliosis. Osteoporosis makes the bones brittle and porous, leading to fractures in the vertebrae. Arthritis, on the other hand, is the wearing away of supportive and connective tissues. Consequently, arthritis causes the bone to rub against another bone, causing pain.
Scoliosis is the irregular curving of the spine. Although scoliosis develops in adolescence, the pain may not develop until much later.
Treatment For Back Pain
There are different treatments for back pain; the best one for you depends on the cause and severity of the pain. Usually, your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of the following to treat your back pain;
Pain relievers: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen may treat your back pain. If they are not, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers and topical pain relievers for your back pain.
Injections: When pain medications don’t work for your back pain, you may have to get cortisone injections for back pain relief.
Physiotherapy: Physiotherapists in Barrie, ON, can help manage and relieve back pain. A Physiotherapist can help build strength and relieve pain by combining several therapies and special exercises.
Surgery: This method is usually employed when back pain has not responded to other treatment methods.
What Is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy uses light energy from a laser to reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and accelerate the healing of damaged muscles. The class of lasers used in laser therapy is cold lasers. And the therapy is otherwise known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
LLLT is effective in treating back pain in one or two treatments. This is because the laser produces enough power to give significant anti-inflammatory and healing effects. However, it is essential to note that you may need more than five treatments to resolve your back pain fully. This is because more treatments are usually required for chronic and extensive injuries.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
Cold lasers are handheld devices. They are usually the size of a flashlight. During treatment, your doctor will place the laser over the injured areas for some minutes. The duration of the treatment depends on the dose the cold laser unit provides and the size of the area to be treated.
The laser emits non-thermal photons of light during treatment through the skin layers. Lasers at 830nm wavelength and 90mw power can penetrate between two and five centimeters below the skin.
When the light energy passing through the skin layers reaches its target, it is absorbed and interacts with the cell’s light-sensitive elements. Consequently, an initiation of a series of events eventually reduces pain, edema, and inflammation. In addition, the light increases intracellular metabolism, which reduces healing time.
What Conditions Do Laser Therapy Treat?
Laser therapy effectively treats repetitive motion injuries, including sprains and strains. The treatment also treats inflammatory conditions like tendonitis, bursitis, peripheral neuropathy, and capsulitis.
Physiotherapists use laser therapy as stand-alone treatments or in combination with other rehabilitative exercises. As a stand-alone treatment, some patients respond faster to treatment due to the difference in individual healing rates.
How Does Laser Therapy Treat Back Pain?
Laser therapy relieves back pain in several ways, including;
Bradykinin is a pain-eliciting chemical in the body. A cold laser decreases the production of this chemical and, consequently, nerve sensitivity. In addition, lasers normalize ion channels or cellular gatekeepers and release endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever, while enkephalins are related to endorphins.
Together, endorphins and enkephalins produce an analgesic effect. In addition, lasers block pain in some nerve fibers
ATP is stored energy in the body, and it stands for adenosine triphosphate. Cold lasers increase this stored energy, accelerating the cell repair process. In addition, the laser widens the arteries and veins around an injury, removing cellular debris and increasing oxygen and nutrients. Furthermore, the therapy reduces inflammation and increases the release of beneficial antioxidants.
Collagen is a protein essential to injury repair and tissue replacement. Lasers stimulate collagen blocks, accelerating the healing of damaged tissues.
Fibrous Tissue Formation Reduction
Tissue damage from injuries, scratches, or cuts leads to scar formation. Fortunately, laser therapy reduces scar tissue formation
Tissue Repair And Cell Growth Acceleration
Laser light penetrates the tissues to accelerate cellular growth and reproduction. During laser therapy, exposure to light causes a fast repair of the muscles, nerves, and ligaments
Lasers increase the formation of new capillaries, especially in damaged tissues. Consequently, laser therapy closes wounds quickly, speeding up the healing process.
Trigger Points Extinguisher
Laser therapy extinguishes painful trigger points, easing back pain. The treatment also stimulates acupuncture points without the use of needles.
Stem Cell Activation
Laser therapy increases the number of stem cells and consequently promotes healing
Benefits Of Laser Therapy For Back Pain
The back is a sensitive part of the body, and back pain can hamper daily activities. Fortunately, laser therapy helps to treat back pain. Some of the benefits of laser therapy for back pain include the following;
Precise and quick treatment
Cold laser therapy is precise. The lasers target the source of the pain to treat it.
Traditional back pain treatments include the use of pain relievers which may be addictive in the long run. Laser therapy, on the other hand, relieves back pain without the use of medication
Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment. Therefore, after a treatment session, patients can resume their daily activities with little to no downtime
Improved blood flow
Laser therapy stimulates proper circulation, which is essential to helping the body heal.
Reduces inflammation and swelling
Inflammation pressures tender muscles and nerves, increasing the intensity of back pain. Cold laser therapy reduces inflammation and swelling and, consequently, back pain
Disadvantages Of Cold Laser Therapy
Although cold laser therapy is excellent for alleviating pain without side effects or downtime, there are still disadvantages to this treatment method. Some of the disadvantages of laser therapy include the following;
You need multiple treatments for permanent relief. There is no resolution of symptoms after the first treatment. You may need more than six treatments depending on the severity and duration of the pain
You may feel aggravated symptoms for a few days after the treatment. However, the sensation is usually short-term and lasts only a few days
How To Prevent Back Pain
You can prevent back pain at work by adjusting your car seat and chairs to support your back. Also, limit carrying heavy objects; if you must, ensure you are mindful of your posture. In addition, it is best to wear supportive shoes when necessary.
Another way you can prevent back pain is to do muscle stretching and strengthening exercises at least twice a week. It is also ideal to get active and stay healthy.
Furthermore, it is best to participate in stress-relieving activities to prevent back pain. For example, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing significantly reduce stress and prevent back pain.
Sometimes back pain is inevitable. Fortunately, with laser therapy, you can get treatment in a short period without any downtime. Your Physiotherapists may use laser therapy as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other rehabilitative exercises. You can visit Concept of Movement in Barrie, ON, for laser therapy.