Dr Oz: Relief From Back Pain
Good news for anyone with an aching back. The American College of Physicians just updated its guidelines on pain management by saying that medication should be your very last line of defense. There are plenty of at-home pill-free solutions that could be just as effective, if not better! But which pain products actually work for you back?
Dr Oz: How Common Is Back Pain?
An estimated 31 million Americans may be suffering from lower back pain right now. Approximately $50 billion are spent each year treating the health problem one half of all working Americans experience. But that number only relates to direct costs like chiropractors, doctors, and medications. That number would be even higher if things like insurance, lost wages, and legal issues were added to the mix.
By 2018, an estimated $23 billion will have go toward opioids for back pain by 2018. One study showed that as many as 60% of back pain patients received opioids, which is a shockingly high number for a treatment with potentially addicting, dangerous effects.
Dr Oz: Alternative Back Pain Treatments
That’s likely why there’s been a big increase in the money spent on alternative treatments like creams, balms, gels, sprays, foam rollers, and even electromagnetic shirts. But how do you know what works and what doesn’t? Dr Oz and Dean Dimitruk investigated.
Three women joined the show as well, each of them suffering from a different kind of back pain. Reagan suffers from neck pain that feels like a five out of ten on the pain scale. She described the feeling at “stiff” or “stuck.” Nadej suffers from lower back pain, which she says feels like an eight on the scale. Finally Lisa suffers from sciatic pain and said she’s at a seven out of ten.
Dr Oz: How Topical Back Pain Treatments Work
Dr Oz was thrilled to welcome the “back pain whisperer” Dr Steven Shoshany. Dr Shoshany took a closer look at the different alternative back pain treatments like patches or roll on gels. There’s also sprays which are great for difficult to reach areas. No matter which you choose to apply, they all work in basically the same way. They will make the area you apply them to feel either cold or hot to distract your mind from the pain.
When you have back pain, it doesn’t actually register until it reaches the brain and the brain senses and interprets the brain. If you “confused” your brain with a topical product, a counter-irritant, it could work to help you find some relief. Instead of feeling the pain, you body feels a cold or hot sensation.
Dr Oz: Ice VS Heat For Back Pain
But when should you use ice versus heating products? Dr Shoshany suggested using ice within 72 hours of an injury. Products with menthol or eucalyptus have cooling effects. If you suffer from arthritic pain or muscle pain, look for a product with capsaicin for a heating effective.
Cooling ingredients include:
Heating ingredients include:
- camphor (starts cool then turns hot)
- methyl salicylate
Remember cooling for acute pain and heat for chronic pain.