19 Sep Non-Surgical Chronic Back Pain Treatment Options
Most people will experience back pain at some point in time during their life. Back pain transitions into chronic back pain after it lingers for three (or more) months. Chronic back pain can come and go offering temporary – but frustrating – relief. Finding the right chronic back pain treatment options is difficult if you do not know the cause of the pain.
Chronic back pain is common as a person ages. However, it can also be the result of an injury. Common causes of chronic back pain include:
- Herniated or Bulging Discs
- Spinal Stenosis
In some cases, the pain exists but neither you nor your healthcare provider can determine what is causing the pain. Once your doctor exhausts all other options, he or she will refer you to a specialist who can help with diagnosing as well as treating your pain.
For some, the thought of treating chronic back pain is terrifying. Fortunately, there are tons of non-surgical treatment options available. For someone who prefers a more natural approach, there are even a few options that do not include medication.
Medication is one of the first treatment plans for any type of back pain. Chances are good that you started treating your back pain yourself with over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. Your doctor might decide to try prescription-strength painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Medication is a great short-term treatment, but it can cause other problems to the human body if consumed long term.
Exercise is a recommended course of treatment for virtually any type of pain. With the guidance of your doctor, it is one of the first types of treatment you should explore. It is important for your doctor to create a list of exercises and stretches you should try. Just doing any type of exercise will not help and can make your chronic pain worse. Aerobic exercises are an extremely popular type of recommended physical therapy.
Not only is chronic back pain physically draining, it is also mentally draining. People become frustrated, angry, and depressed when they are unable to complete tasks because of the amount of pain they are in. Meditation in the form of yoga or tai chi is ideal for helping your mind deal with the pain.
A diet high in trans fats, processed foods, and refined sugars can make chronic back pain worse. Ideally, you should work with a nutritionist to create a meal plan to help with your chronic pain. Depending on your weight, creating a plan to lose weight would take some of the pressure off your back, as well.
For someone who does not fear needles, injection treatments are another option. Nerve blocks, nerve ablation, and epidural steroids are different types of injections used to treat chronic back pain. This type of treatment is ideal when your doctor knows the source of the pain. This treatment option can also rule out possible causes based on whether it helps. An injection is a temporary relief of pain and a diagnostic tool; it isn’t a long-term solution to back pain.
If these treatment options fail, you and your doctor should discuss surgical options. Like injections, medication – especially painkillers – is not a long-term solution to chronic pain. If you work with your healthcare provider, you can find relief for your chronic back pain.