Low Back Pain

Low back pain can be caused by several things – a sprain, a strain, a muscle spasm, joint problems, spinal stenosis, arthritis, or disc problems. Problems may develop from injury or as a result of aging. LBP is often episodic, not constant. The pain may change with a change in position or movement. 80% of Americans have low back pain at some time in their life,

 

Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal canal stenosis is a narrowing of the space in the lower spine that carries the nerves to the legs. As the spinal canal shrinks the nerves that go through it are squeezed. This may cause back pain or leg pain, numbness and weakness. People with lumbar stenosis have back pain most of the time. The pain is increased by standing or walking.  Arthritis, falls, accidents and wear and tear on the bones and joints in the spine play a part in stenosis. Spinal stenosis is found most often in those over 50 due to aging.

 

Degenerative Disc Disease, OA – See separate information page

 

Standard medical treatments:

Rest

NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs)

Muscle relaxants

Pain medicine

Posture modification

Weight loss

Steroid injections

Physical therapy

Ice packs/heating pad

Exercise

Water exercise

Spinal surgery

 

Supportive and alternative treatments:

Nutritional –

Magnesium – muscle relaxant

Bromelain – enzymatic anti-inflammatory

Glucosamine sulfate – well researched anti-inflammatory

Serrapeptase – enzymatic anti-inflammatory and dissolves scar tissue

Homeopathic –

Traumeel – combination remedy for inflammation and would healing

Zeel – combination remedy for arthritic joint pain

Symphytum – for bone and periosteum healing

Hydrotherapy – hot epsom salt soaks, herbal warm packs

Analgesic packs – castor oil, hemp oil, Chinese herbal liniment

Acupuncture

Chiropractic

Massage therapy

Rolfing – deep tissue massage

 

Low Back Pain and Cannabis

Cannabis is helpful for muscle spasm of the back muscles, pain and inflammation. It can be used internally and/or topically, applied directly to the affected area, to provide relief without psychoactive effects.

A prominent California Orthopedic Surgeon supports the use of cannabis to treat pain in his patients. “I can state confidently, as a physician with an extensive practice and specialized expertise in pain management, that marijuana can prove (and has proven) medically useful to at least some chronic pain patients. Cannabis can serve at least two important roles in safe, effective pain management. It can provide relief from the pain itself (either alone or in combination with other analgesics), and it can control the nausea associated with taking opiod drugs, as well as the nausea, vomiting and dizziness that often accompany severe, prolonged pain.”