Is it Chronic Back Pain?
If you have back pain for more than six weeks, you may fall into the category of having Chronic Back Pain. You should not give up hope if you are in this boat, as there are many possibilities for treatment, but you should also be aware that this type of pain can affect your physical and emotional well-being. It’s important that you take care of yourself!
Your doctor will advise you about painkillers for your specific condition. If painkillers do not help, you may be prescribed tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs were originally designed to treat depression, but at a very low dose, they can also provide an effective treatment in some cases of persistent pain.
In our last post, we talked about the importance of staying positive; this is more challenging with Chronic Pain (but just as important!). For this reason, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very helpful in changing the way you think about your condition; this in turn can make the pain easier to manage.
Surgery for Back Pain is typically recommended only if all other treatment options have failed, or if the severity of your pain interferes with basic daily functioning or sleep. The type of surgery recommended would depend on the cause of your pain:
Discectomy is a procedure where one of the discs between two vertebrae is removed to prevent it from exerting painful pressure on nearby nerves. This type of surgery treats a slipped disc.
Spinal Fusion is performed by joining together two or more vertebrae with a section of bone to stabilize the spine.
Because these procedures, like all surgery, carry the risk of serious complication, and are not always successful in completely alleviating pain, it is considered preferable in most cases to treat back pain with non-surgical methods.
One of the best habits to develop if you have Chronic Back Pain is to drink lots of water. The Mayo Clinic advises that dehydration can aggravate the symptoms of Chronic Back Pain, and it’s inexpensive and healthy to stay hydrated. Try and stick with water for the most part; even though it’s tempting to go for soda, coffee, or juice, water gets you there without the extra calories, sodium, or caffeine.