Relieving Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is any type of pain that affects the spine for the timespan of 6 weeks or longer. Back pain can affect the lumbar spine (low back), thoracic spine (mid-back), cervical spine (neck), or even multiple areas at once. Acute pain and chronic pain involve very different sensory mechanisms within the body. Dealing with pain long term can lead to psychological health effects in addition to leading to completely dysfunctional nerve pathways. Ultimately, this often leads to chronic pain being stigmatized because of the vague symptoms, mental health problems, and extreme sensitivity that sufferers often experience.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
Back pain, characterized by any type of pain within the spine, affects as many as 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. at some point in their lives. It is crucial to prevent the initial onset of pain when possible, or quickly address symptoms when they arise to prevent them from becoming chronic in nature. If pain doesn’t resolve, or at last start to improve, with basic home treatments (like rest, stretching, and heat) within a few days to weeks- it’s time to seek professional care from a trusted healthcare provider.
When dealing with back pain, first it’s important to understand some of the possible underlying causes:
- Poor posture, scoliosis, or any other anomaly leading to spine misalignment
- Extra strain on the body secondary to being sedentary and/or overweight
- A fall, high impact of any sort (i.e. sports), or a car accident resulting in a spine injury
- Poor flexibility within the spine itself or surrounding interconnected joints
- Faulty movement patterns that result in strain and overuse- most common with lifting activities or higher level complex activities
- Wear of the spine vertebrae themselves, resulting in arthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and/or compression of the spinal and nerve roots
The Problem with Chronic Pain
Pain is an important survival mechanism in the human body that alerts us to dangers and encourages us to rest when healing is necessary. However, when the cause of back pain isn’t addressed quickly, it can lead to a nasty cycle of chronic pain. As already briefly discussed, chronic pain changes the way an individual perceives and processes pain. The normal neural feedback loop that allows us to make meaningful use of the perception of pain can become disrupted and start affecting the ability to live a normal pain free life.
The most common cause of chronic back pain is spine misalignment because of its direct effect on the nervous system. When nerve energy is blocked by poor spine alignment, it makes it exceedingly difficult to properly manage and recover from pain. While many of the causes listed above can be prevented with the right education and understanding, sustaining an injury from an event like a motor vehicle accident is impossible to avoid. This can result in especially frustrating pain secondary to the sustained high impact. Symptoms from high impact injuries like an auto accident are notoriously hard to get rid of and can quickly become chronic in nature. A chiropractor that specializes in car accident recovery, such as the entire team at North Alabama Spine and Rehab in Decatur and Huntsville, AL, can help those suffering avoid unnecessary complications related to pain and function.
Pain Relief Options for Back Pain
Getting proper treatment for your back pain is crucial for the best possible outcomes. A health professional that understands the intricate balance needed in the nervous system can help bring better balance and get you back to feeling your best. Chiropractic care is the top treatment option for getting long lasting sustainable back pain relief. That means no frustrating on again, off again pain that leaves you avoiding or dreading certain daily activities. No masking pain symptoms with short term options like medication- just long term solutions.
First, pain relief.
Getting quick pain relief can help you finally see a light at the end of the tunnel of chronic pain. This helps you break the cycle of faulty nerve communication that is leading to pain, muscle guarding, poor movement patterns and more- allowing you to get on track with other long term treatment options. Low risk non-invasive options for pain relief include use of modalities like heating pads, ice packs, electrical stimulation (TENs), traction, and ultrasound. Talk to your chiropractor for specific recommendations.
Our mental health and the ability to stay positive plays a huge role in the recovery process. With the holistic approach of chiropractic care, they understand how the body and mind are interconnected for promoting proper healing. They can provide you extensive education related to your pain and help you feel more confident in your ability to recover. They can also make lifestyle recommendations (exercise, diet, mindfulness, weight loss, etc.) that can help boost your sense of well-being and overall mood. Ultimately, this translates to a more positive outlook that significantly enhances your healing potential.
Encouraging optimal spine health
For sustainable results, the key treatment element that is often overlooked in spine alignment. Chiropractors understand the importance of optimal spine health and nerve flow via good spine alignment. This is done via spine adjustments, posture training, and more. With the spine better aligned, you can expect more manageable symptoms or even a full recovery.
Find the Care You Deserve
Don’t let chronic back pain control your life. North Alabama Spine and Rehab – chiropractor North Alabama is ready to help you get back to a life you love. Get in touch with their office today to see what they can do for you with personalized recommendations.