Chronic back pain remains over 12 weeks and is felt in the lower back. Up to 80% of people will have it at least once. Lower back pain can feel from a dull ache to a sharp or burning pain. Recurrent back pain can make it hard to move or even stand up straight, seriously affecting a person’s daily life and general quality of life.
Chronic low back pain affects both men and women equally and can start quickly or worsen over time. Surgery can be utilized to manage severe low back pain, but it isn’t always helpful, comes with risks, and takes a long time to recover. So, surgery should be the last option to treat chronic back pain. Instead, the patient should be told about other pain treatments.
Common Reasons For Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain usually comes from getting older, but it can also be caused by an accident.
- Arthritis of the spine is when the cartilage within the spine slowly wears away.
- Spinal stenosis is when the spinal tube gets smaller, which can cause pain in the nerves.
- Problems with the discs, like a ruptured or swollen disc
- Myofascial pain syndrome is muscle pain and stiffness that can’t be explained.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s causing long-term back pain. Until the source of the pain is found, it’s important not to make hasty choices or go through many medical treatments. Nava says that they might not only not help but could also make the pain worse. If you don’t know what’s causing the pain or can’t fix it, your best bet may be to work with your physician to find ways to lessen flare-ups and make your pain bearable without surgery.
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Non-surgical Treatments For Long-lasting Chronic Back Pain
Exercise is the most important part of treating severe back pain. It’s one of the first things you should try with the help of your doctor and physical trainer for the spine. But, says Nava, not everyone can do the same set of routines. The workouts have to be made to fit your health and symptoms. Keeping up with your workouts at home also plays a big part in success.
Some Types Of Physical Treatment For Prolonged Chronic Back Pain Are:
- Training your stance
- Experimenting with pain tolerance
- Stretching and flexibility workouts
- Aerobic exercises
- Core strengthening
Mindfulness And Meditation
Back pain that lasts for a long time is hard on the body and the mind. A rehabilitation psychologist may be able to help you deal with the anger, irritability, sadness, and other mental effects of living with chronic pain. This expert may suggest meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other ways to keep your mind off the pain.
Some meals, especially those high in fatty fats, simple sugars, and processed foods, can cause inflammation. Talk to your physician to discover if what you eat provokes your back pain and how to modify it. Keeping your weight healthy could also help ease your back pain by putting less stress on your spine.
It’s important to accept what you can’t do and change when you have constant pain. Listen to your body to understand how to pace yourself. Take a break from mowing the lawn or carry groceries on several trips. Note the things that worsen your pain, and try to avoid them if possible.
This could not only make your back more comfortable, but it could also stop the problem from getting worse. Giving up smoking is another important change to make in your life. Scientists have found that nicotine makes pain worse and slows down healing.
Chronic back pain can be treated with nerve blocks, spinal steroid shots, nerve ablations, and other needle treatments. They are used when the source of the pain is known, and if the treatment doesn’t work, they can sometimes help rule out other reasons. The injections may stop or reduce pain briefly, but they aren’t meant to be long-term answers and shouldn’t be used alone.
It is made of traditional Chinese therapy from the past. It is done by sticking thin needles into specific spots on the body. This old practice is becoming increasingly famous as an alternative way to help people with different kinds of chronic pain feel better.
People think putting in thin needles relieves pain by calming tense muscles and causing the body’s natural medicines, such as dopamine and serotonin, to emerge. Some experts also think stimulating specific nerves with acupuncture can help reduce inflammation, which is often linked to chronic pain. Acupuncture is usually thought to be safe and can help with long-term pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
In this type of non-drug treatment, the person wears a battery-powered device with electrodes that are put on the parts of the body that are causing constant pain. The TENS machine sends electrical bursts to stop pain signals from passing through the peripheral nerves.
TENS is considered a safe option for painkillers, which can have side effects when used to treat severe back pain. Recent studies have shown that TENS may effectively treat people with chronic low back pain by significantly lowering their pain.