Low Back Pain: Causes and Conservative Treatments

Posted April 16, 2021

Low Back Pain: Causes and Conservative Treatments

by Amelie Alba, PT, OISI Therapy



– age related degenerative changes OR injury

– arthritis (a gradual degeneration of cartilage in your spine)

– stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal that can cause nerve impingement and pain)

– disc dysfunction – herniated or bulging discs can also cause nerve pain

– myofascial pain – muscle and/or soft tissue pain which can be of unknown origin




Physical Therapy: Exercise is the foundation of conservative treatment for low back pain. Every body is different and certain exercises may not be appropriate for all types of back pain. Exercise programs should be individualized to your particular symptoms and/or condition. Most programs will include postural strengthening, stretching/flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises, balance training and core strengthening. Other treatments such as needling, massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound may be used to help with pain as well. Maintaining good compliance with exercise program and activity level is key to preventing further injuries.

Diet: Inflammatory diets have been shown to increase pain levels – avoid refined sugars, processed foods, or foods high in trans fats. The weight loss that comes with a healthier diet will decrease the pressure on your spine and can result in less pain as well.

Lifestyle: Recognizing and accepting your limitations will go a long way towards protecting your back day to day. You may need to adapt and change the way you do certain activities. Take breaks before you need them to avoid painful flare-ups. Pay attention to movements or activities that increase your pain, and try to avoid or change those activities so they are not so strenuous. Smoking, although it feels like it may be helping you cope with your pain, can actually increase your pain levels as nicotine has been shown to increase pain and decrease rate of healing.

Medications: Your doctor may prescribe or recommend nerve pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxants that can be very helpful in managing your symptoms.

Injection-based Treatments: Pain management injections such as nerve blocks, nerve ablations, or epidural steroid injections can significantly decrease pain levels.



To make an appointment with Amelie or any of our physical or occupational therapists, please call 618-984-2484 today!

COVID-19 Precautions

We at Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois are committed to continuing to provide the highest quality and safest orthopaedic care to the people of Southern Illinois.

In the interest of protecting our patients and employees, we have instituted the following procedures:

In following the CDC guidelines, while inside our facilities, all employees, patients, and visitors over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask at all times when not actively eating or drinking.

With the exception of a single parent accompanying a minor or a designated caregiver accompanying an impaired adult, we will limiting the number of visitors accompanying patients to ensure safe social distancing wtihin our facilities. .

At this time, we will continue to provide full physician services in the office as well as physical and occupational therapy, imaging, pain management, and walkin clinic services for your immediate, acute orthopaedic needs.

We are working closely with our hospital partners for the continued provision of urgent and emergent orthopaedic care.

Please remember to stay calm, stay smart, and if you are feeling ill, stay home.

Thank you,
The Physicians and Staff of Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois.