A back injury is considered chronic if it lasts for more than three months. A temporary sense of relief can come and go, often followed by frustration. If you don’t know the cause of chronic back pain, it can be especially challenging. In an interview with the Back Pain Specialist, Andrew Nava, MD, provides insight into common chronic back pain back pain relief causes and nonsurgical treatment options-and advises patients not to give up.
Nonsurgical Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
Here is the following nonsurgical treatment to relieve your chronic back pain.
- Physical Therapy
Exercise is the cornerstone of chronic back pain treatment. A spine physical therapist and your physician should guide you in pursuing this treatment. Nava warns, however, that the same set of exercises won’t work for everyone. You need to customize the exercises to your particular symptoms and conditions. A big part of success is also keeping up the exercise routine at home.Examples of physical therapy for chronic back pain include:
- Retraining your posture
- Testing the limits of pain tolerance
- Stretching and flexibility exercises
- Aerobic exercises
- Core strengthening
- Mindfulness and Meditation
The effects of chronic back pain are both physical and emotional. Psychologists may be able to help you cope with the psychological aspects of chronic pain, such as frustration, irritability, depression, and other psychological issues. This specialist may recommend meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other cognitive and relaxation strategies to distract your mind from the pain.
Diets high in refined sugars, trans fats, and processed foods are highly inflammatory. Make sure you talk to your doctor about your diet to determine if it could be contributing to your chronic back pain. By reducing the pressure on your spine, maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce back pain.
- Lifestyle Modifications
In order to cope with chronic pain, one must accept their limitations and adapt. Nava suggests that you listen to your body and pace yourself. When carrying groceries or taking a break when mowing the lawn, make several trips. Keep a note of the activities that worsen your pain and avoid them if you can. In addition to helping your back, this can also prevent further deterioration of the underlying condition. Another lifestyle change you should consider is quitting smoking. It is well known that nicotine exacerbates pain and delays healing.
If you smoke, it is important to quit immediately. If you have an injury, see your physician as soon as possible. In many cases, the injury can be treated without surgery, and if necessary, surgery can be delayed until the injury heals. You may need to use a cane or crutch for some time after the injury has healed. A physician will determine whether your injury requires surgery. They will give you information about your injury and any available treatments. They will also let you know how long you must wait before you can return to work or resume your usual activities. If you suffer from low back pain, take time to educate yourself on the causes of your condition and the best ways to treat it. Read through the material in this article and consult a professional when necessary.
- Injection-based Treatments
Various injection-based treatments are available for chronic back pain, including nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, nerve ablation, and others. As long as the source of the pain is known, these tests can help rule out certain causes if the treatment doesn’t work. The injections may temporarily stop or lessen pain, but they are not meant to be a long-term solution and should not be used alone.
If you’re interested in exploring this option, it’s best to discuss it with your doctor before starting any new medications. It’s not uncommon for someone to experience muscle spasms in their neck, back, shoulder, or legs. The muscles will be tight, stiff, and tender in these cases. They may feel like they have knots that are hard to reach. Theseare referred to as myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). MTrPs can be painful or non-painful, depending on how long they’ve been there and how severe they are.