Dealing with Chronic Back Pain

chronic back pain doctor image

If you have experienced long term back pain for 12 weeks or longer, then you are experiencing chronic back pain. There are ways to try and figure out the sources of chronic back pain, as well as potential treatment, that may or may not require professional assistance.

Acute pain or pain you have experienced for very long could be a sign of more serious injury or negative effects, possibly from lifting or a work out, and some injury may even require surgery. It’s good to keep track of information related to your health and body as much as possible in case you should need medical help. You can research your symptoms if you have adequate information to determine conditions or causes you may be encountering, or even for covid-19 updates, information, and other health topics.

Location of Back Pain

A great first step to identifying the source of chronic back pain is to pay attention to the location of pain in your back. The causes of lower back pain could be different than the causes of upper back and neck pain, and it is a good idea to know where the source of the back pain is as you try treating it.

Identifying the location of pain, and causes of pain include differences in people such as conditions more common in men or women. You may have pain in your muscles, in a nerve, or even in an organ. When discussing topics of back pain, there is a lot of information and possible causes to examine.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic pain in your lower back can be a less common form of chronic back pain. Low back pain can have a number of sources, including a herniated lumbar disc in the spinal cord, a degenerative disease in the spinal discs, a condition of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), a dysfunction of different types of joints in the spine, a condition of spondylolisthesis (slipping of a vertebra), a condition of osteoarthritis (wear and tear in the spine), injury such as a compression fracture, trauma, or even a deformity in the shape or curvature of the spine or other parts of the body.

You could also be experiencing low back pain from muscle strain or sciatica (nerve pain) not specifically related to the spinal cord. Low back pain may also result from sources like kidney stones, tumors, pregnancy, etc. It is important to identify an underlying cause of the pain before attempting treatment on your own in case there is serious injury or a different unexpected cause. Common treatments for this type of pain that work well include top picks in back support devices.

Upper Back and Neck

Upper back pain is usually caused by muscle irritation or joint dysfunction. This type of pain may also be caused by injury from things like extreme sports, lifting, or other strenuous activities, but posture and physical strain on the body commonly cause upper back and cervical pain. Upper back pain and neck pain are a more frequently occurring type of chronic pain than chronic low back pain. Be aware of the type of pain you seem to be experiencing. If you notice a lot of acute pain, a doctor may recommend that you get an x-ray to look for signs of injury that may need surgery or therapy, or investigating the possibility of nerve issues.

Importance of Posture

When dealing with chronic back pain it is important to assess your posture.  And, how your work and home life affect it. If you are a person that stands or sits all day at work, you should take breaks to ensure that you are giving your body a break from looking down all the time or being hunched over.  Your workstation should be set up so that you are looking up at your monitors to allow for compensation of looking down.

Our society is looking down too often. This means that we are getting dependent on devices we have used all too much. The more we can counteract the poor posture we use, the better we will become at learning to keep our physical bodies in positions that create less stress. However, from time to time a device or traction is used to adjust our posture. On the topics of posture and support for your back, make sure you never allow poor posture to go on unaddressed, as this can create a risk of stress on muscles or a nerve.

Treatment Options

When it comes to chronic pain management, there are a number of treatment options that you could try, depending on the symptoms you are dealing with and the source of your back pain. Treatment and pain management options may include physical therapy and exercise, ways to improve your posture and provide back support, anti inflammatory or pain medication and muscle relaxants, at-home pain management products and technology, professional medical assistance such as a doctor or chiropractor and even surgery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy may be one effective form of back pain relief. A physical therapist can be helpful for providing treatment and pain management, but many forms of physical therapy for pain relief make it possible for people to do their own treatments at home if the causes of chronic back pain are not too severe. You may have an injury in need of surgery or another form of recovery if physical therapy does not seem to work.

At-Home Pain Management

Several types of back pain relief technology are featured by Neckbase.com. You can view the types of treatment featured here that include Posture Pump, Pronex, Bodysport, ComforTrac, and more. Regarding topics of back support technology, treatments like these are common, safe, and effective for relieving back pain with minimal side effects, and you may be able to treat your symptoms of back pain at home. Check out our full list of featured top picks in products for back pain relief.

Medical Pain Management

If pain persists in spite of your efforts to relieve it through physical therapy treatments, you may consider seeking medical advice and medical help with pain management from a doctor or trained chiropractor. Before visiting a doctor, make sure you have any health information you may need to provide related to your back and other physical health that may help your doctor more easily identify a cause of chronic back pain.

In the event you have suffered an injury unknowingly, it may be a good idea to get x-rays and determine if something like a stress fracture could be the cause of the pain. Intense physical strain and exercise could cause the effects of pain from an injury like this to worsen over time, so it is important to pay attention and seek medical advice if your at-home treatment doesn’t seem to be working or seem to be causing more pain. Hidden injury such as this may even require surgery.

Medication for Pain Treatments

Pain management could include prescribed or over the counter pain medication. Some medicine can reduce inflammation if you are suffering injury. Muscle relaxants can help relieve pain in your back due to tense muscles. Make sure to seek medical advice and assess possible side effects before you get pain medication, and that you have identified the cause of pain in order to prevent the issues from worsening.

Text Neck and Chronic Pain

Have you ever stopped and watched people walking by? Our society is commonly rounding up in the middle of the shoulder blades. The rounding is called text neck and it is an epidemic around the world. Text neck is one of the main sources of chronic back pain, and common among pain and health topics. 

Offset of the Natural Balance of the Body

Our spine has a natural curvature. This curvature is being changed with our poor posture and gravity, which causes text neck. When this happens, and it is different for every person, it causes pain.  Sometimes the pain isn’t even located in the neck. Think of your head as a bowling ball. It was created to perfectly sit up on top of the spine. 

However, with strenuous activity, abrupt falls, and car accidents this perfect spinal model can become broken down and misaligned. This now makes the head hang forward instead of on top of the shoulders, pulling at the spine in various unnatural positions. This can occur not only at the neck but even in the middle and lower back. These curves need to be reintroduced into the spine with the use of cervical traction devices. 

Hopefulness and Healing

People who have been known to experience long-term pain and health issues have sometimes received healing by faith. Psalm 103:2-4 gives a reminder not to forget the power that heals, and how a hopeful attitude can make a difference in building up faith leading to recovery. Not only can our pain be healed by the Spirit, we can experience overall physical wellness with a joyful outlook even in the face of health challenges.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Other things that can help relieve some of that back pain is proper diet and exercise. Carrying around a few extra pounds is a huge deal to your spine. You should have a proper diet and exercise routine to ensure that you are cutting out weight and improving the muscle mass. 

Using Ice or Heat

Ice and heat can also help with chronic pain. Although this is not something that is going to fix the ongoing issue, it can help until you can see a proper chiropractor

Ice is used for bone pain. That means if your bones hurt, you need ice, however, if it is muscle pain, you need heat. If you are not sure and apply heat when it is bone pain you will surely know without a doubt. Bone pain will flair up to heat. This is a solid indication that you need ice and not heat.

Relying on Pain Relievers

There are also several over the counter medications that can be done to help ease the pain as well as natural pain relievers. However, it is important to determine what is actually causing the pain. Our bodies express pain because there is something wrong, and it may be a complex problem with nerves, muscles, or bones that needs to be resolved. 

Looking to a Health Professional

One of the best options out there is to see a chiropractor and get an x-ray to determine exactly what is going on. There are many reasons for chronic back pain, and you do not want to visit a chiropractor that doesn’t use x-ray as they cannot see what problems could be present inside your body and in your spine, such as disc out of place. If you or another person try to correct back pain that you have experienced for a long time without realizing a condition you might have had, there is a risk that your problems could worsen.

How do you find reliable treatments for pain and health? Taking care of your posture, your exercising routines, and your general health are all some of the best ways to avoid pain and health problems. If you need medical help, doing enough research to find a reliable doctor is wise. Keeping a hopeful attitude and faith that you will receive healing, relief, and be able to overcome health issues is also important.

References and Sources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. List Outlines Gamers’ 15 Most Common Injuries and Ailments https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2020/aug/commentary/commentary02/

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sex-related differences in Sports Medicine: Bone Health and Stress Fractures https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2019/sep/clinical/clinical01/

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. What About Whiplash? https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2020/jul/development/residency01/

Bodysport. https://www.bodysportproducts.com

ComforTrac. https://comfortrac.net/

Greensboro Rejuvenation. Healing – Pain Management https://www.gsorejuvenation.com/healing

Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms

Medical News Today. Are Chiropractors Doctors? 5 Truths and Myths https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322038#certifications

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. Low Back Pain Fact Sheet https://www.ninds.nih.gov/DISORDERS/PATIENT-CAREGIVER-EDUCATION/FACT-SHEETS/LOW-BACK-PAIN-FACT-SHEET

Posture Pump. https://posturepump.com/

Pronex. https://www.rsmedical.com/pronex

Spine Health. 3 Ways to Improve Forward Head Posture https://www.spine-health.com/blog/ways-improve-forward-head-posture

Very Well Health. The 9 Best OTC Pain Relievers of 2021 https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-otc-pain-relievers-4171963

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