Treat Back Pain Without Medication

Treat Back Pain Without Medication

Dr. Elizabeth Balyakina, a family physician at University Health, discusses ways to approach treating back pain. Balyakina explains osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and how to manage back pain without medication.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Osteopathic manipulative medicine is the therapeutic application of manual pressure or force to relieve pain. But the type of treatment varies from person to person. 

“Some people don’t want to use any medications and that may be one reason they seek OMM, but others may need a combination of therapies or treatment options to help control their pain on a day-to-day basis,” Balyakina said.

Causes of Back Pain

There can be many reasons for lower back pain, which is very common. “It can be related to a muscular injury like a sprain, or related to osteoarthritis or the nerves,” Balyakina said.

Poor posture is a common cause of back pain. Other causes of back pain may include: 

Back and Limb Pain Is Common

Pain in the back, arms and legs is common. According to a National Health Interview survey: 

  • 39% of adults experience back pain
  • 31% experience arm pain
  • 37% experience leg pain

Those most likely to experience back pain are: 

  • Adults aged 65 and older 
  • Non-Hispanic white adults 
  • Those with income below 100% of the federal poverty level

When Should I See a Doctor for Back Pain?

Sciatic pain is another type of lower back pain. But when is your pain bad enough to see a doctor?

“If you have any numbness or weakness in the legs, that would be a very important reason to come see the doctor,” Balyakina said.

Primary Care at University Health

Schedule an appointment with a University Health primary care provider online. Your primary care provider can help you find options for pain management.

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