Chronic back pain can be debilitating at its worst. It can affect your quality of life and can be difficult to deal with. Back pain is considered chronic when it lasts for more than three months. The pain may also be recurring.
There are varied causes for back pain. Back pain can be age-related, but it can also be caused by injuries. The common causes of chronic back pain include disc problems, spinal stenosis, spine arthritis, and myofascial pain syndrome. It will be easier for your doctor to treat you once he or she can pinpoint the exact cause of your back pain. If after all the diagnostic tests and your doctor still cannot identify the cause of your back pain, you may seek the expertise of a back specialist.
Chronic back pain can be treated without the need for surgery. Here are some non-surgical treatments that your physician may suggest to help treat and alleviate your pain.
Regular guided physical exercise can help treat chronic back pain. It is the simplest yet is the foundation of any back pain treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a licensed physical therapist who will come up with an exercise regimen tailored for your specific and unique situation.
The exercise regimen that works for you may not work with another person who also suffers from chronic back pain. You will also be given exercises that you can do at home for the continuity of the treatment.
Some exercises that will be part of your therapy will include core strengthening, stretching exercises, flexibility exercise, aerobics, and retraining of the posture among many others.
Strong abdominal muscles help support your back while strengthening and flexibility exercises can help you relieve the pain.
Diet and Keeping an Ideal Weight
Diets that are high in processed foods, trans fat, and refined sugar can cause more inflammation in your body. Ask your physician what foods you should avoid which can contribute to your back pain.
Shedding some extra weight can also help you. It helps reduce the load that your lower back carries.
Visit a Chiropractor
A chiropractor can help you in the treatment of lower back pain through spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and mobilization. If you are suffering from chronic back pain due to a past vehicular accident, a car accident injury chiropractor can help you. Aside from the treatment of lower back pain, chiropractors also deal with neck pains and TMJs.
See a Rehabilitation Psychologist
A rehabilitation psychologist can help you deal with depression, irritability, and other psychological effects of chronic pain. He or she will help you cope and manage your difficulties through activities that promote mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, and other relaxation methods.
Change your Lifestyle
You must come to terms with the fact that your body is no longer the same. You must learn to listen to your body and make the necessary adjustments. Avoid physical activities that worsen or trigger your back pain. Take a break between activities. Do some light stretches in between. Your back will feel so much better, and you avoid aggravating your current condition.
If you are smoking, you better quit now. The nicotine in your cigarettes can weaken your spine. Smoking is also related to degenerative disk disease which can contribute to your back pain.
Your physician may recommend some medications to help you when the pain attacks. Over the counter pain relievers such as anti-inflammatory medicines, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can help alleviate the pain. Your physician may also recommend muscle relaxants and topical pain relievers. Remember to follow the proper dosage and your doctor’s instructions.
Suffering from chronic back pain can be hard, but with the help of your physician, your family, and your support group, you can get through it. Find ways to forget about the pain and focus on the better things in life. You can also look for home remedies that can help you feel better whenever the pain strikes.