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How To Deal With Chronic Back Pain

The Third Skill: Calming

How to deal with chronic back pain | Midday

Pain is meant to stimulate the body into action and to avoid danger. This is the well-known fight or flight response. The natural reaction of patients with pain is to be in a state of physiological arousal. The problem is that, because the pain is ongoing, the body can be damaged by this ongoing stress. Therefore, an essential skill for any pain patient is to learn how to calm the body down. I usually use the word calming rather than relaxation because the word relaxation has so many different meanings and uses in our culture that it can get hard to determine exactly what we are talking about.

After teaching the importance of decreasing stress, we go on to discuss triggering the bodys calming response. We talk about the difference between decreasing stress versus triggering the bodys calming response . This sets the stage for further education about relaxation techniques and how all relaxation techniques trigger this endorphin response. In some groups, we teach a specific relaxation technique in others we ask patients to explore and chose their own relaxation techniqueone that best fits their personal philosophy. We believe that there is not one right or best relaxation technique, but it is an important skill and all pain patients should be familiar with some sort of calming technique to use as needed, if not regularly.

Getting Started With Active Physical Therapy

At Physicians Neck & Back Center , active physical therapy is at the center of our spinal strengthening programs for over 30 years.

At PNBC, our doctors and rehabilitation specialists partner with you to design a program just for you. Long-term pain management and healing is more likely when the therapy is based on your situation and preferences. Our programs are not only based on your back pain levels, but also your mobility, current level of strength, your clinical testing results and evaluation outcomes.

The equipment youll use is highly specialized. You wont see this stuff at your local gym. Its engineered to target the exact areas back pain sufferers need to focus on. For many people, strength, endurance and mobility-promoting exercises help create a pain-free and healthy body. These exercises can also promote longevity.

Of course this also means your program might change as you progress. And it can be adapted to meet your immediate and future needs. It all depends on your progress and goals.

Want to learn more about PNBC? Watch this short video.

Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

If you have experienced long term back pain for 12 weeks or longer, then you are experiencing chronic back pain. There are ways to try and figure out the sources of chronic back pain, as well as potential treatment, that may or may not require professional assistance.

Acute pain or pain you have experienced for very long could be a sign of more serious injury or negative effects, possibly from lifting or a work out, and some injury may even require surgery. Its good to keep track of information related to your health and body as much as possible in case you should need medical help. You can research your symptoms if you have adequate information to determine conditions or causes you may be encountering, or even for covid-19 updates, information, and other health topics.

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Who Should Treat Your Back Pain

Many types of medical professionals treat back pain, and each has different training, skills, and specialties. So how do you know which specialist is best for helping to alleviate your back pain? Heres an overview of different back pain specialists and which type or team may be right for you.

See:Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

Manage The Stress In Your Life

Learning to Live and Cope with Chronic Back Pain

Pain triggers the release of stress hormones that make muscles tighten up. Muscle tension reduces blood flow to tissues, bringing them less oxygen and fewer nutrients. When this happens, you feel pain, explains Dr. Welches.

You cant avoid stress, but you can learn to manage it. Cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation are excellent tools, he says. Skilled therapists can change the way you perceive stress. Meditation can reduce anxiety, provide a calm sense of focus and reduce pain.

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Challenge Negative Thinking With Cbt

You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by just thinking positively. Rather, the trick is to replace negative thoughts with more balanced thoughts. It may seem far-fetched that you can heal your thoughts when the pain is so stubbornly persistent but recent studies show that CBT is one form of therapy that is a particularly helpful component of chronic pain management.

Cognitive behavioural therapy aims to enhance coping by changing dysfunctional thinking and behaviour, which is exceptionally useful when negative thoughts and depression start to rule your mind.

See Pain Management page and also How to Use Pain Psychology Techniques to Reduce Anxiety, Depression, Anger and Guilt for how to use CBT to help manage and release negative thoughts and repetitive thinking.

Medication For Pain Treatments

Pain management could include prescribed or over the counter pain medication. Some medicine can reduce inflammation if you are suffering injury. Muscle relaxants can help relieve pain in your back due to tense muscles. Make sure to seek medical advice and assess possible side effects before you get pain medication, and that you have identified the cause of pain in order to prevent the issues from worsening.

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Complete Guide To Low Back Pain

This article might ease your mind, but what about your back pain? If your pain is becoming chronic , or if you just keep having flare-ups, you may want to dive much deeper into the topic. There arent any easy answers for stubborn back pain, but there is evidence-based hope, and the PainScience.com back pain tutorial explores the topic extremely thoroughly. The main text is written for patients, but its also extensively referenced for keen readers and healthcare professionals. Read the introduction.

Try Interventional Pain Management

Dealing with chronic back pain.

If your symptoms do not get any better, it is now time for you to try interventional pain management. There are a lot of pain-blocking techniques out there that can aid you and help restore your quality of life back to normal. This is useful for severe kinds of pain that do not let you complete activities of daily living. There are many methods used in interventional pain management such as electrostimulation, nerve blocks, surgery, infusions, radiofrequency ablation, and even spinal cord stimulation. This multidisciplinary approach is quite helpful since a huge team of healthcare professionals is at your disposal.

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Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. Selection of the most appropriate type of health professional or team of health professionals largely depends on the patients symptoms and the length of time the symptoms have been present.

The different types of health professionals who treat back pain tend to have varied training and interests. While it is common to start off with a primary care provider , if the patients back pain is resistant to initial treatment then the services of a spine specialist may be necessary.

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Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:

Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:

  • Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
  • People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
  • The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.

Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.

When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:

  • Heat or ice
  • Ultrasound
  • Manipulation

Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.

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How Does Pain Reprocessing Therapy Work

The idea of PRT is to understand pain as safer than threatening. Once patients are able to think of pain as safer, they will be able to alter the brain networks. One of the biggest goals of psychological treatment is to educate patients about the role of the brain and how it generates chronic pain. PRT teaches patients to reappraise the pain rather than being afraid of it.

PRT never suggests that your pain is unreal or its all in your head. It emphasizes nothing that changes neural pathways in the brain stays long even after an injury is healed. PRT strives to shift patient’s beliefs about pain, its causes and threats. Before PRT starts, patients are undergone through FMRI scans. It helps them measure how their brains react to mild stimuli.

Since the premise says the brain can generate pain in the absence of injury, its absolutely pivotal to teach patients how to deal with pain. It’s only through psychological treatment that helps patients understand pain better. If you are suffering from chronic back pain for a longer period of time, allow yourself some time and contact an Oklahoma pain physician.

**Disclaimer: This content should not be considered medical advice and does not imply a doctor-patient relationship.

Find The Right Kind Of Medication

Dealing With Chronic Back Pain: Causes &  Treatment ...

Not every medicine is good for dealing with chronic pain. Each person has different kinds of medications that work for them. What works for others might not work for you. It is vital that you go to a doctor to determine the best treatment for you. You will need to try a lot of medicines before finding one that suits you. Painkillers are also quite addictive, which can be a worrying factor for a lot of patients. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are facing such an issue. Suddenly changing or stopping your pain medicine can also have severe and unexpected side effects that will be very dangerous.

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Chronic Or Acute Pain

  • Acute pain starts suddenly and lasts for up to 6 weeks.
  • Chronic or long-term pain develops over a longer period, lasts for over 3 months, and causes ongoing problems.

If a person has both occasional bouts of more intense pain and fairly continuous mild back pain, it can be hard for a doctor to determine whether they have acute or chronic back pain.

Back pain usually resolves with rest and home remedies, but sometimes medical treatment is necessary.

The Second Skill: Accepting

How the patient thinks about his or her pain is critical to successful outcomes. Catastrophizingthe behavior of patients telling themselves that their pain is the worst imaginable, that relief is impossible, and that this is the worst situation of their liveshas been shown to be an important predictor of negative pain treatment outcomes.4 An important skill for the patient is be able to accept his or her situation and decrease their emotional struggle with the situation. This can be a tricky skill to discuss because it is not helpful for the patient to just give up and not put in any effort to deal with making his or her life better. What acceptance means is a worthy of discussion with every patient. Acceptance and having appropriate attitudes and expectations about chronic pain are central to cognitive-behavioral therapy , which is the most commonly used psychological therapy for pain patients and has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain conditions.5 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy also has been shown to be effective for chronic pain conditions.6 These treatments reflect the overall patient skill of what I have termed accepting.

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Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic pain in your lower back can be a less common form of chronic back pain. Low back pain can have a number of sources, including a herniated lumbar disc in the spinal cord, a degenerative disease in the spinal discs, a condition of spinal stenosis , a dysfunction of different types of joints in the spine, a condition of spondylolisthesis , a condition of osteoarthritis , injury such as a compression fracture, trauma, or even a deformity in the shape or curvature of the spine or other parts of the body.

You could also be experiencing low back pain from muscle strain or sciatica not specifically related to the spinal cord. Low back pain may also result from sources like kidney stones, tumors, pregnancy, etc. It is important to identify an underlying cause of the pain before attempting treatment on your own in case there is serious injury or a different unexpected cause. Common treatments for this type of pain that work well include top picks in back support devices.

Chronic Back Pain: Long

How to deal with chronic back pain, naturally!

Chronic back pain, on the other hand, can be serious. Chronic pain is serious because the symptoms are strong enough to impact your health, mobility and quality of life for an extended period of time.

While chronic back pain can come on suddenly, it usually builds gradually and lasts more than six weeks. Chronic back pain can also be recurrent, meaning itll go away at times but regularly come back.

What causes chronic back pain? Chronic pain can be triggered by a new injury, but underlying conditions are usually the real cause. Muscle deconditioning is one of the most common contributors.

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Pain Management 6 Ways To Help You Cope With Chronic Pain

Almost every 3 people out of 10 in the United States experience chronic pain. Living with it is a constant uphill battle for most people. All of us have experienced pain from time to time. Short-term pain typically heals fast, while chronic pain can be described as an intense or throbbing pain that lasts longer than the duration of three months. There can be many underlying causes of chronic pain such as arthritis, nerve damage, injuries, and even illnesses. Your brain is responsible for sending pain signals to your receptors. Sometimes, certain people experience pain not due to an injury, but because of the signals being sent from the brain to the body.

With chronic pain come various comorbid disorders such as depression, anxiety, and a ton of stress. People are also burdened with negative thoughts, isolation, and even fear. This interferes with activities of daily living along with a lot of areas of our lives such as social, personal, and occupational. Medications and treatments are effective in dealing with chronic pain, but it is better to try and control the symptoms by changing certain lifestyle habits. This can act as a good supplementary treatment for your main interventions.

Prolonged and increased pain can lead to worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety, which is what makes it such a complex problem. We have curated a list of ways to help you cope with and manage chronic pain so that you can live your life to your fullest potential even with such an issue.

Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery

Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.

Back pain rehabilitationspecialistAndrew Nava, M.D., offers insights into common chronic back pain causes and nonsurgicaltreatment optionsand advises not to give up hope.

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Understand Your Risk For Depression

Living with chronic back pain is challenging. Sometimes, all the advice in the world is simply not enough. For some people, chronic pain can start to interfere with every aspect of their life, causing their relationships and work performance to suffer. Unfortunately, the nature of chronic back pain can leave almost anyone more prone to depression. If your personal relationships are becoming strained, you’re finding it harder to concentrate at work, you have less energy, you’ve lost interest in the things you once enjoyed or you feel hopeless, you may be suffering from depression. Talk to your doctor if these apply to you to find out about your treatment options.

Dont Shortchange Your Sleep

Dealing with Chronic Lower Back Pain

Sleep is very, very important it helps your body heal, says Dr. Welches. Lack of sleep releases more stress hormones, lowers pain tolerance and worsens existing pain.

Sleep loss can complicate other health issues, making it harder to control glucose levels when you have diabetes, for example.

So practice good sleep hygiene. Avoid blue light from smart phones or TV for one hour before bedtime. Go to bed at about the same time every evening and get up at about the same time every morning to keep your internal clock regular, says Dr. Welches.

Meditation is also a great tool for a better nights sleep. Many meditation apps are available. He suggests starting with five to 10 minutes of meditation before bedtime. If you wish, you can gradually increase to 20 or 30 minutes a night.

Supplements such as melatonin can also help you sleep at night.

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