How to Deal With & Treat Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most aggravating, and also one of the most common conditions out there. The definite of ‘chronic’ is when your back pain has persisted (either at a high or moderate level) for twelve weeks and over. A large proportion of chronic back pain is caused by issues with the synovial joints between the individual spinal vertebrae. These joints consist of synovial fluid, but more importantly they contain the spinal discs – these are gelatinous discs that provide spacing and cushioning for the many vertebrae.

Back Vertebrae

Diagram of the various back vertebrae from Wikipedia

When either the discs, the cartilage or the synovial fluid degrades then this can cause pain ranging from mild to severe, and is likely to only get worse. Chronic bad posture over a long period of time is a prime cause of this type of pain, and will continue to aggravate and worsen back pain. Sitting hunched over a computer or slouching for example will make matters worse. You can help this by purchasing an ergonomic chair and setting up your workstation arrangement so that everything is conducive to a good posture. This guide from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration will tell you everything you need to know to set up your deskspace in a back-friendly way.

Obviously if you are looking for chronic back pain treatment ideas you will want to first consult your medical practitioner or family doctor. They will help to advise or refer you to the relevant health professional. Dependent on your individual symptoms the relevant person may be a physiotherapist (physical therapist), occupational therapist, and even a psychological counsellor, as your outlook and attitude towards the situation can sometimes compound and worsen your pain.

As long as it is recommended by your health professional, you want to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of exercise in addition to rest and relaxation. Your exercise should not be high-impact as this would further stress your joints and back, consequently low-impact exercise such as swimming will be beneficial to rebuilding strength to your back, and your core muscles in general. Your ‘core’ muscles basically stabilise the whole body and ensure that everything remains in perfect alignment. You should combine the exercise you do with deep breathing and other techniques aimed at managing your pain stress levels. If you can try and adapt to cope with the pain then it is less likely to cause a detrimental effect on your life.

If you are a persistent smoker then you may want to consider cutting down or ideally giving up completely. It has been proven that smokers are more likely to suffer from chronic low back pain and back vertebrae disc problems. As a form of back pain treatment this is one small tool that when combined with the other ideas will all combine to help reduce the level of pain that you are experiencing.

It’s kind of obvious to say that pain-killers are also important in managing your back pain, and giving you relief on a short-term basis. Some people don’t like to take painkillers and analgesics, however this is a fallacy because if you aren’t in pain then you are likely to use your back correctly, whereas if you are suffering with pain you will likely adapt the way you move / stand / sit for the worse.

Again please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before attempting any self-diagnosis or treatment for your chronic back pain.

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