Imagine sitting at your desk and not having to worry about feeling pain or discomfort. You’d be able to run, skip and jump all day long – free from chronic back pain!
Chronic back pain is an everyday problem that many people face. If you’re one of them, you may already know how it can affect your daily life and the quality of life you experience. If you’re new to chronic back pain, some of the most common types, causes, and solutions are here.
Chronic Back Pain
Back pain is a typical problem among people of all ages but is more prevalent in older adults.
The back is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. It has a long and complex structure that supports your torso, allows you to bend, twist, and move, and protects your spinal cord — the superhighway that sends messages between your brain and the rest of your body.
The lining of your back contains muscles, nerves, bones (vertebrae), ligaments, and tendons. The muscles in your back help hold you up and allow you to move. The bones are stacked on top of each other with spongy discs in between them. These discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, allowing it to bend and move.
If any part of this complex system becomes damaged or stops working properly, it can cause pain. When this happens, you want a highly trained team that offers a full range of effective therapies to help you manage chronic back pain and get back to living life on your terms.
Causes of Chronic Back Pain
Causes of chronic back pain are varied and complex, including:
- Disc degeneration
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain
Because many different factors can lead to chronic back pain, you must understand what is causing your symptoms before seeking treatment. The first step in treating chronic back pain is to find out the cause of your pain.
Physical therapy may be the solution if you suffer from chronic back pain. It is a highly effective treatment for back pain. Physical therapists can help you eliminate back pain by creating an individualized plan that is designed to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. They may also use a variety of modalities and tools to help relieve pressure on your back.
Seek Out a Physical Medicine Doctor
Physical Medicine Doctors focus on treating physical problems. A physical medicine doctor can help you conquer your back pain once and for all. They do this by finding the cause of the pain and treating it accordingly.
The first step is an in-depth evaluation of the problem, which includes: a thorough history and physical exam, diagnostic testing such as x-rays, CT scans or MRIs, or nerve conduction studies (NCV’s).
Once all of this is complete, the doctor formulates a treatment plan. The treatment depends on the cause of the pain, but it can range from physical therapy to surgery.
Back Pain Relief Devices and Surgery
Back Pain Relief Devices
Subject to the cause and type of your back pain, a device could help ease pain and promote healing through low-impact exercise. Some devices work by applying hot or cold therapy to specific areas, while others stimulate nerves to block pain signals sent to your brain. Most devices are lightweight and portable to use at home or take with you on the go.
Surgery can be scary, but it might be your best option if nothing else has worked. There are many types of back surgery, including:
Laminectomy — This procedure relieves pressure on your spinal cord by removing a portion of the lamina (the hard bony part that protects your spinal cord)
Discectomy — this procedure removes herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or spinal cord
Pursue Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic treats a wide range of back pain causes. Most people think of medicine as the only way to treat pain, but they’re missing out on a simpler option. Instead of filling yourself with drugs, why not visit a chiropractor?
Chiropractors use natural methods to help your body heal itself. They do not use medication or perform surgery, so many people consider this form of treatment safer than traditional medicine.
Acupuncture therapy is a traditional Chinese medicine that can be used to treat various ailments. It is commonly used as a form of pain control. Acupuncture can effectively treat many conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, knee osteoarthritis, and headache.
The therapy involves using thin, sterile needles in specific places on the body to stimulate energy flow. These energy lines are called meridians and are used to target pain and other conditions.
Use Of Hot and Cold Therapy
Effective treatment for chronic back pain is heat and cold therapy. But it’s important to note that both work best for different types of back pain.
If you have constant aching or stiffness in your back, heat therapy can help relieve the pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This can help relax the muscles and reduce tension. Heat therapy also reduces muscle spasms and increases the range of motion of your joints and ligaments. You can apply heat to your back with warm baths or showers, heating pads, hot water bottles, or electric blankets
Cold therapy includes using an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables on your back for short periods. Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation by slowing the blood flow to an injured area of the back and numbing nerves in that area, which helps reduce pain. However, it’s best to apply cold therapy for no more than 15 minutes at a time to avoid damaging the skin.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, massage therapy may be a solution for your pain relief. Massage therapy for back pain offers many benefits that can help relieve individuals from their pain and allow them to enjoy life again. While there are many different types of massage therapy available, the best type of massage therapy for your specific needs will depend on the severity and location of your pain.
When your back starts to hurt, take a break from whatever caused the pain (fixed ergonomics and exercise are both keys for prevention, though there are other measures you can take as well), but do not drag it out. Make sure to see a doctor get an official diagnosis of your condition. Chronic back pain is common—and much of it is avoidable.
If you have any questions, please contact Clarksville Physical Medicine today!