Chronic Back Pain - Types & Treatments

Posted By Gwinnett Medical Back & Neck Pain || 12-Sep-2017

Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition. While it affects around 40 to 50 million people in the United State, it is still not well known by medical professionals. Some chronic pain may last 3 to 6 months, but other cases may be permanent. If you have sustained an injury in a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of accident, and the pain lasts longer than a few months, you could be suffering from chronic pain. At our chiropractic center, we provide informative services and effective pain management strategies to help patients seek relief.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Chronic Back Pain:

There Are 2 Types of Chronic Back Pain

In general, there are 2 types of chronic pain you may suffer from. It is important to understand the difference between them, because this can aid in the diagnosis of your condition. It can also help the physician determine a treatment method to help heal the injury and relieve your pain.

  1. The first type of chronic back pain has an identifiable cause. This type of pain can be traced back to a specific injury, disease, or condition that started the pain. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and broke your back, and you still feel pain months after the accident, you may be suffering from chronic back pain. Other diagnosable anatomical conditions can also cause chronic back pain, including spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis. In some cases, this type of chronic pain may be classified as long-term acute pain.
  2. The second type of chronic back pain has no identifiable cause. Sometimes, pain develops even when there is no visible damage or tissue injury. This condition can be hard to diagnose, because even though there are no obvious causes, your pain still exists. Physicians have sometimes referred to this type of pain as chronic benign pain.

Each Case Is Unique

Chronic back pain differs for each individual. Some may experience sharp pains on a regular basis, while others experience strong, steady aching. In every case, the pain persists for a long time, and can inhibit a patient’s quality of life and ability to complete daily tasks. There are many things that can cause chronic back pain. These include sudden jolts, twisting, poor posture, diseases, and blunt force trauma in an accident.

Chronic back pain may involve:

  • Irritation of the small nerves in the spinal discs
  • Strain of the large paired back muscles
  • Irritation of the nerve roots in the arms and legs
  • Injury of the bones, joints, or ligaments of the spine

There Are a Variety of Treatment Options Available

Some cases of chronic back pain require surgery to correct the underlying problem. While pain is the main symptom, pain management techniques should focus on resolving the initial cause of the pain rather than simply masking it. Pain management methods can help identify the source of the pain, provide non-invasive remedies, aid in rehabilitation, and help patients cope with residual pain after surgeries.

There are 3 main types of treatment procedures for chronic back pain. These include:

  1. Non-invasive, non-pharmacologic pain management techniques. There are a variety of non-invasive (meaning non-surgical) procedures you can do to help relieve chronic back pain. They help to improve cardiovascular function, musculoskeletal health, and disc nutrition, as well as reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The techniques can often be done in your own home, or by a certified chiropractor or health care provider.
    1. Exercise
    2. Aerobic routines
    3. Light stretching
    4. Water therapy and chiropractic techniques
    5. Massages on the joints, ligaments, and muscles of the back
    6. Hot and cold packs applied to the affected area
    7. Electrotherapy, specifically transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  2. Non-invasive, pharmacologic pain management techniques. There are several types of drugs that may help treat chronic back pain. However, they may lead to liver damage, addiction, and other harmful side effects. It is important to take a proper dosage and avoid using medication for an extended period of time.
    1. Analgesics (pain medications such as acetaminophen)
    2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)
    3. Muscle relaxants
    4. Antidepressants
    5. Anticonvulsants
    6. Neuromodulating medication
    7. Narcotic medication
  3. Invasive pain management techniques. Besides surgery, other invasive procedures may help relieve pain located in the spine.
    1. Injections, also called blocks, can work to provide quick relief by injecting an anesthetic or steroid directly into the affected area. However, this relief is temporary, and is only used to identify the source of the pain.
    2. Prolotherapy is another technique that has not been widely researched. It works by injecting an irritant solution into the affected area to stimulate blood circulation and increase ligament repair.
    3. Another invasive procedure is known as radiofrequency radioablation. This technique injects heat through a needle to kill the painful nerves in the back. It helps around 60% of all patients, and its effects last for months or even years.
    4. Surgically implanted electrotherapy devices and stimulators are expensive. However, they can provide effective pain relief in the spinal cord for victims of chronic back pain.

Call Our Gwinnett Chiropractic Services Today at (770) 263-2063

Chronic back pain can hinder your ability to do what you love to do. It can also make daily tasks difficult, and prohibit you from maintaining steady employment. If you suffer from chronic back pain, our office can help. We have provided quality pain relief techniques to victims of work injuries, slip and fall incidents, car and truck accidents, and neck and back injuries. Whatever your situation, our caring staff can discuss your options and provide effective chiropractic treatment to help relieve pain, heal the underlying problem, and improve your quality of life.

Contact us today to make an appointment. We also offer services in Spanish for your convenience.

Categories: Back Pain, Chiropractic
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