Most people experience back pain at some stage in their lives. Often, these bouts are short-lived. However, sometimes back pain refuses to go away. When it continues for more than six weeks, it’s referred to as chronic. If you’re suffering from this problem, you’ll know exactly how debilitating it can be.
The important thing is to be proactive and take action to address the condition. There are a number of treatment options available, and here are some of the most common.
Depending on the cause of your pain, your doctor may recommend that you undertake certain exercises to lessen your discomfort. Physical activity can help to strengthen the muscles that support your back. There are specialist classes on offer to back pain sufferers. These sessions may include exercises to boost muscle strength and to enhance posture, as well as aerobic and stretching activities.
Manual therapy is another option. There are various forms of therapy on offer, including massage, manipulation and mobilization. These techniques are carried out by professionals such as osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors. If you’re searching for a good Halifax chiropractor or another type of manual therapy, you can look for treatment providers online.
Acupuncture can help in certain cases too. This ancient treatment from China involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points around the body. Acupuncture can be particularly effective for individuals whose pain is seriously affecting their ability to carry out day to day activities.
Nerve root blocks
Your doctor may recommend nerve root blocks. This process involves injecting steroids or anaesthetic into your back. It is used in cases where pain is caused by a trapped or inflamed nerve in the spinal column. Precision is key for these treatments, so they are carried out under X-ray or CT guidance.
Surgery for back pain is generally only used as a last resort. Your doctor may advise you to have an operation if your pain is so persistent or severe that you can’t sleep or carry out everyday activities. The precise form of surgery you have will depend on the cause of your discomfort. For example, if you have a prolapsed disc, you may need a discectomy.
A less common operation is spinal fusion. This involves fusing problematic joints together to stop them from moving. Because bone is a living tissue, it’s possible to connect two or more vertebrae by placing an extra section of bone in the space between them. This procedure can help to prevent damaged vertebrae from compressing or irritating nearby muscles, ligaments and nerves.
If physical treatments don’t work, you might be offered counselling. This is because the way you think and feel about your condition can serve to make it worse. A popular option is cognitive behavioural therapy, which aims to change your thought processes.
These are just some of the treatments now on offer for chronic back pain. By speaking to your doctor, you can get the lowdown on all the options available and you should be able to find one that suits you.