Walmart Care Clinic
Address: 815 Shugart Rd, Dalton, GA 30720
Hours: Opens 8AM, Phone: (706) 277-7661

Chronic Back Pain Relief

October , 2017

Posted by Melanie Wheeler

Chronic back pain impacts the lives of millions of people every day. Chronic back pain is defined as pain in the lumbar region which is bothersome for three of more consecutive months. This is a long-term condition which may be life-altering and last for years. Learning ways to manage chronic back pain early can make a world of difference in your life. Since there are so many potential causes of pain, it is often difficult to find the right combination of treatments to completely alleviate all symptoms and pain.

There are many methods of self-care which may be recommended to individuals who suffer from chronic back pain. Moderate exercise and gentle stretching is recommended to maintain mobility and flexibility required for work and daily activities. If muscles are not used due to chronic back pain, they will atrophy and pain will only increase when the call to use the muscles does come. For similar reasons, bed rest should be kept to a minimum, although it may be necessary in the worst outbreaks of pain. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back with the pillow under the knees is recommended as it reduces the strain on your back muscles by keeping your spine in better alignment. It also tends to increase the comfort of the individual and the quality of sleep which is also important for recovery.

To further manage relief from the pain, Tylenol and Ibuprofen are effective non-prescription medications to take but should not be used long-term due to the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding. Narcotics are not usually prescribed for chronic pain, because they are habit-forming. Pain patches and electric stimulation may be used by doctors or chiropractors to treat extreme pain. Ice and heat application can also be helpful to certain individuals. Heat soothes sore muscles while ice helps to reduce inflammation. Ice should be applied in twenty minute intervals, while heat should be used less often. These can be used alternately or in isolation. Topical medications like heating rubs may soothe muscles but have not been proven effective.

Regular chiropractic care is also effective at managing chronic back pain. Chiropractic care keeps the spine and vertebrae aligned to help minimize pain associated with conditions like herniated disks, sciatica, nerve irritations, etc.

When self-care and chiropractic care is not enough, drug therapy may be prescribed. One of the drugs used to control chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis pain is Cymbalta. It has also been prescribed as an anti-depressant and has been known to have serious side effects in certain individuals. An epidural injection of a steroid paired with an oral anti-inflammatory drug may also be an option.

If all other methods to control chronic back pain have been exhausted, there may be a surgical option. Of course, these methods should be considered seriously and researched thoroughly, with weight given to the possible benefits and downsides. Depending on the cause of the back pain, a spinal fusion or disc replacement surgery may be recommended.