Nearly 16 million American adults suffer from chronic back pain. Chronic back pain sufferers experience a lower quality of life and are oftentimes forced to modify their life around their pain symptoms. However, if you’re suffering from chronic back pain, this doesn’t mean you are destined to live a life constantly tolerating pain for the rest of your life.
There are several different surgical and non-surgical chronic back pain treatments available that can help chronic back pain sufferers better manage their pain. Seeking professional treatment for your back pain will help take back your life so you can live a happier, healthier life.
Read on to learn more about why you should consider seeking professional care from a back and pain center, and the different pain management for back pain treatments available.
What is Chronic Back Pain?
Chronic back pain is when you experience back pain for longer than six weeks. Chronic back pain can be sudden and persistent, or can gradually worsen over several weeks. Sometimes, you may know the exact cause of your back pain.
For example, if you recently experienced an event that caused your back pain such as a car accident. However, at other times many people may not know the exact underlying cause behind their chronic back pain.
Common Symptoms of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain can significantly reduce your quality of life. Unfortunately, many people ignore or tolerate their symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing the following symptoms for six or more weeks, you may be struggling with chronic back pain:
● Back pain that comes and goes.
● Increasing pain when you bend or lift.
● Worsening pain when you stand, sit or rest.
● Pain that radiates away from the back to the buttocks, leg, or hip.
● Numbness or tingling.
● Pain that does not improve with OTC medication.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
Understanding and treating the potential underlying condition/ cause behind your back pain is important. While sometimes chronic back pain can be a result of an unavoidable factor such as age or heredity, other causes can be treated to help reduce your back pain such as adjusting your lifestyle or simply living a healthier life.
Below are several common potential causes of chronic back pain:
● Improper body posture
● Traumatic events (i.e. car accidents, falls, etc.)
Top Chronic Back Pain Treatments
You should never learn to just tolerate your chronic back pain. Various non-surgical and surgical chronic back pain treatments exist to help you live a healthier life. Here are the top chronic back pain treatments to consider if you are suffering from back pain.
1. At-Home Remedies
There are several at-home remedies you can try to improve your back pain symptoms. While at-home treatments aren’t necessarily great long-term solutions, you can find short-term relief with some of these remedies while you are seeking more long-term options to better manage your pain.
First, consider using heat therapy and cold therapy to your advantage. In other words, try applying a heating pad and then at times cold water or ice to particular areas that your back pain is coming from. Both heat and cold therapy offer great ways to temporarily relieve your pain while you search for more long-term solutions for your back pain.
Practicing yoga is another at-home remedy that can provide some short-term pain relief. Yoga can involve practicing different breathing exercises, poses, and postures that can all work to reduce pain symptoms.
Another short-term at-home remedy is trying OTC anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil to better relieve your pain symptoms. While you don’t want to constantly be relying on medications for the rest of your life to manage your pain symptoms, these medications can help relieve your pain as you find more effective treatment options.
Other lifestyle changes and factors may help relieve your back pain symptoms depending on what may be causing or worsening your symptoms.
Here is a list of more lifestyle changes you can make at home that may help reduce your pain:
● Practicing Correct Posture: If you have bad posture, over time this may be causing constant unnecessary strain on your back which may cause back pain.
● Being More Mindful of Your Daily Movements: If you constantly engage in repetitive movements or overexert your back in such a way as lifting incorrectly (i.e. lifting with your back instead of your legs), this may be causing damage to your lower back.
● Maintaining A Healthy Weight: Your weight can cause unnecessary strain and stress on your back. If you are overweight or obese, consider eating a healthier diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine to maintain a healthier weight and better manage your pain.
● Getting Plenty of Quality Sleep: Sleep is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Try to practice a healthy sleep routine (if you don’t already) to help improve your back pain.
2. Alternative Treatments
Next, there are many alternative treatment options you can try to reduce your back pain. Below are some common alternative treatments to consider:
● Acupuncture: This involves an acupuncturist inserting extremely small needles at specific points in your body to stimulate/ trigger the body’s natural healing response in an attempt to ultimately reduce your back pain symptoms.
● Chiropractic Care: This treatment involves a chiropractor manipulating your spine in such a way as to provide some back pain relief.
● Massage Therapy: A back specialist that carefully massages your back may help relieve excess muscle tension and pain so you can, at the very least, temporarily relieve your pain while you look for more long-term treatment options.
3. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy uses specific exercises and movements to improve your body’s overall strength and flexibility. Physical therapy is versatile and therefore you can receive specialized physical therapy especially to better manage your back pain symptoms. This is done by strengthening the muscles of the back so you have more support and less stress on your back.
Your physical therapist will guide you through different exercises to better relieve your symptoms. Physical therapy can be a great more long-term solution to help chronic back pain sufferers. This treatment may even be combined with other treatments to help you make a safe and efficient recovery.
4. Pain Medications
If you are experiencing more severe chronic back pain that does not seem to improve with OTC medications, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications depending on your specific condition. Examples include muscle relaxants, narcotics, or antidepressants. While pain medications are only used as a short-term treatment to provide some pain relief, such medications can help grant some much-needed relief as you look for more effective long-term options.
5. Injection Therapies
Similar to pain medications, injection therapies offer more intensive short-term pain relief as you search for more long-term treatment options to better manage your chronic back pain. Injection therapies can be great not only to provide you with some temporary relief, but they can potentially help those who may not know the cause behind their back pain. This is because injections can rule out certain causes if the injection therapy doesn’t end up effectively reducing your pain.
Some common chronic back pain injection treatments include:
● Nerve Blocks
While again injection therapies are not a long-term solution, they can be an effective method for those looking for a stronger way to reduce their pain over the short term.
Last but not least, surgery offers an effective long-term solution for some chronic back pain sufferers, especially for those who do not see any improvements in their pain with any of the above methods. It’s important to understand that surgical intervention to treat back pain doesn’t always yield positive results. However, surgery can be a great next step for those who’ve seemingly tried many non-surgical treatment options without much success.
How to Find The Best Back Pain Treatment Near Me
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, relief is available. As mentioned above, several short-term and long-term chronic back pain treatments offer you the versatility to find the right care for your exact needs. Chronic back pain can be frustrating because oftentimes many people may not know the primary reason behind their pain. However, this doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold because of your pain.
Pain and Spine Specialists is a leading back pain center that is here to help you reduce your chronic back pain so you can get back to living a healthier, happier life. At the Pain and Spine
Specialists, we are a team of highly advanced pain specialists that use an individualized approach to provide the best possible care to better manage your chronic pain symptoms.
Struggling with chronic back pain? Contact us to learn how we can help you reduce your pain and take back control over your life.