How to Relieve Chronic Back Pain Sustainably
Back pain is one of the most frequent health complaints. Chances are that you have also experienced it a few times in your life. However, if your back pain lasts for at least six weeks, it means that your pain has evolved into chronic back pain. This chronic pain can be present in multiple areas at the same time, such as at your low back (lumbar spine), middle back (thoracic spine), or neck (cervical spine).
People who are dealing with back pain for longer periods have to face not only the physical symptoms but also the mental health effects (and often the stigma) that come with it. Secondary to the disrupted flow of nerve energy, the symptoms are often quite vague and hard to manage. Ultimately, they can even lead to the loss of productivity and limited body functions alongside hypersensitivity.
Why Do I Have Chronic Back Pain?
The prevalence of back pain is shockingly high, at about 80%. This means that 8 out of 10 individuals in the United States have to deal with some kind of back pain during their lifetimes. This is why it is important to focus on prevention and early treatment (before the pain becomes chronic). If your back pain doesn’t go away within a few days or weeks, or your symptoms become more severe despite basic home treatments, you should definitely seek medical help for your back pain.
The reason why back pain is such a common medical complaint is that there are many causes that can lead to back pain. Here are a few of the possible causes:
- A primarily inactive lifestyle
- Being overweight
- Strain or overuse secondary to incorrect movement patterns
- Incorrect posture
- Spinal alignment issues such as scoliosis
- Disc problems (for example, herniated disc, bulging disc)
- Arthritis of the spine
- Spinal stenosis
- Poor spinal flexibility (including the surrounding joints)
- Psychological stress
- Spine injuries (for example, secondary to a fall, sports injury, or vehicle accident)
The Importance of Getting Proper Treatment for Chronic Back Pain
When it comes to chronic back pain, there are two things that you should be aware of. First of all, chronic pain can be a warning sign of an underlying health issue. In fact, the body uses pain as a tool to alert you to a potential danger within the body. Spine misalignment is one of the most common underlying health issues that can lead to chronic pain. When your spine is not aligned properly, there is a dysfunction in your nervous system that can make pain management and recovery extremely difficult.
The second thing that you should know about chronic back pain is that when it remains untreated, there is a high chance that it will come back over and over again. This is because the root cause is not addressed properly (or it is not treated at all) like it would be with a trusted health professional such as a chiropractor.
Now that you understand why it is important to get proper treatment for your back pain, you may be wondering what your best alternatives are to get long-lasting pain relief. One thing is certain: there are many ways that are better than masking your pain symptoms with medication. For example, chiropractic care can offer you sustainable results regarding your back pain.
First step: manage your pain
The first step to get rid of back pain for a long time (hopefully forever) is to get some pain relief. This way, you can get a break from the pain and you can undergo other treatment options without being in constant pain. The most common non-invasive chiropractic treatment options are temperature therapy (heat or ice), TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), ultrasound, or traction.
Second step: improve your spine health
As mentioned above, proper spine alignment can be the key to long-lasting results. This is why your chiropractor assesses your spine health and uses posture training, spine adjustments, or other treatment options to provide better spine alignment and nerve flow. Once your spine alignment is restored, you can manage your symptoms more easily and it can promote faster recovery as well.
Third step: change your mindset and lifestyle
Your mental health and how you handle your back pain can affect your ability to recover. This is because there is a connection between the body and the mind. Luckily, chiropractors use a holistic approach to treat back pain, so they understand how they can use your mindset to promote better healing ability. Your chiropractor can educate you about back pain and give you various lifestyle recommendations (for example, mindfulness practice, dietary changes, exercise, etc.) to facilitate your recovery.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help
If you would like to get back control over your life and live it to the fullest, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. For the best results, consider choosing a chiropractor who is specialized in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), a science-based protocol that can help unlock your health potential.
Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her whole team in Oakland and Alameda, CA at Symmetry Health Center are CBP certified. Get in touch with their office today and ask about what they can do to relieve your back pain and reach your health goals.