Treating Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is a common condition that can be debilitating. It can occur in nearly any part of the spine and is usually associated with inflammation or degeneration of one or more joints. It can also result from an injury or deformity, such as scoliosis. Back pain may last for weeks, months, even years—and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by this seemingly endless pain. But don’t give up hope! There are many treatment options available for chronic back pain that can help you manage your symptoms and live a full life again.
When you have chronic back pain, there are several steps you can take to manage your condition and relieve your symptoms. These include:
- Stretching and exercise. A regular stretching routine helps stretch the muscles around your spine and keep them flexible. Regular aerobic exercise also helps with flexibility and strength. However, avoid high-impact exercises such as running or biking if they cause pain to flare up again later in the day or after exercising. Other activities that do not cause pain include swimming or using an elliptical machine at the gym for 30 minutes, two to three times a week (or other similar exercises).
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation may reduce stress, which can aggravate chronic low-back pain over time by increasing muscle tension throughout the body—including in the back muscles themselves—and causing headaches as well as neck aches from staring down at tablets on our laps all day long instead of looking up towards nature’s beauty above our heads! If these options aren’t available near where you live then consider taking an hour out every Monday evening before bedtime so that when it comes time during work hours on Tuesday morning everything feels fresh again rather than being “stressed out” all over again because something happened during Monday’s lunch break while eating alone while everyone else ate together outside under beautiful blue skies…
Physical therapy is an option for treating chronic back pain. Physical therapists are trained to help people with chronic back pain, and they can teach you exercises that may help reduce your pain. They can also show you how to manage the discomfort of your condition, so that it doesn’t interfere with your daily life. In some cases, physical therapy may be combined with other treatment options like medication and surgery.
Back braces are an important treatment option for patients with acute and chronic back pain. A brace helps support the spine, which can help reduce pressure on vertebrae and other soft tissues in your back. The benefit of wearing a brace is that it keeps your spine aligned properly, allowing you to avoid injury or further damage.
- Acute back pain: If you’re suffering from acute back pain (meaning the pain is short-term), wearing a brace may help relieve some of your discomfort while you heal.
- Chronic back pain: For chronic conditions like spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal), wearing a brace can be used as part of an overall treatment plan that includes medication, physical therapy, and exercise.
Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which can relieve pain and inflammation. If your pain is too severe for NSAIDs, your doctor may also recommend acetaminophen; this drug works by lowering the body’s production of prostaglandins—compounds that play a role in the development of back pain.
Your physician might also suggest muscle relaxants if you have spasms or tightness in your muscles. Antidepressants are sometimes given to patients who have chronic back pain because they can help you relax and sleep better. Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, may be prescribed if you experience neuropathic pain due to nerve damage. Opioids are powerful medications that work by reducing levels of chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry signals between nerves; these drugs come with a high risk for addiction and abuse so they should only be used when other options fail to provide relief from severe back pain. Duloxetine (Cymbalta), pregabalin (Lyrica), or topiramate (Topamax) may be appropriate options instead of opioids because they don’t pose as much risk for addiction; however, these medications have many side effects including dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting etc so it’s important not just any medication will work for everyone.”
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps you identify and change the patterns of thinking and behaving that are causing problems in your life. It can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including chronic back pain. CBT is based on the idea that how we think about something shapes how we feel about it, which then affects our behavior—and vice versa.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy for back pain is to help you learn new ways of thinking about your pain, so you can reduce its impact on your life and feel better overall. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help you develop skills for managing stress and controlling flare-ups or relapses
Spinal cord stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a non-surgical procedure for chronic pain that involves placing an electrode in the epidural space.
The device is implanted by a neurosurgeon, who places it through a small incision near your abdomen or leg. After surgery, you will probably be able to go home the same day and can return to normal activities after a few days.
SCS is not curative—it treats only symptoms of chronic pain, like back pain caused by injury or nerve damage. It doesn’t affect how much pain you feel, but it may reduce how much you feel it over time
A nerve block is a local anesthetic that has been injected into a nerve. The injection can be done in your doctor’s office, or in the hospital.
A nerve block is used to treat pain caused by damaged nerves. This includes back pain, nerve pain and leg pain that radiates down the legs (sciatica).
The most common type of nerve block is called an epidural steroid injection (ESI). It can also be used to treat facet joint arthritis (the cartilage pads on the sides of your spine).
In an ESI:
- Your doctor numbs the area around your spine with a small needle before injecting steroids into it. The steroids reduce swelling and inflammation around injured nerves. This helps relieve pressure on them so they don’t hurt as much when you move or stand up straight
Surgery is a last resort. Surgery should be used only when all other options have been exhausted and when the pain is severe enough to interfere with your ability to perform everyday activities. If you are considering surgery, talk with your doctor about what type of procedure is best for you and its risks and benefits.
Surgery can be used to treat:
- Disc herniation–If you have a disc herniation, which occurs when part of the soft center (nucleus) of an intervertebral disc bulges out of place and presses against nearby nerves, it can cause intense pressure on adjacent spinal nerves. This type of back pain often responds well to surgical intervention if conservative care such as physical therapy or injections does not provide relief from symptoms such as numbness or weakness in the legs or feet that may occur with this condition. Surgery involves removing the bulging portion of the disc through an incision made in front to allow access into space between vertebrae where disc material has protruded into spinal canal area causing pinching nerve irritation (sciatica).
- Spinal stenosis — Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing within a vertebral column where there has been loss of height due shrinking bone tissue over time due aging process process known as osteoporosis leading cause osteoporosis fracture femur fractures hip replacement surgery requiring lengthy period recovery time rehabilitation before returning home again post operative recovery period multiple surgeries one after another
Many treatment options exist for treating chronic back pain.
While there are many treatment options available, it is important to remember that not all treatments work for everyone. Your doctor will tailor the treatment plan to your specific condition, but some of the most common ones include:
- Exercise therapy
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic care
There are many treatment options available for chronic back pain, and it’s important to find one that works for you. If you are suffering from back pain, consult with your doctor about which treatment options would be best for your situation.