But you don’t have to schedule major surgery or allow yourself to become addicted to prescription painkillers just to keep this lurking monster at bay.
Conservative strategies such as physical therapy and smart lifestyle practices can help you manage your chronic pain for life. Ask our physical therapist to evaluate your conditions and recommend specific treatments!
What Exactly Is Chronic Back Pain?
If you’ve ever injured your back in a car crash, high-impact sports injury, or work-related accident, you know just how bad back pain can get.
As horrendously painful as that acute back pain may be, however, at least it goes away at some point. Chronic back pain hangs on long after an acute injury or other ailments should have been resolved through healing.
Chronic back pain is pain that persists for three months or longer. This type of pain can be due to a variety of reasons, including arthritis of the spine, aging, disc problems, and myofascial pain syndrome.
About 20 percent of people who have back pain will have it develop into chronic back pain with persistent symptoms. This type of pain ranks number three on the scale for the most burdensome conditions for Americans.
What Caused My Back Pain To Develop?
The first step in addressing your chronic back pain is having some understanding of its cause.
It can be caused by many underlying issues, from an acute injury that failed to heal correctly to chronic health problems such as:
- Degenerative disc disease is a condition in which the spinal discs bulge and flatten
- Arthritis in the facet joints that mobilize your spinal column
- Chronic muscle or connective strain due to stress, overuse, or repetitive motion
- Muscle knots associated with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and other chronic problems
- Physical or postural imbalances that lead to chronic muscle strain and soreness
- Congenital deformities such as scoliosis
- Excess weight from obesity or pregnancy
- Herniated discs that compress spinal nerve tissue
Conditions that involve pinched nerve roots may send pain and other odd sensations into your upper or lower extremities.
What Can Physical Therapy Do For Chronic Back Pain?
The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans. In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months.
Don’t fall into the trap of feeling helpless against your chronic back pain. Our physical therapist can analyze your current condition to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
We can then prescribe, not just physical therapy exercises, but an entire way of living that helps you maintain optimal day-to-day comfort. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your new pain-management routine:
- Sleep differently – Switch to a different type of mattress or adjust your sleep position to minimize nighttime (and next-day) pain.
- Exercise – Regular physical therapy exercises to strengthen your core muscles (including the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis and lower back) can stabilize your spine and ease muscle pain.
- Change your ergonomics – Move things around in your workplace so that you can reach frequently-needed items with a minimum of stooping, bending or twisting.
- Pursue stress reduction – Yoga, meditation, and other stress-busting techniques can help you keep your back muscles relaxed.
- Improve your nutrition – Emphasize anti-inflammatory foods, “nature’s medicine” for chronic pain. Our physical therapist can also prescribe exercises to help you lose weight, thus taking pressure off of your spine.
The exercises your physical therapist prescribes to you will help retrain the deep muscles of your back. Your physical therapist will show you how to use the right spinal and abdominal muscles before beginning any exercises to stabilize the spine.
Manipulation is another technique to alleviate chronic back pain. Short and rapid thrusting movements are done over a joint to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Ready To Find Relief?
If you are having issues with your physical health, regardless of how small, please contact us. Don’t wait. Maybe your issue is nothing but at least you will know for sure. If it is something that is fairly serious, we can usually provide a plan of action that will solve the issue and get you on the path back to wellness and vibrant life. The important thing is to take control of your life by taking control of your health. Contact us today!