Category Archives: Back Pain

18 Daily Activities that May Cause Lower Back Pain

We all know that lifting heavy objects and things of that nature can lead to lower back pain issues, but what about your daily habits? Are there any activities that you perform during a typical day that could be causing your lower back pain?

In this article, we’re going to discuss a few things most of us do on a daily basis, or at least a weekly basis, that may lead to back pain (and we don’t even realize it).

1 Driving


Have you ever had a sore lower back after driving for a long distance? If you’ve got a long commute or have a job that requires you to spend an hour or more each day in your vehicle, then your lower back pain could be caused by your posture while driving.

In order to alleviate the stress on your lower back while driving, you need to ensure that you sit up straight, with your back completely against the back of your seat. Oftentimes, drivers will sit in the middle of the seat, which fails to support the lower back, leading to back issues.

You may also want to consider purchasing a driving pillow (there are several companies that make them) that is designed to support your lower back during those long com-mutes.

In addition, many vehicles now come with features designed to help individuals suffering from lower back pain, including seats with side bolstering, heating and ventilation, and more.

2 Sleeping

It’s not uncommon for poor sleep positions to result in lower back pain, especially for stomach sleepers. We find that many of our patients who sleep on their stomachs expe-rience back pain that is at least partially caused by poor positioning of the spine during sleep.

In order to fix the problem, we encourage our patients to either sleep on their back (per-haps with a pillow under their knees), or if the only way they can sleep is on their stom-ach, at least put a pillow underneath the lower abdominal area to allow the spine to maintain its natural curve while sleeping.

If you experience lower back stiffness in the mornings, it may be caused by a poor sleep position, so consider altering your sleep position and monitor your results.

3 Brushing your teeth & shaving


You may chuckle reading this, but there are actually two very real scenarios where you can hurt your lower back while standing over your sink while brushing your teeth or shaving.

For starters, when many people brush their teeth, they are significantly bent over the sink (especially for individuals who are taller). If you maintain this position for 2-3 minutes while brushing, it can lead to problems.

Secondly, most men shave every day or at least a few times per week. When shaving, we often try to get as close to the mirror as we can in order to ensure we don’t miss a stray hair or two.

This can lead to 10 minutes or more of bending our backs forward at a 30 degree angle, putting undo stress on the lower back region.

4 Going for a walk

Walking is good for you and is normally better for back pain than just sitting and resting. However, it’s important that you walk correctly, using the right pace, technique, and on proper terrain.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s probably a bad idea to go on a demanding hike through the woods. Instead, get a comfortable pair of running shoes with plenty of padding and walk on the sidewalk in your neighborhood or on easy-to-navigate trails.

Walking is a great habit, but just make sure you don’t overdo it.

5 Playing non-contact sports (golf, tennis, etc.)


Even though golf and tennis are not contact sports, they can still cause a significant amount of injury to the lower back area.

For instance, most golfers coil their upper body, while trying to remain relatively quiet with the lower body. This creates tension between the upper and lower body, especially on the trail side (the right side for right-handed golfers, and left side for left-handed players). As such, muscle strain and injuries to the SI joint are common.

The same thing happens in tennis when you are winding up to serve or when you deliv-er a powerful backhand— you unconsciously load power using the muscles in your low-er back, hips, and legs.

It’s quite easy to tweak your back, and it’s no wonder that most great tennis players start to see their skills diminish around the age of 30; it’s a physically demanding sport.

6 Playing with your kids, grandkids, or even the dog

Few things in life rival the joy experienced when playing with your kids, grandkids, or even your furry friend who’s also a member of the family. In fact, we often get caught up in doing what they want to do, and our bodies suffer as a result.

If you’re experiencing back pain after physical activities with your friends and family, it may be time to see a pain management doctor at Prospira Pain Care. You don’t want to let lower back pain keep you from enjoying those precious moments.

7 Sitting at your desk all day


In our modern society, we sit at our desks much more often than we should. In fact, many patients who come to see us believe that sitting at their desks all day (for 40 hours or more a week) is contributing to their back pain.

It’s a fact— we live a more sedentary lifestyle now than during any era of history, and we have the back problems to prove it.

One thing the CDC has suggested is to use a standing desk in order to help alleviate chronic pain. These types of desks are designed to help you, not only alleviate back pain at work, but also become more productive.

If you can squash your back pain and get more work done in the process, it might be worth trying. If you think that your sitting habits may be linked to your back pain, Prospi-ra Pain Care offers a wide variety of minimally invasive, integrated therapies that focus on treating pain without using habit-forming medications.

So don’t just “sit” and keep on hurting. Stand up and call us!

8 Smoking

It’s obviously a well known fact that smoking is a very unhealthy habit, but did you know that it can actually contribute to your lower back problems?

While it’s long been suspected that a link between smoking and lower back pain exists, a study published in 2001 shed some light on the issue. Researchers found that risk fac-tors for atherosclerosis (smoking history and hypertension) were associated with lower back pain and lumbar spondylosis.

The bottom line is that smoking doesn’t only have a negative effect on your heart and lungs; it can also be a contributing factor for patients who are suffering from lower back pain.

While quitting smoking certainly isn’t easy, we strongly recommend that you seek pro-fessional treatment to help you overcome your smoking habits.

9 Cleaning and laundry


Think about all of the lifting you do when you clean and do laundry. Shocking, isn’t it? Putting clothes in the washer, taking heavy, wet clothes out of the washer, putting tow-els on high shelves (not to mention the bending required when vacuuming, mopping, and doing other household chores.)— it all adds up to a significant amount of stress and strain on your lower back.

Most people don’t think about it, but these seemingly harmless activities can lead to lower back pain and actually decrease your quality of life.

While you must keep a clean house, if these kinds of chores are causing significant back pain, you want to ask your spouse or significant other to help out more, or even consider hiring a cleaning service to handle the most demanding work required around the house.

10 Mowing the lawn

If you’re using a riding lawn mower, this isn’t such an issue (although you can have the same issues with a riding lawn mower as you do driving a car). However, mowing your lawn with a push power can lead to back problems due to the hunched over posture re-quired to push the mower forward and pull it back.

Again, if mowing the lawn is worsening your back troubles, consider hiring a lawn care service, or if possible, let one of your kids or neighbors handle it.

Keeping a nice and tidy yard is important, but there are other options besides pushing a mower for an hour or more and hurting your back in the process.

11 Pushing a stroller


Listen up moms, dads, and grandparents: pushing a stroller can actually lead to back pain. Think about it— when pushing your young child in a stroller, you assume a posture that is bent slightly forward of center, which can alter the natural curvature of the spine.

It’s actually a similar motion to mowing the lawn, and can lead to excessive stress on the back. Next time you go shopping and have to push a stroller for a prolonged period of time, consider taking turns with your spouse or other person you’re shopping with in order to minimize the stress put on your back by pushing your baby’s stroller all day.

12 Taking the stairs

Taking the stairs is generally considered a healthy habit. However, as they say, “every-thing in moderation.”

Going up and down stairs can place a lot of stress not only on your lower back, but on your knees as well. If you’re using stairs as a way to get more exercise, consider a slower pace, or use them less often.

While you shouldn’t rely on the elevator too much, it can be your friend from time to time.

13 Your diet


Did you know that what you eat and drink could be contributing to your lower back pain? In fact, a recent study found that theramine, an amino acid blend, could possibly have a greater effect in reducing lower back pain than Ibuprofen.

The question is— what foods should you avoid (and what should you eat instead) to minimize your lower back pain?

The science of reducing back pain by changing your diet revolves around eliminating foods that can increase inflammation in the body. Below is a list of foods that you should avoid, or at least only eat in moderation, if you want to decrease your lower back pain:

  • Red meat
  • White bread
  • Pasta
  • Sugary beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Of course, knowing what foods to avoid is important, but it’s also vital that you know what inflammation-fighting foods you should be including in your diet. Here are a few of them:

  • Fish such as salmon, tuna, cod, and trout
  • Nuts such as almonds and pecans
  • Green vegetables such as kale and broccoli
  • Fruits such as berries, grapes, oranges, and bananas

The litmus test for eating healthy is really quite simple; focus on fish and chicken for your protein sources, make sure to get your daily intake of vegetables and fruit, and avoid processed foods when possible.

A better diet can decrease inflammation in the lower back region, and help to fight against chronic back pain and stiffness.

14 Carrying groceries or other small bags

Oftentimes it’s the little things in life that give us the most trouble. We all know that lifting heavy objects can put stress on the lower back, but what about the small things that we have to carry every day?

Whether it’s groceries, a heavy purse, a backpack, or anything of that nature, carrying a bag the wrong way can lead to back pain, especially if you are hunched over while car-rying them.

Always be cognizant of what you are carrying. Remember, you don’t have to carry eve-rything from your vehicle to the kitchen counter all in one trip. An extra trip or two could help you reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing.

15 Reading in bed


There’s nothing inherently wrong with reading in bed, but it can lead to back and neck stiffness based on the position you are lying in while reading.

Many of us either sit in a semi-reclined position with our back propped against the headboard or a pillow, which can actually put additional stress on the lower back mus-cles. Laying on your side can also add strain to the spine and muscles in the lower back, causing additional tension.

There’s nothing like reading a book to wind down before getting some shuteye. Howev-er, we recommend that you create a sitting area in your home where you can read with-out putting stress on your back. It’s very difficult to achieve a comfortable position while reading in bed that won’t put additional stress on your back.

16 The wrong exercises

At Prospira Pain Care, we advocate minimally invasive treatments in order to help pa-tients avoid surgery and and over-reliance on prescription pain medications. As part of our treatment algorithm, exercise and physical activity are often recommended.

That being said, it’s important that you are doing exercises that are improving your lower back condition, not exacerbating it. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s probably not a good idea to try and run a marathon or play golf every day, as those activities will likely worsen your symptoms.

Instead, focus on low impact activities, such as walking or riding a bike at a steady pace. While the right exercises can help decrease your lower back pain, the wrong ones can certainly make it worse.

Our doctors at Prospira Pain Care will create a customized pain management plan for you that incorporates just the right amount (and type of) exercise.

17 Drinking energy drinks


Energy drinks are sometimes referred to as “back pain in a bottle,” and for good reason.

These sugary drinks can not only increase inflammation in the lower back muscles, but according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, they may also be a contributing factor in the formation of kidney stones.

If you have a habit of drinking energy drinks and sugary soda on a regular basis, it’s time to trade those beverages in and increase your water intake. Water keeps the body hydrated and fights against both inflammation and the formation of kidney stones— two common causes of lower back pain.

18 No activity

A lack of physical activity can be the worst activity of all. In fact, being sedentary can increase your lower back pain. One of the common misconceptions about managing pain is that you should cease all activity and focus on rest, which usually is not the case.

What we’ve found is that, when patients go on bedrest for more than three days, their pain actually increases or remains constant. While rest is certainly an important compo-nent of the pain management process, you have to manage rest with movements to help decrease the pain you are experiencing in your lower back.

At Prospira Pain Care, our doctors will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that incorporates ideal amounts of rest and exercise so that you can start feeling better and living a happier, healthier life.

? Are you suffering from acute or chronic lower back pain? We can help.


It’s estimated that 90% of people will experience lower back pain at some point during their lives, and the causes can be difficult to diagnose and treat. If you’re tired of living a life consumed by lower back pain, it’s time to seek help from our pain management doc-tors at Prospira Pain Care.

We offer innovative treatments for patients who have suffered with back pain for years, and we’ve even helped those whose regular doctors told them there wasn’t much that could be done.

You don’t have to live your life in pain. With locations in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and more, we are here to help you get your life back. Find our location nearest you and give us a call to schedule your first appointment today!

16 Ways to Reduce Swelling and Inflammation in Your SI Joint

You probably know the feeling all too well— lower back pain. Maybe you’ve just started to experience it or you’ve had problems for a long time. Either way, acute or chronic lower back pain can leave you feeling miserable, struggling day to day just to get through it.

While not always the case, oftentimes lower back pain is caused by swelling and inflammation in the sacroiliac joint, which may be diagnosed as sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, we encourage you to make an appointment at one of our pain management and treatment centers. Our doctors and team of medical professionals are here to help alleviate your pain and put you back on the path to a quick recovery without surgery or habit-forming pain medications.

Here are just a few of the treatment methods we use at Prospira Pain Care in order to reduce swelling and inflammation in your SI joint and to help you live a life with less pain. If you’re tired of living in pain, and want to try a different approach to managing your pain, we’re here to serve you.

1 Use ice and heat therapy to relieve pain

You’ve likely heard that baseball pitchers ice their arm after a hard day on the mound, but have you ever thought about why ice is used?

Applying ice or a cold pack to an inflamed area is one of the easiest ways to reduce swelling. It’s been a viable treatment method for years, and works very well for many patients.

It’s important to note, when using ice you should not apply it directly to your skin, as this can result in ice burn. Ideally, you should wrap ice in a towel and apply it to your lower back region.

Heat therapy is designed to increase blood flow to a particular region; in this case the SI joint. When muscles become tense, circulation is often restricted. Heat restores blood flow, which can help reduce the pain signals that are being sent to the brain.

Heat therapy also has a calming, relaxing effect on the body, just like cuddling up next to a fire or drinking a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

2 Non-habit forming pain medications

We’ve documented in another article how pain medications may actually make you worse, which you can read here.

It’s obvious that no one wants to get addicted to pain medications, but it happens to people from all walks of like every day around the world.

Here are just a few shocking statistics about pain medications:

  • 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime.
  • 6.1 million people have used them non-medically in the past month. The United States makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs.
  • In 2010, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult every 4 hours, for 1 month.


Those are chilling statistics, and things are only getting worse. While we certainly understand that certain situations require powerful pain medications, our pain management algorithm focuses on limited use of addictive narcotics.

We do not want patients to become dependent on pain medications in order to have a functional, fulfilling life.

In fact, when we discuss using medications as part of a patient’s treatment protocol, we typically start with NSAIDS or acetaminophen, both of which are regularly available, in-expensive, over-the-counter options.

Both of these over-the-counter medications are viable treatment options for reducing inflammation and swelling of the SI joint.

As with any drug you are taking, it is important to discuss specific dosage with your physician. Our doctors at Prospira Pain Care can work with you to provide a treatment plan using non habit-forming medications to meet your needs.

3 Reduce or eliminate foods that lead to inflammation

Wait a minute doc…How in the world will changing my diet help alleviate back pain?

This a question we hear all the time. Patients understand that, to prevent heart disease or diabetes, they need to change their diets, but oftentimes people don’t associate a poor diet with back pain (specifically inflammation in the SI joint).

It really boils down to choosing foods in your diet that are known to decrease levels of inflammation in the body. By decreasing inflammation throughout your body, you’re, by default, going to decrease inflammation in your SI joint, or at least prevent any excess inflammation.

Here are a few foods you may want to include in your diet if you are experiencing pain in your sacroiliac joint:

Olive oil. Olive oil contains omega-9 fatty acids, which helps to reduce inflammation. Consider replacing vegetable oil with olive oil when cooking for an extra dose of inflammation-fighting superfood.

More fish, less red meat. Red meat is higher in cholesterol and salt, both of which are inflammation triggers. On the other hand, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to combat inflammation in the body. It also typically contains less calories. So next time you cook or go out to eat, opt for the salmon over the steak!

More nuts in your diet. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, and more are excellent sources of omega-3s (noticing a theme here?). They are comprised of healthy fats, which are an excellent addition to your diet.

When you visit Prospira Pain Care, our nutrition counselors will talk with you about how you can change your diet to reduce swelling and to help combat your SI joint inflammation.

4 Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a minimally-invasive treatment technique designed to decrease pain by promoting the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

While modern medicine has, to an extent, minimized the perception of self healing, our bodies are actually quite remarkable at overcoming obstacles and healing.

Acupuncture promotes this process by stimulating specific acupoints on the body, as identified by a licensed, certified acupuncturist.

Acupuncture treatment begins by laying comfortably on the treatment table while acupoint areas are identified and needles are placed. Typically, patients report little to no pain while the small needles are being placed, and report a feeling of relaxation during and after the procedure.

Typical treatments typically take anywhere from 5-30 minutes, and multiple treatments are usually needed for both acute and chronic SI joint pain.

Whether you are experiencing pain in your lower back or other areas of your body, acupuncture is a minimally-invasive treatment alternative that you may want to try. Our doctors at Prospira Pain Care would love to educate you in more detail on the benefits of acupuncture, and how it may fit into your overall pain management and treatment protocol.

5 Cognitive behavioral therapy, including relaxation techniques

When you’re experiencing significant levels of pain, the last thing you want anyone to tell you is that it’s “just in your head.” Regardless of the reason for your pain, we know that it is very real to you.

For those who are suffering with SI joint pain, cognitive behavioral therapy may be an excellent treatment option. After all, relaxation does a body good. It helps to calm our minds and decrease physical, mental, and emotional stress triggers.

In a nutshell, cognitive behavioral therapy states that physical pain can be successfully managed by controlling the negative thoughts and behaviors that influence the perception of pain.

By talking with a cognitive behavioral therapist and developing coping mechanisms to better understand and manage pain, a higher quality of life can be achieved. At Prospira Pain Care, our therapists can help you better understand why you are in pain, and equip you with the skills you need to cope with pain in a positive manner.

6 SI joint steroid injections

SI joint corticosteroid injections are one of the most popular minimally invasive techniques used to directly decrease inflammation and swelling of the sacroiliac joint.

During this procedure, an anti-inflammatory is injected directly into the joint, which provides pain relief for many patients. If the treatment is successful, it can be repeated eve-ry 3-4 months to help patients manage their pain effectively.

In some cases, an initial SI joint injection followed by a physical therapy regimen is effective at managing pain, and may lessen the need for future injections.

At Prospira Pain Care, we provide these injections to many of our patients as part of our pain treatment algorithm, where we focus on taking patients from a feeling of hopeless-ness to a feeling of hopefulness using minimally-invasive, non-surgical treatment protocols.

7 Stretching with low-impact exercise

When we first see patients, they often think that lying in bed or resting on the couch is the only way to reduce inflammation in the SI joint area.

While rest is certainly an important component of any rehab process, it’s also important that proper stretching and exercise takes place.

With regards to the SI joint, it’s important to stretch the muscles surrounding the joint in order to prevent muscle strain or overuse, which can contribute to increased levels of inflammation in the joint.

At Prospira Pain Care, physical therapy may be a part of your SI joint pain management program. If so, our physical therapists will instruct you on the best exercises and stretching protocols in order to reduce inflammation and get your SI joint back on the road to a successful recovery.

8 TENS therapy and/or spinal cord stimulation

While electrical stimulation may conjure up images of shock therapy on lab rats, nothing could be further from the truth.

Both TENS therapy and spinal cord stimulation have been proven effective to treat pain in the lower back region surrounding the SI joint.

Here’s how these therapies work:

TENS Therapy:

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This type of therapy pro-vides a low-voltage current that can help patients experience less pain.

A TENS unit is about the size of a cell phone or pocket radio, and works by hooking up electrodes to the skin in the area where pain is present. This electrical stimulation therapy sends signals to the brain that block pain signals.

A TENS unit has a variety of settings, and our doctors will work with you to determine the ideal settings for your TENS unit so that you get maximum pain relief. The best part is that once you understand how to operate your TENS unit, it’s quite easy and can be used anywhere.

Spinal cord stimulation:

Spinal cord stimulation is similar to TENS therapy in that an electrical signal is used to block or “confuse” pain signals. One of the primary differences between the two is that spinal cord stimulation involves actually implanting a small battery powered device into the body, which emits signals to your spinal column.

Patients usually report a tingling sensation instead of pain, and many patients have re-ported a reduction in SI joint pain due to spinal cord stimulation therapy.

The key takeaway is this: electrical stimulation therapy via a TENS unit or spinal stimulation device can be effective in helping to eliminate pain in the SI joint.

9 Tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs)

Treating lower back pain with anti-depressants may seem unusual at first, but as you know, SI joint pain can also bring on a variety of emotional issues that must be evaluated and taken seriously.

At Prospira Pain Care, we are focused not just on pain management, but the overall well-being of our patients.

In the case of anti-depressants (specifically TCAs), when certain chemicals are imbalanced in the brain, it can lead to increased levels of pain perception, and the pain is very real.

TCAs increase the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to calm your body, which for many patients results in a more relaxed feeling, reducing pain and muscle tension in the process.

Using TCAs for treating pain is considered an off-label use, but many patients experience great results. Typically, a lower dosage is required when utilizing TCAs to treat back pain as opposed to depression.

10 Incorporate a daily multivitamin into your routine

Certain vitamins help our bodies in the battle against inflammation, and taking a multi-vitamin with the right inflammation-fighting ingredients is an effective way to reduce or even eliminate inflammation in the body, including the SI joint.

If you’re taking a multivitamin with the goal of reducing joint inflammation and swelling, here are the top vitamins you’ll want to make sure are included in your daily supplement:

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is an antioxidant commonly found in whole milk, amongst other common foods. Beta-carotene, which is found in many vegetables, is also converted into Vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin B6:

Because the body is constantly ridding itself of Vitamin B6, your body needs to replenish this vitamin daily. Vitamin B6 is plentiful in foods such as fish, turkey, and beef, and has even been shown to increase inflammation leading to joint damage (source:

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits, and may help to reduce inflammation in the body. This powerful vitamin is an antioxidant that may lower levels of c-reactive protein, which is an inflammatory marker in the body.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is abundant in milk, fish, eggs and more. The body also absorbs vitamin D when exposed to sunlight (so working on your tan in moderation is good for you!).

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases. So while it isn’t conclusive that vitamin D will help you reduce inflammation, it can’t hurt to get a little more vitamin D in your diet.

Vitamin K:

While vitamin K (found in many green vegetables) is famous for helping blood clots, some evidence has suggested that it may reduce inflammation in the body.

While more research is needed on the effect that vitamin K has on the body with regards to inflammation, eating more greens is always a good idea to help you stay healthier.

If you’re looking for a good multivitamin, our doctors at Prospira Pain Care can advise you during your appointment because not all multivitamins are created equal.

11 Take a break from activities that increase inflammation

While it’s important to stay active, sometimes it may be beneficial to take a break from activities that seem to cause inflammation and swelling in and around your SI joint.

Common activities that contribute to SI joint inflammation may include:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Softball or Baseball
  • Weightlifting
  • Martial Arts
  • Basketball
  • Cycling
  • Hiking

And more. Basically, any sport or physical activity that puts stress or tension on the lower back region could aggravate your SI joint, leading to inflammation.

We certainly don’t want you to give up your favorite hobbies forever, but a temporary break, complemented by a professional pain management plan from Prospira Pain Care, can help you get back on the playing field, course, court, or arena faster.

12 Platelet rich plasma (PRP)

Does it seem like you’ve tried everything to alleviate the pain and inflammation in your SI joint, but nothing seems to work?

At Prospira Pain Care, we have patients walk into our offices around the country each and every day and tell us, “I’ve tried everything…can you help me?”

We certainly sympathize with these patients, and in many cases ask them a simple question: have you ever tried platelet rich plasma (PRP)?

When other therapies have been tried and haven’t worked, this treatment is often called upon to reduce SI joint pain.

In layman’s terms, here is how the treatment works:

Platelet rich plasma (those containing a higher concentration of platelets that assist with natural healing) are injected into a patient’s SI joint area.

Because the plasma has a higher concentration of platelets, the body receives necessary proteins, cytokines, and other growth factors. The healing process begins with the addition of growth factors and other critical stem cells that permit full healing. PRP strengthens and intensifies this natural healing process.

The result for many patients is simple— less pain and a better quality of life from a simple injection. If you’re interested in trying PRP, we encourage you to contact Prospira Pain Care at our location nearest you.

13 Focus on reducing inflammation in your entire body

While the main point of this article is to reduce pain and swelling of the SI joint, working to reduce inflammation in your entire body can have a positive effect on your lower back pain. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.

So, what can you do in order to reduce inflammation in the body?

For starters, you can change your diet. We covered the diet in detail earlier, and if you want to reduce inflammation in your entire body, consuming a diet consisting of anti-inflammatory foods is a good way to start.

Secondly, stretching and lower impact exercises, as we discussed earlier, can also de-crease inflammation. Often, muscles in the lower back surrounding the SI joint become inflamed due to lack of elasticity. Stretching can help guard against losing elasticity in the lower back region.

Last but not least, monitoring your vitamin intake to ensure you are getting enough Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and K can help lower inflammation levels throughout the entire body. During your appointment, we can talk about adding a high-quality multivitamin to your daily regimen.

14 Build strength in your lower back with physical therapy

Physical therapy is a common treatment protocol for SI joint pain at Prospira Pain Care. For patients who are suffering with SI joint inflammation, there are a few specific therapies and exercises commonly used to increase strength and flexibility, as well as improve body mechanics to decrease the risk of future SI joint pain.

Here are a few specific physical therapy treatments that are common when dealing with SI joint pain:

Flexibility exercises:

Stretching the muscles around the SI joint consistently can help loosen tight muscles, as well as improve range of motion. For many patients, this leads to less stress when per-forming everyday tasks.

Strengthening exercises:

By strengthening the SI joint and surrounding areas, you’ll be able to reduce the chances for a strain in the area. Muscles that are specifically targeted for strengthening exercises are the lower back, pelvic floor, abs, and buttocks.

Body mechanics:

Many patients put unnecessary strain on their SI joint based on their normal movements. A physical therapist will be able to analyze how you move your body, and train you to make the necessary changes to decrease the stress and tension placed on your SI joint.

15 Topical analgesics (creams, gels, and rubs)

Sometimes putting a cream, gel, or other type of topical analgesic on your lower back can help relieve your SI joint pain. While this treatment is typically used in less severe cases, it’s effective in many patients.

Even though they are all designed to alleviate pain, different ingredients are often used, including:

-Menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate—these ingredients produce a burning or cooling sensation to give your brain something else to think about besides pain).

-Salicylates are found in some creams, and work best when applied to joints closer to the skin. However, they still may provide relief around the SI joint for some patients.

-Capsaicin is the main ingredient in chili peppers, and as you would suspect, it provides a tingling or burning sensation. It’s one of the most effective ingredients used in topical pain relief products.

Topical creams may work for you and they may not. Even if they provide temporary pain relief, there is likely an underlying issue in or around your SI joint that needs to be addressed.

16 Wearing an SI joint belt

Have you ever seen someone wearing a 6-8 inch-wide belt around their pelvis? If so, it was most likely a sacroiliac belt.

While these belts are not specifically designed to reduce inflammation in the SI joint, they are designed to stabilize the area, providing pain relief for many patients.

At Prospira Pain Care, your pain management doctor may recommend that you try a sacroiliac belt to help reduce your lower back pain.

If you are going to use one of these specialty belts to stabilize your SI joint, it is important that you choose the correct size, and wear it correctly. Our doctors will train you on how to wear the belt, take it on and off correctly, and make any necessary adjustments.

You don’t have to live in a world dominated by lower back pain. We can help you.

You’ve likely heard all of your life that, as you get older, you’re going to have more aches and pains.

Many people accept this as a part of life and are hesitant to seek treatment for the pain they are experiencing.

At Prospira Pain Care, we are here to tell you that you don’t have to live in a world dominated by pain. Pain should not be your first thought when you wake up in the morning, and it shouldn’t be your last thought when you put your head on the pillow at night.

Maybe you’ve seen countless doctors and tried a variety of different things with little or no success. Maybe you think there isn’t any hope for you, and that you’ll just live out the rest of your years with pain consuming nearly every second of your life.

That’s unacceptable to the doctors and team members at Prospira Pain Care.

We’ve helped thousands of patients across the United States get their life back with our highly effective, minimally-invasive pain management procedures that focus on physical, emotional, and psychological healing.

We’re confident that we can do the same for you. So will you pick up the phone and call us today, or fill out the form on our website to schedule your first appointment?

You have nothing to lose, except back pain. Give our location nearest you a call today to get rid of your SI joint pain and inflammation.

Lower Back Pain Treatment Without Surgery: 7 Conservative Options that May Work for You

If you’re suffering from back pain, you are not alone. And you don’t have to continue to suffer or go through a complicated surgery.

Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the country. Lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. Lower back pain occurs at least once in an estimated 75 to 85 percent of adults, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Back pain can have a serious impact on your life, interfering with your day-to-day activities and your sleep. But maybe you don’t want surgery. You might be wondering: What treatment options do I have? And are they effective?

At Prospira PainCare, we understand pain. Our experts have successfully treated many people for back pain. We know each situation and each person is unique.

Our focus is on treating pain without surgery — and without the use of addictive painkillers as a first option.

We’ll give you an overview of some strategies we might use for treating lower back pain without surgery. But, first, let’s talk about back pain.

Back pain can be painful and debilitating.

Back pain, which can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person unable to move, can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy. Or it can develop over time due to changes in the spine as we age. A sedentary lifestyle can also lead to low back pain.

The magnitude of this issue is only growing. In 1990, a study ranked the most burdensome conditions in the United States in terms of mortality or poor health as a result of disease and put low back pain in sixth place. Twenty years later, low back pain jumped to third place.

Most back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning it is caused by placing stress and tension on the muscles of the backbone. In the back, there are many possible pain producers including muscles, soft connective tissue, ligaments, joint capsules and cartilage, and blood vessels.

Risk factors for developing lower back pain:

  • Age. The first attack usually begins between the ages of 30 and 50. Then, back pain becomes more common with age.
  • Fitness level. As you might expect, back pain is more common in people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles might not be able to properly support the spine. Also, people who only exercise on the weekend after being inactive all week are more likely to suffer painful back injuries.
  • Pregnancy. Low back pain is often felt by pregnant women, but it usually resolves itself once the baby is born.
  • Weight gain. If you are overweight, obese, or quickly gaining weight, the weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
  • Genetics. Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis), can lead to injury and back pain.
  • Occupational risk factors. Jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling can lead to injury and back pain. An inactive desk job may also lead to lower back pain, especially if you have poor posture.
  • Mental health factors. Some pre-existing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, can influence how closely a person focuses on their pain. Stress, if not managed properly, can cause muscle tension.
  • Backpack overload in children. Yes, a child’s backpack can be too heavy, causing back strain and muscle fatigue. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 15 to 20 percent of a child’s body weight.

Treating back pain

Treatment for lower back pain depends on whether the pain is acute (short term) or chronic (lasting). There is a standard of care for lower back pain, but because this is a multifaceted condition with physical, psychological, genetic, social, and general health components, all back pain cannot be treated the same.

Here are some conservative pain treatments that may help you:

  • Hot or cold packs. This treatment most likely won’t quickly resolve your low back injury. But local application of heat and ice may help ease the pain, facilitate stretching, and reduce inflammation, allowing for greater mobility for some people. Start with ice packs when the pain starts and then after 48 hours, switch to heat.
  • Exercise. Although it might seem counterintuitive, you should continue to perform everyday activities and remain active as much as you can tolerate. Studies show that people who remain active and don’t confine themselves to their beds have less pain. Activity keeps blood and nutrients flowing to the affected area. Many sufferers of low back pain feel better after walking. However, more vigorous activities or contact sports are inadvisable while pain is severe. Consumer Reports reported that 58 percent of people with back pain wished they had done more back strengthening exercises.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy techniques, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, traction, mobilization, and chiropractic manipulation can provide temporary relief. Physical therapists can provide education and advice regarding strategies for restoring motion, resuming activities, and preventing de-conditioning. A study published in Spine showed that early treatment by a physical therapist is effective.
  • Back injections. Spinal injections are typically used for persistent or recurrent low back pain (and occasionally acute pain) following a comprehensive medical evaluation. We have several injections that may be able to provide you with relief, including acupuncture injection therapy, epidural injections, nerve block injections, sacroiliac joint injections, cortisone injections, trigger point injections, and lumbar epidural steroid injections. These injections can take the pain away, in some cases for a long period of time; possibly even permanently.
  • Spinal cord stimulation. This minimally invasive treatment has been found to be effective for chronic lower back pain. Spinal cord stimulation can be successful for people who have not found pain relief through other methods. After a trial to ensure it works, soft, thin wires with electrical leads on the tips will be placed through a needle near the spinal column. Two small incisions will be made, and an electrical current will be applied to the source of the pain, blocking the brain’s ability to sense pain. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, spinal cord stimulation can relieve low back pain.
  • Acupuncture. Some patients find that acupuncture is extremely helpful in minimizing their back pain.
  • Tai Chi. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese system of meditative movements practiced as exercises. This gentle form of exercise is an effective treatment for low back pain. Each specific flowing movement corresponds with the inhalation or the exhalation of a deep, gentle breath. The coordination of movement and breath is said to free the flow of chi, a life-force energy that, when blocked, can cause stress and illness. According to research published in Arthritis Care & Research, tai chi is able to ease low back pain.

At our pain care clinics we also teach our patients other lifestyle management techniques for pain, such as pain psychology, nutritional counseling, and physical conditioning. This way you can treat your own pain through your healthier lifestyle.

Why we don’t recommend pain medications in most cases

At our Prospira PainCare pain relief clinics, we don’t prescribe pain medications unless we have to. Pain medications can actually make you and your pain worse.

Many narcotics are addictive, causing health issues down the line. Pain medications, when taken over a long period of time, can increase a person’s sensitivity to pain, making it difficult for the person to find relief from pain.

Also, pain may be a manifestation of an underlying emotional issue, so treating the pain with drugs won’t fix the root problem.

When is it time to see a doctor for your back pain?

Most lower back pain is acute and lasts only a few days or weeks. If you practice self care, it usually resolves on its own without a loss of function. Fifty percent of episodes almost completely resolve within two weeks and 80 percent by six weeks.

If you have back pain that persists longer than four to six weeks or you have recurrent pain, you should seek the assistance of pain experts. Or if low back pain occurs after a recent injury — such as a car accident, a fall, or sports injury — you should call a doctor immediately.

With proper diagnosis and early treatment, you can prevent your pain from becoming chronic. When in our care, our doctors will conduct a full examination and rule out dangerous conditions like infections or cancer.

About 20 percent of people with acute lower back pain develop chronic back pain, with persistent symptoms lasting a year or more. But this does not have to be you.

Prospira PainCare can help treat your lower back pain without surgery

At Prospira PainCare, we educate our patients about the favorable history of low back pain, the basic mechanics of the body, and methods to reduce symptoms.

Using a team approach, we develop a specialized treatment plan for each person who comes to one of our pain care centers.

According to research, a balanced approach, which takes into account patient psychosocial factors and incorporates multidisciplinary care, increases the likelihood of success from back pain interventions.

If you come to us when your lower back pain is acute, you will most likely be able to return to normal activity within the first month.

Call us to make an appointment at one of our pain care centers.