4 Important Techniques for Dealing with Chronic Back Pain

    Upmc urgent care

    Back pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits in the United States. In fact, up to 69% of Americans say that low back pain affects their day to day lives. Many of these lower back pain causes are undiagnosed. Many back pain sufferers simply deal with the symptoms on a day to day basis, without ever receiving any relief from the pain. If you are familiar with chronic back pain, you are likely to find the following techniques to be helpful.

    Consult with a specialist

    It is possible, and even likely, that you have shared your back pains with your primary physician. The problem, however, is that many physicians are not familiar enough with causes of treatments of chronic back pain. They may prescribe you a medication or suggest certain exercises, but none of this actually diagnoses or treats the problem at hand. Work with your primary physician on scheduling specialist appointments. Your physician likely has a doctors directory that they can pull from. This doctors directory can include specialists of all kinds, with a neurologist, rheumatologist, or orthopedic surgeon as just a couple of the options.

    Attend physical therapy

    One of the first things that your primary physician is likely to recommend is physical therapy. Physical therapy may seem time consuming and pointless. However, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be. Many back complaints arise from poor lifting techniques, overuse and strain, or an injury that never properly healed. Physical therapy can improve the strength of the muscles surrounding the injured area and prevent any further injury. At least 40% of people suffering from long term low back pain do not see a doctor or physical therapist. Many, however, do seek care from an emergency room doctor. Because the emergency room is more focused on emergency care, proper referrals to a specialist or physical therapist are often not given.

    Stick to a daily exercise routine

    Exercise may be the last thing you want to do with chronic back pain, but it is necessary. Exercise strengthens the muscles and prevents further injury. It can also prevent the injured discs and ligaments from getting worse. Finally, exercise can prevent the need for surgery. Back surgery comes with many risks and can actually cause further damage to the back, rather than improvement. A study published in World Neurosurgery showed that among 96 patients treated for Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), there were no significant differences in outcomes between the 53 who were treated with lumbar fusion and the 43 who chose to pursue non operative treatment (i.e. physical therapy).

    Know when to limit activity

    The problem with chronic back pain is that you can continually injure the same area, over and over again. It is important to learn how to read your body and to know when you should limit your activity. If you feel pain starting in your back, avoid heavily laborious activities, if possible. Schedule an appointment with your clinic and ask the doctors for an updated exam. If you suffer a new injury in addition to your chronic back pain, it is also important to seek medical help immediately. Know where your local after hours urgent care centers are. If you need help choosing one, ask for referrals from your doctors directory. Using a physician from your doctors directory ensures that all of your medical care is connected.

    Millions of Americans suffer daily from chronic back pains. These back pains can prevent you from getting a good night of sleep, from participating in everyday activities, and from leading a healthy lifestyle. Many back pain sufferers do not seek medical attention and continue to suffer from the pain. You can reduce your symptoms or find ways to better deal with the pain by working closely with your physicians and physical therapists.