Chronic back pain can make even the most mundane task feel impossible. When you’re in so much pain, it’s hard not to wonder if it will ever go away. While it may be a long battle, there are ways you can fight off chronic back pain. Dr. Peter Hinz and our team here at Cool Springs Chiropractic are here to help the people of Nashville, Tennessee fight off chronic back pain.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
Before you figure out a way to fix your back pain, it’s important to understand what causes the pain in the first place. The best treatment methods are those that attack the source of the problem rather than the side effects. By doing this, you have a better chance of finding a long-term treatment or solution that provides lasting results. Here are some common causes of chronic back pain:
- Arthritis of the spine
- Spinal stenosis
- Disc problems
- Myofascial pain syndrome – unexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, it may be difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain. It’s important to not make a rushed decision or undergo extensive medical procedures until the origin is found. This could actually make the pain worse for you.
Can You Get Rid of Chronic Back Pain?
As mentioned earlier, the best way to get rid of chronic back pain is by attacking it at the source. However, it must be said that even with good treatment, chronic pain might not go away. Managing pain is usually a long process that requires patience and commitment.
Someone who has had ongoing back pain for the past 10 years shouldn’t expect the pain to go away after a few visits to the doctor. With ongoing treatments, however, you have a much greater chance of alleviating the pain for good. It all boils down to finding the right treatment that fits you, your needs, your lifestyle, and your body.
How to Fix Chronic Back Pain?
There is no one magical quick-fix option to get rid of excruciating back pain. Some treatment options work out better for others. It’s recommended you try out several treatment options before settling on one. Here are some treatment options that have shown success.
One of the biggest and most dangerous misconceptions regarding back pain treatment is that you need bed rest. Bed rest typically does more harm than good and can actually make the pain worse. Exercise is the foundation of chronic back pain treatment.
Physical therapy is one of the first treatments you should try under the guidance of your physician and spine physical therapist. Much like back pain treatments themselves, the same set of exercises don’t work for everyone. Your exercises must be tailored to your specific symptoms and condition.
This is a bit of a catch-22. You need better sleep to help alleviate back pain, but it’s nearly impossible to sleep because you’re dealing with too much pain. It’s a vicious cycle because when you don’t get enough sleep, your back pain may feel worse.
There are some methods to help you sleep better even when dealing with excruciating back pain. First and foremost, if you sleep on your back, slide a pillow under your knees and be sure to sleep on a comfortably firm mattress. If you sleep in your slide, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position, relieving the strain on your back.
Change of Diet
Much like every other part of your body, the food you eat plays a vital role in your back’s wellbeing. Some diets are highly inflammatory, especially those high in trans fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which are the protective compounds found in plants. Here are some foods you should try to eat more of:
- Olive oil
- Leafy greens
- Fatty fish
Before starting a new diet, consult with your doctor to see if your diet could be contributing to your chronic back pain. Maintaining a healthy weight could also help lessen your back pain by reducing the pressure on your spine.
Sometimes, we hate change. But when dealing with chronic back pain, it’s important to accept your limitations and adapt. Try to pinpoint the activities that worsen your pain and avoid them if possible.
Activities such as mowing the lawn, making several trips when carrying groceries, cleaning the gutters, and running around with your kids may cause more pain. Avoiding these activities will help your back feel better while also preventing underlying conditions from advancing. Try to give up unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking. Nicotine is known to accentuate pain and delay healing.
Ice and Heat
This method is tried and true and you have surely tried it out at some point. Regular applications of ice to painful areas of your back may help reduce pain and inflammation from an injury. You should try this several times a day for up to 20 minutes each time.
Apply a heating pad or warm pack to help relax your muscles and increase blood flow to the affected areas. Warm baths can also help greatly with relaxation. Be sure to avoid sleeping on a heating pad, which can cause serious burns and tissue damage.
Chiropractors treat not only back pain, but several other health conditions such as neck pain, headaches, and other disorders. These chiropractors go through extensive training to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems. Conservative pain management is emphasized over drugs and surgery, but you will be referred to other medical professionals if the diagnosis is beyond the scope of your chiropractor’s practice.
The reason why many choose chiropractic care is that it takes a holistic, whole-body approach. A chiropractor will consult you on a diet, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle habits. Treatments typically consist of six to 12 visits over two to four weeks.
We’re Ready to Help Alleviate Back Pain
If you’re struggling with chronic back pain, Dr. Peter Hinz and our team here at Cool Springs Chiropractic is here to help. We offer whole-body solutions to people in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Contact us today to book an appointment!