Chronic back pain can make life unpleasant, but fortunately there are multiple methods available as forms of treatment.
1. Noninvasive Pharmacologic Pain Management
Pain relievers and other drugs are usually administered from the onset of back pain. The most common types of medications that are given to treat chronic back pain include analgesics (such as Tylenol,) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as aspirin and ibuprofen,) muscle relaxants, narcotic medications, antidepressants and anticonvulsants, and neuromodulating medications.
Exercise can sometimes be used to treat chronic back pain. The aim is to build strength, increase flexibility, and restore natural motion.
3. Manual Techniques
Manipulation of the affected areas is also a way to treat chronic back pain. Applying force to the affected joints, muscles, and ligaments can bring relief.
4. Behavioral Modification
Cognitive therapy can be applied to help one cope with chronic pain. Meditation and other relaxation techniques are taught as a form of pain management.
5. Heating Pads or Ice Packs
Heating pads and ice packs can be applied to the affected area to alleviate pain. These should be used in addition to exercise techniques.
Electrotherapy can be implemented by sending low-voltage electric stimulation to the sensory nervous system to reduce back pain.
Injections of steroids to the affected ligaments, joints, muscles, or nerves can provide temporary pain relief. This method is often used for those suffering from a pinched nerve in the spine.
When considering which spinal research association to donate you will find a number of excellent programs to choose from. Here are a list of the top three and a little about the story behind each one. Decide which one resonates with your cause the most.
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
When this man became a quadriplegic and lived the last decade as so, it sparked a global movement towards helping those who live with paralysis. Thanks to their research, neuroscientists agree today that the question of whether we can repair a damaged spinal cord is not a matter of if but rather of when.
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
This organization was founded in 1948 as a means to elevate the life quality of those who live with spinal cord injuries and disorders. They help to rehabilitate those who are recovering from a spinal cord injury, and to help other learn to cope with the frustrations of disability while also empowering them to enjoy life again.
The Spinal Research Foundation
This foundation exists to provide information of the symptoms, treatment, research and prevention of back and neck pain. They reach out to those currently suffering from pain and those who have already been nonsurgically treated for neck and back pain. They exist solely through the generosity of donors, so they are an excellent consideration for donating to back pain issues.
No one likes pain, much less back pain. It can really throw off your entire day being laid up in bed unable to move even slightly for fear of feeling even a twinge. So e njoy these back pain jokes and let the laughter ease your pain.
1. 87% of young people have back pain. The other 13% have no computer.
2. "You haven't thrown your back out, you've tied your shoelace to your cufflink."
3. " I'm the one with the medical degree, I'll determine if your back is bothering you or not."
4. "I don't feel like rubbing your back. Set your phone to vibrate, lay it on your back and I'll call you."
5. One morning at a doctor's office a patient arrives complaining of serious back pain. The doctor asks him "what did you do to your back?" The patient replies "this morning I got home early to my apartment and heard a noise in my bedroom. I knew someone had been sleeping with my wife and the balcony door was open. I rushed out there and didn't find anyone. I looked down from the balcony and saw a man running away while dressing himself. I grabbed the fridge and threw it at him, that's how I strained my back.
A 2nd patient arrives looking like he was just in a car wreck. The doctor says "my previous patient looked bad, but you look terrible. What happened to you?" He replies, "you know I have been unemployed for a while now . Today was the first day at my new job. I forgot to set my alarm and was running late. I was running out of the building, getting dressed at the same time, and you won't believe it but I was hit by a fridge!"
The 3rd patient arrives; he looks even worse than the other two patients. The doctor is shocked and again asks, "what happened to you?" To which he replied "well, I was sitting in a fridge & someone threw it from the 3rd floor!"
Back pain can really detract from your quality of life, especially if the pain is chronic. You may find yourself tossing and turning all night, unable to find a comfortable position to sleep, and not exercising in fear of worsening the problem.
Instead of going through back pain alone, rely on your loved ones, doctors, and even some smartphone apps to help pinpoint and treat the pain. Here are five great apps.
1. iREHAB Back Pain on iPhone
This app by iREHAB.com was constructed by physical therapists to figure out exactly what causes you pain. You will then receive exercise suggestions to perform to feel better. This free app, which features voice overs, understands that your needs may change and adjusts to meet those needs.
Five By Five Digital produces this app, which gives you preventative measures to take to keep back pain at bay. You can also watch videos of how to do proper exercises to reduce pain, choosing moves that suit your needs.
3. Prevent Lower Back Pain on Android
This app by iGlimpse Ltd teaches you to build a stronger core and thus experience less pain. With graphics of each exercise that you can do to improve your back, you can fix your posture, improve mobility, build stability, and learn to reduce your pain.
4. Back Pain Manager Lite on Android
Julia Bechmann produces this app, which allows you to list what triggers your pain. You can keep records to show to your doctors during your next appointment.
5. Back Pain Relief on Android
No matter what causes your pain, this app by MoreApps presents plenty of information about how to treat pain, which methods won't reduce the ache, and exercises that you can implement today to feel better.
Back injuries often stem from dangerous activities like extreme sports and intense, physical jobs, but even mundane tasks like shoveling snow might lead to a back injury. The easiest way to avoid back injuries is to restrict dangerous activities like skiing, do as little snow shoveling as possible, and to take a sedate job in an office.
However, that solution might not offer the most exciting lifestyle.
It's not necessary to refrain from all activities that may cause back injuries; however, there are a few simple options to reduce the likelihood of getting injured.
Get in Shape and Exercise
Back injuries commonly occur when someone lifts a heavy object and crumbles under the weight of it. Introduce some core work and back-strengthening movements into your exercise routine. Don't apply for jobs that require heavy lifting until you're in shape to handle the workload.
There's a ton of advice regarding proper lifting technique and injuries associated with lifting with poor posture, repetitive stress injuries, and lifting items that are too heavy. Use proper technique when you do lift to reduce the likelihood of a back injury.
Ask for Help
Ask a friend to lift an item if it's too heavy to avoid injuries. Try to place items on tables or waist-high surfaces to avoid having to bend over to pick it up. Divide heavy boxes into a few less-unwieldy containers.
Get Some Experience
Heading for the double black diamond slope on a ski vacation is probably the fastest way to a back injury if you're not an expert skier. Try the bunny slope first, especially if you're not familiar with the mountain.
Back pain is an affliction most people will experience at least once. Work-related back injuries put more people on disability than any other type of accident. Americans spend an incredible $50 billion on treatment for back pain each year.
Doctors tend to advise that patients book a visit with a doctor if pain from a strained back doesn't get better after three days. Surgery isn't always the answer to a lower back injury, but some people will need to go under the knife.
The pain of a back injury might keep you in bed or on pain medication, but the swiftest recovery often demands an exercise routine. Once your doctor says it's okay, start walking to help straighten and relieve your spine.
Get Out of Bed
Remaining in bed is the fastest way to allow muscles to atrophy and back pain to linger. Although surgery might require some bed rest, it's vital to swing those feet out of bed and stand up as soon as possible.
Sufferers of chronic lower back pain might see some benefit from a trip to an acupuncturist. Several studies suggest acupuncture helps people with chronic low back pain. Don't be afraid to try this ancient Chinese technique. The needles are only the width of a piece of human hair.
Stretch and Strengthen
Flexibility and strength help reduce back pain and reduce the likelihood of another injury or strain. Try starting with a few minutes of stretching and core exercises each day.
Relax with a Massage
Try a Swedish-style massage and you may reduce your need for daily pain medication. Researchers believe that some back pain sufferers may receive greater benefit from a massage than over-the-counter pain pills.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|