Chronic back pain can last three months or even longer, but to the person who has it, the dull ache, stabbing pain, burning or tingling can seem like an eternity of discomfort. How can you cope with this musculoskeletal problem? Here are some suggestions from your chiropractic and integrative medicine sports specialists.
Communicate With Your Back Pain Specialist
Don’t go it alone. Get a back pain evaluation with an orthopedic specialist, chiropractor or primary care physician. A thorough diagnostic work-up, including digital imaging, can pinpoint the reasons for your chronic back pain.
As you work through your treatment plan, keep in close touch with your provider so adjustments can be made.
Go to Physical Therapy
A physical therapist will perform a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) and review your medical history and imaging tests to arrive at a plan to relieve your back pain. Strategies can include core strengthening and stretching exercises, gait and posture correction, use of a back brace and assistive device, such as a cane, and more.
PT also involves therapies which easily transfer to the home environment, such as heat and cold application, aerobic exercise (such as walking and cycling) and more.
Seek Out Alternative Therapies
You want to avoid surgery, and frankly, you may never need it. Instead, ask your chiropractor and sports medicine specialist about alternative therapies
Common alternative therapies for back pain include laser treatments, TENS (electrical stimulation), platelet-rich plasma therapy, massage and more. These interventions focus on the underlying reasons for your back pain and help you get it to a manageable level.
Modify Your Lifestyle
Move more, not less, even though you may be tempted to stay put in your favorite chair when your back hurts. Gentle movement is better than none as movement promotes improves circulation to the injured area, which helps with healing.
Also, stop smoking to improve delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your injured back. (See your PCP about a supervised smoking cessation program).
Another lifestyle change that can improve your back pain is changing your diet. Eat healthy – by limiting trans fats and white sugar which increase painful inflammation–and maintain your body weight within ideal range.
Try to Relax
Stress and tension can add to and even cause back pain. Learn a meditation or relaxation technique which works for you.
For instance, tai-chi combines both mental and physical components of stress reduction and movement and works well for many adults with back pain. Yoga is also a popular choice as it provides gentle movement and stress reduction techniques.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night has many physical and mental health benefits. Regarding your back pain, sleep will promote tissue healing and relaxation.
Also, proper positioning as you sleep takes tension off injured areas. For instance, ask your provider if a lumbar support pillow would benefit your spinal alignment.
Wear The Right Shoes
Get rid of those fashionable high heels. They place a lot of pressure on the forefoot and the lower back.
Shoes should have a low heel(no higher than two inches, good arch support, ample toe boxes and be made of quality materials. This will lessen chronic back pain, improve your gait and avoid falls.
Back Pain Treatment in Dallas, Texas
At Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine, we specialize in regenerative orthopedics and chiropractic. In other words, we are experts in both acute and chronic back pain management. To learn more about our innovative services, call us for a consultation at (972) 503-7272, or request a visit here. We hope to see you in our clinic soon!