Ranging from a dull ache to a sharp, incapacitating sensation, more than 25% of adults have reported experiencing back pain during the last three months, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) survey.
“Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine. Sedentary lifestyles also can set the stage for low back pain, especially when a weekday routine of getting little exercise is punctuated by a strenuous weekend workout.”
The NIH adds that most low back pain is acute, or short term, and lasts a few days to a few weeks. However, acute pain can become chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer, including pain from “disc degeneration, disc compression, and sciatica (compression of the large sciatic nerve that travels through the buttocks, and extends down the back of one leg).”
Three common treatments include hot or cold packs; activity to maintain flexibility, while avoiding movements that aggravate pain; and over-the-counter pain-relief medications.
When those short-term solutions aren’t effective, Dr. Frank Ostir, Ostir Physical Medicine in Joliet, recommends decompression therapy, which provides a drug-free and non-surgical intervention to reduce lower back pain while restoring the spine’s stability.
“Decompression therapy is superior because we can target the exact disc in the spine that is causing the patient problems. We evaluate each individual and can tailor the treatment that heals and even re-shapes the disc, which takes pressure off the nerve. Less pressure means less pain,” Ostir explains. “Spinal decompression has been proven effective in treating many conditions, including sciatica, herniated discs, and more. It’s successful for both chronic or intermittent pain.”
Ostir explains how through a series of painless decompression treatments, the patient’s vertebrae are microscopically separated, which relieves pain and pressure, and allows blood and oxygen to flood the area for maximum healing.