The easiest way to identify if your back pain is chronic is by deducing how long you have had it. If you have had back pain for three months or more, it is considered chronic and can be an alarming situation.
Not knowing what is causing back pain can be pretty frustrating. Your doctor may suggest invasive procedures or even surgery, but no one wants to opt for surgery if they can deal with back pain in other ways. Thankfully, there are several methods you can try to see if they relieve back pain without opting for surgery.
In this guide, we shall discuss back pain devices, lifestyle changes, and other treatment options you can consider to help improve your condition.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
Before we get into a list of methods to treat chronic back pain, let us look at what causes it in the first place:
- Spinal arthritis causes a reduction of the cartilage in the spine
- Narrowed spinal canal leading to nerve pain, also known as spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
- Muscle pain or tenderness due to Myofascial syndrome
5 Non-Surgical Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
Physical therapy should be the first option you must consider to target back pain. Consulting a physical therapist to perform various exercises under supervision may reduce pain significantly. You must also perform the suggested exercises at home, ensuring you understand the positions and technique. A therapy session for back pain often includes:
- Posture training
- Checking pain limit
- Prompting flexibility and stretching
- Strengthening the core
- Aerobic exercises
Emotional therapy can help reduce stress and emotional damage caused by being in pain for too long. You may often feel frustrated and depressed and unmotivated to exercise.
All of this may also lead you to believe that your condition has no chance of improving. This negative thought cycle can hinder health improvement.
It is a good idea to consult a rehabilitation psychologist, meditation expert, yoga trainer, and tai chi specialist to improve relaxation, cognitive abilities, and focus. This will help you tackle your condition mentally and emotionally.
Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
Lifestyle changes involve avoiding strenuous activities that worsen your condition and listening to your body. You should also avoid any tasks that cause you pain even if you had previously done them efficiently.
Taking breaks while performing chores is also a good idea. Do not hesitate to break down tasks and perform them in several steps. Stop any activity that increases back pain to avoid worsening your situation.
Make sure to invest in suitable pillows and mattresses to keep your spine correctly aligned while you sleep or work at a desk. Give up smoking and use drugs and alcohol, which often enhance pain and delay healing. Along with this, dietary changes are essential too. You must avoid:
- Trans fats
- Processed foods
- Sugary foods
- Consult a dietitian
Injections and Other Treatments
Your doctor may suggest injections to deal with chronic back pain. There are different types of injections too. Some block nerves, while others promote healing through steroids and nerve ablations. However, injections can only be used if the source of back pain is obvious. These may also only lessen pain or stop working after a specific duration. Other medical treatments include:
- Biofeedback therapy
- Laser treatment
- Nerve stimulation
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Opioid medication
These treatments are not always effective, may only reduce pain for a short time, and some even have harmful side effects. It is necessary to consult treatment options with a doctor before starting any treatment.
Back Pain Devices
Lower back pain devices are quickly becoming popular amongst patients and are a great alternative to surgical treatments. Corrective therapy devices send electrical signals to the nerves to reduce pain.
These devices can be planted easily on your lower back for quick relief. It stimulates the spinal cord and can be controlled via remote control. Some advanced devices target multiple muscle groups to reduce the sensation of pain by tricking the brain. A physician must plant most devices after performing an X-ray or ultrasound. Once planted, these gadgets help eliminate:
- Back pain
- Visceral abdominal or perineal pain
- Nerve pain caused due to radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy
- Post-surgery pain
- Heart pain
- Amputation pain
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome
Identifying the source of back pain is probably the most significant step toward getting rid of back pain. Many people fear the idea of surgery, and it’s also true that spinal cord surgeries are dangerous and not consistently successful.
Applying non-surgical methods to see if your condition improves is a good idea. Back pain devices and lifestyle and dietary changes have proven effective for many patients. It’s worth considering this before trying invasive treatments.