Back pain is often characterized as a deep, dull or burning pain in one area of the back and in some cases the pain can travel down the legs. Chronic back pain is the term used when the back pain is reoccurring or when it lasts more than 12 weeks as opposed to acute back pain which resolves within less than 6 weeks. Chronic back pain can rarely be relieved by any form of standard medication or treatment. Chronic back pain sufferers experience difficulty when performing regular daily activities and may not be able to work in jobs that involve manual labor and they will not be able maintain certain hobbies.
Our Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialists are very effective in helping you to reduce the problems you are experiencing that are associated with chronic back pain. Our specialists can provide you with a thorough assessment and tailor a treatment plan that suit your needs.
The initial cause of back pain is commonly a result of trauma or degenerative changes affecting part of the spine. Disc problems such as herniation or slipped disc can also lead to ongoing back problems and associated conditions such as sciatica. There may be other minor problems in the structures and tissues of the lower back that result in pain.
Some of the factors that are thought to lead to chronic back pain include:
- Overuse injuries
- Stand, sit or bend down for long periods
- Poor manual handling
- Heavy lifting
- After a trip or a fall
- Emotions – stress or anxiety
Treatment for chronic Back Pain
The Stroke & Diabetes Center has physical medicine & rehabilitation specialists who will aim to reduce your chronic back pain through a variety of treatment strategies. With chronic back pain, treatments may not be directly focused on the location of the pain. Treatment is based on a holistic approach thataims to treat your body and mind as a whole to help improve quality of life, function, mobility and general fitness in the attempt to normalize your perception of pain. Your specialist team will provide you with a thorough assessment and comprehensive treatment plan that is specific to you. Your treatment will include:
- Pain control modalities
- Heat or cryotherapy (ice)
- Electrical stimulation:e.g. TENS
- Basic cardiovascular exercises to help improve overall fitness and health levels
- Strengthening exercises to reduce muscular deconditioning
- Education on how to make lifestyle changes that may affect your condition
- Functional activities
- Postural advice for arthritic conditions that affect the spine
Your personalized treatment program will help reduce some of the problems you are experiencing as a result of arthritis pain. The program will help maintain or improve your current mobility levels as well as prevent future problems from occurring. The success of your treatment will highly depend on your commitment and adherence to your personal program.