There is an 80% likelihood that you already have, or eventually will suffer from some kind of back pain in your lifetime. On the bright side, as back pain is a fairly common ailment; there are numerous ways to treat the suffering. Today HealthyTOKYO presents you with 5 ways to treat back pain in Tokyo.
5 ways to treat back pain in Tokyo
OTC pain relievers
OTC (over the counter) pain relieving drugs that specifically work on back pain are, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These drugs come packaged in the following Japanese OTC pain reliever brands, which are anti-inflammatory medications.
- エブA “EVE A” (Ibuprofen)
- ノーシン錠 “Norshin” (Ibuprofen)
- タイレノール “Tylenol” (Acetaminophen)
- Less expensive generic versions of these OTC drugs are also available.
Aspirin, available in Japan in the form of バファリンA “Bufferin A” and under several other brands including Bayer asprin, is also an option, but may not work as well to treat back pain as the aforementioned products.
For more in depth information on OTC pain relievers in Japan, their effects, and potential side effects, which lists the most common products.
Of course, it is always best to consult a physician before self-medicating.
Physiotherapy, also know as physical therapy, is a branch of medicine used to promote body mobility and function, which focuses on mechanical force and movements. Physiotherapy has been shown to help with back pain implemented in a program that usually lasts for multiple weeks, strengthening the back muscles, increasing function, and providing the patient with a maintenance program to aid with any future back problems they may encounter. For those who stick to their assigned program, physiotherapy reduces back pain and minimizes flare-ups.
Physiotherapy is especially recommended for those who are going into or coming out of back surgery.
If OTC medication is not your thing and you are looking for a more holistic method to relieve back pain in Tokyo, turning to acupuncture is a good option with few negative side effects. Acupuncture uses thin metallic needles to stimulate your central nervous system, which in turn reacts by releasing chemicals that change how you feel pain. The effects of acupuncture are comparable to painkillers and are lauded as a great alternative for back pain relief.
Patches, creams and liniments
For occasional or mild back pain, Japan has a number of patches, creams and liniments readily available at drugstores. Pain relief patches known as “shippu”, come in a variety of sizes, provide both cold and hot sensations, and are great and simple way for relieving backaches. Pain relieving creams and liniments called are also an option.
Those of you seeking information on physiotherapy may already be familiar with orthopedics, a medical specialty that focuses on injuries to the body’s musculoskeletal system (bones, tendons, and ligaments). If you have been suffering from chronic back pain, limited mobility, and cannot seem to alleviate the pain with the methods listed above, it may be time to consult an orthopedic doctor.
Ways to prevent back pain
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, so in the end, making small changes to your lifestyle may be the best way to avoid back pain. It is recommended that you get regular exercise, especially that which focuses on your core, avoid smoking due to its aging effects on the spine, and try to stretch as much as possible with routines such as yoga. Small back support seats or cushions are also quite popular in Tokyo and easy to find in department stores.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for treating your back pain, so finding the right method for you should not be a problem.
Before you go, just remember:
- OTC pain relievers are easy to find in Tokyo at drugstores.
- Physiotherapy and orthopedic appointments are available in English.
- For minor back pain, patches and liniments are a good option, also available at drugstores.