Chronic back pain is something that affects thousands of people each year, with many of them unable to get much relief, if any, from the pain. If you’re one of these many sufferers, you’re probably sick of chronic back pain and will do almost anything to get rid of it.
Anyone that has chronic back pain can tell you it can come from any number of causes. You may have pulled something in your back by lifting something heavy. It can be a result of an accident or it can develop from changes to the spine that comes with age. It may be a sharp pain that comes on suddenly and doesn’t go away or it may come on slowly gradually getting worse. When it doesn’t go away for 3 or more months, it is called chronic back pain as opposed to acute back pain, which comes and goes. The one thing all sufferers have in common is that after awhile they all get sick of chronic back pain affecting their daily lives.
Most people that develop chronic back pain will tolerate it for so long taking over the counter medications, using heating pads or just resting. After a period of time goes by with no relief, they usually discover they’ve had enough and are sick of chronic back pain and see a doctor. Unfortunately, many don’t go see a doctor for back pain because they don’t think it’s serious and try to wait it out. Often, by time they get to the point where they’re sick of chronic back pain ruling their lives, they have more serious damage then what they would have had if they’d seen a doctor much sooner.
Another thing chronic back pain sufferers tend to do is talk with friends that have suffered from the same kind of pain and do what their friends say they did to treat the pain when they got sick of chronic back pain. In some cases this helps, but many times it does more harm then good because no two people are the same. Symptoms that may seem similar to two different individuals can actually turn out to be very different. Many people also give prescription medication to others that they may have leftover from when they were hurt. This is a very unwise thing to do. Medication is prescribed for one individual and one individual only and may cause harm to another person.
If you are one of the unfortunate individuals that are sick of chronic back pain and have tried everything else, seek help from your doctor. It may be something that can be easily fixed or the start of something serious. If it is serious, the sooner you begin treatment, the better your prognosis.
Many people today live a very complex but inactive lifestyle due in part to long working hours, lack of outdoor activity, and repetitive, tedious occupations. This can lead to numerous health problems including neck and upper back pain. Factory workers that do repetitive reaching or heavy lifting, computer operators that sit bent over their computers for extended lengths of time or tollbooth operators that stand and lean, handing out tickets and collecting money all day, along with people in thousands of other jobs are prime candidates for neck and upper back pain. Stay at home people that carry a baby on their hip for hours, hunching over playing video games, sitting in bed reading, playing golf, or just lazing around continuously can also result in neck and upper back pain. The neck, shoulders, and upper back are common areas affected by too much emotional and mental stress. In other words, putting excess strain on your neck and back, practicing poor posture, stress, or not using your upper back and neck muscles enough can all lead to neck and upper back pain.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to help and prevent neck and upper back pain. Developing sensible work habits, reducing stress, practicing healthy posture, finding good physical balance, and living a healthy lifestyle helps relieve and prevent neck and upper back pain. Some of the traditional treatment methods used to reduce pain is chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, massage, and exercise, including several types of stretching exercises.
People have practiced yoga all over the world for centuries to promote mental and physical well being. Although it took a while, yoga has become very popular in the United States today, although westerners do not practice the spiritual components of yoga as often. It is the breathing exercises and physical poses that more and more Americans are turning to and usually finding relief from neck and upper back pain. The results from using yoga regularly to relieve physical pain, reduce stress, increase strength, and improve flexibility is amazing. Some yoga poses may require modification depending upon your back pain.
Some causes of neck and upper back pain could be more serious than poor posture, muscle tension, and strain, so if it is a recurring or persistent pain, make an appointment with your physician. The condition and reasons for neck and upper back pain problems vary and the cause usually determines the treatment. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any type of yoga or exercise routine if you have any known health problems.
A physical therapist, or physiotherapist, uses both manual therapy as well as mechanical or electrical therapy to aid a patient’s recovery process and prevention. They use a number of physiotherapy equipment to reduce and relieve pain, repair the joint and muscle, and to make the patient more comfortable during his or her visit.
A physiotherapy chair, bed, couch, or table is among the various type of physiotherapy equipment. This is generally a flat cushioned bench with cushioned head support and two to seven adjustable sections. The sections adjust to lay the patient completely flat on the back, or stomach, or can be folded into different degrees to become a chair or exercise table. The physiotherapist uses this to keep the patient comfortable while examining and diagnosing. It is also used while the patient performs specific exercises, or for massage therapy.
For exercise a physical therapist might bring in hand and leg weights, elastic bands, and exercise balls as part of their physiotherapy equipment. A balance ball chair is a large air filled ball securely attached to a small stool set on rollers with back support. The client may use this type of equipment for exercises that require support for less strain on the spine and back.
To relieve pain, acute and chronic, physiotherapy equipment such as a TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, system may be used. A TENS unit provides the patient with temporary pain relief without the added use of drugs, narcotics, or painful shots. The attachments are set on the skin over the affected area where the machine sends tiny electrical currents, or pulses to the nerves. The pulses scramble and block pain signals before they reach the brain and are said to raise the level of endorphins produced by the brain. Portable versions come as battery operated handheld devices.
Often included in a physical therapist’s physiotherapy equipment arsenal are items used in electrotherapy and ultrasound. Ultrasound devices generally consist of a round handheld wand, or probe. This probe is placed on the patient’s skin with the use of ultrasound gel to transmit ultrasonic waves through the skin. The vibration of the tissues produce heat that helps reduce pain while relaxing and repairing muscle tissue. Ultrasound can also produce a pulse for tissue relaxation when heat is not desired. Ultrasound can also be used to give medications that are needed below the skin. Usually used for patients unable to take needle injections. Often ultrasound wands come attached to a large electronic device connected to a cart.
Each physical therapist has her or his own method of treatment. These examples are just some of a long list of physiotherapy equipment used to treat patients.
Upper back pain can strike any one of us at any time. Although it can be caused by a few different things such as ligament problems, in most cases, it’s caused by a muscle being pulled, stretched or strained. Possible causes of upper back pain may be overuse of certain muscles, lack of strength, or trauma as one would receive in a car or sports accident. Upper back pain treatment will usually revolve around helping the muscles once again relaxed. Upper back pain will usually show up as a pain in or near the shoulder blade as well as movement restrictions.
Upper back pain is also referred as thoracic pain or middle back pain. It is called ‘thoracic’ because it’s thoracic spine, which is located in that area. Upper back pain is also felt between the lumbar spine and the bottom of the neck. Massage is often used as an upper back pain treatment and will sometimes give relief quickly. However, if the problem is not in the muscles, medical treatment should be given to determine if there is a more serious problem.
For muscular problems in the upper back, exercise and light physical therapy often are helpful as upper back pain treatment. At the onset of the problem, ice is stilled the recommended upper back pain treatment to avoid swelling and inflammation. Many people choose to see a chiropractor for treatments. Although there are still many that don’t believe in chiropractic manipulation, many people have been helped by their services. Pain medications are often used as part of the upper back pain treatment, although they are never used by themselves. They are recommended to be taken along with physical therapy or exercise.
If there is one specific area or spot, that is tender and painful, trigger point injections or massages are also a method of upper back pain treatment. Many doctors like this method because the medication is going to just the painful area and not throughout the entire body.
Occasionally, upper back pain is caused by the joints connecting the ribs and the vertebrae. In this case, the upper back pain treatment is chiropractic treatments, physical therapy and pain medications. A lot of this will depend on the severity of the pain.
Other causes of upper back pain may be herniated spinal disc, degenerative disc or fractured vertebrae. Fractured vertebra is quite common in women over the age of 50 due to osteoporosis. In these cases, medical treatment will be necessary to get prompt relief before further damage takes place.
If you have been suffering from chronic back pain, you are probably at your wit’s end looking for some sort of chronic back pain relief that will last. There are different types of treatment for this type of pain, but they may not all be right for you. If you see a doctor for the pain, your doctor will determine the best way to give you some chronic back pain relief. His decision on a treatment plan will be based on different factors such as your age, physical condition (besides the chronic back pain), life style, and location and severity of the pain.
Many times people are content to take pain medication for chronic back pain relief. Some people find themselves taking this medication for years rather than finding more permanent chronic back pain relief with a doctor’s help. There are many people that don’t like going to see a doctor, whether it’s an issue of the money, or just an inconvenience of their time. In such cases as this, they will often try every home remedy they can find. When they find little or no chronic back pain relief, they eventually end up going to see a doctor.
One of the first things the doctor will have to do is determine where the back pain is located. Most often people have chronic lower back pain, but this is not always the case. The doctor will look at your medical history to determine your life style and any possible medication allergies. Sometimes, the doctor will order an x-ray of your back to see if any obvious problem shows up. If nothing shows up on the x-ray, they will often give you a list of exercises to do for chronic back pain relief along with a recommendation to take over the counter medications. He may also give you a prescription for something for the pain.
If the back pain is not from a serious injury, the exercises, along with the medication, may help give you some chronic back pain relief. If not, you may find yourself going back to the doctor again. Often at this point, the doctor may order more in-depth tests such as MRI or some sort of ultrasound to determine if there is a more serious condition causing the chronic back pain. In some situations, surgery is the only treatment that will provide the long-term chronic back pain relief you need. The doctors usually don’t recommend surgery except as a last resort when every other method has failed. Many individuals will fight the idea of surgery as long as possible, only taking it when it’s the only answer for their chronic back pain relief. Some sufferers are content to take pain medication for the rest of their lives if it gives them relief, but doctors don’t usually go along with this idea long-term.
Almost everyone experiences low back pain at some time in their life, and usually it’s more than once. Pain in the lower back can happen to anyone at any age for a variety of reasons.
* Bulging disc
* Herniated disc
* Degenerative disc disease
* Pinched nerve
There are other causes for low back pain too, including injuries or spine defects. Degenerative disc disease is usually age related. It’s when the soft center of the disk loses water and becomes dry due to the natural aging process. This causes the bones in the spine to become misaligned as the supporting material collapses.
Low back pain can also occur when you injure the muscles or ligaments in the back. The spine itself is not causing the pain, but rather the muscles. Muscle injury can result from daily activities not handled properly. For example, if you lift a heavy object incorrectly, you can strain the muscles. But injury can also occur as a result of something more serious like a car accident or slipping and falling. Sudden falls can cause the spine to compress or the muscles to twist in ways they aren’t meant to twist.
The treatment for low back pain varies according to the cause of the pain. Pain is defined in 3 ways. There’s acute pain which is pain that occurs suddenly, lasts less than approximately three months, and then diminishes as the cause of the pain is healed. For example, you may strain a muscle in your back one day while picking up a heavy box. After a month of hot or cold compresses (depends on type of injury) and careful physical movement, the muscle will heal and the pain goes away. This is acute pain.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 3 months. It can be pain that continues even after all known causes of the pain have been corrected, or pain you live with due to an uncorrected back problem. Chronic back pain can simply be miserable for the person enduring the pain. The cause of the pain isn’t visible to anyone else, like a broken arm or leg, but it can limit mobility to a large degree.
Recurring back pain is pain that comes and goes without end.
Many times, low back pain is the result of a muscle sprain. This kind of injury is painful, but fortunately the injured muscle usually heals. A sprained low back can result in muscle spasms or sharp pains when you move a certain way. You can get pain relief most of the time from over the counter anti-inflammatory medications and movement restriction for a few days.
Of course, there can be more serious causes of low back pain. They include osteoporosis, disc disease, arthritis and spinal injuries. If you experience chronic or recurring back pain, you should work with a physician to determine which techniques for healing or pain control best fit your situation.