Chronic back pain can affect the low back, mid-back, or neck. It is defined as pain that an individual endures for 6 weeks or more. When pain becomes chronic in nature, it can have a major effect on your mental health and quality of life. Chronic pain associated with the back is often stigmatized due to the vague symptoms and loss of productivity that it causes. This is because chronic pain is caused by a dysfunction within the neural pain pathways themselves, leading to common symptoms of hypersensitivity and guarding.
Causes of Chronic Back Pain
With back pain affecting up to 80% of people in the U.S., this is a serious issue that cannot be overlooked. There are two best courses of action: preventing the onset of back pain in the first place or seeking immediate professional treatment for your pain. Some of the top causes of back pain include the following:
- Spine degeneration- such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, spinal cord compression, and arthritis
- Poor biomechanics with daily activities that strain the back- particularly with lifting or complex movement patterns
- Limited flexibility of the spine itself or surrounding joints (i.e. hips or shoulders)
- Sustaining a high impact injury- such as from a sport, falling, or a car accident
- Being overweight and/or sedentary
- Poor posture and spine misalignment
While any of these factors can initiate the onset of back pain, the biggest concern is when these underlying issues lead to chronic symptoms. Chronic pain completely disrupts the feedback loop within the nervous system that helps us perceive and manage pain in a way that is useful for our lifestyles.
Natural Pain Relief Options for Back Pain
When seeking treatment for your back pain, finding a healthcare professional that can address any underlying issues is key. This will help reduce strain on the overactive nervous system and restore balance. Chiropractic care is one of the top holistic methods for sustainably treating back pain without the need for more invasive options or pain masking medication.
Here are 4 of the top recommended pain relief options that you can explore with a chiropractor:
Get pain relief.
The first step in your path to recovery is finally getting some much needed pain relief. This all starts with the use of natural pain relieving modalities such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation, light therapy, traction, ultrasound and more. Your chiropractor can make specific recommendations that work best for you.
Pay attention to your mindset.
Our beliefs around pain can play a big role in how we perceive and let it affect our lifestyle. In fact, a negative outlook has been shown to also negatively impact our ability to heal and cope with health issues. Thus, talk to your chiropractor about any mental health concerns you’re having so that they can refer you out if needed. Additionally, they can help you with recommendations for starting a mindfulness practice or making lifestyle changes that help you feel your best.
Regular movement and exercise is one of the best ways to address back pain. It may seem counterintuitive when you are hurting, so talk to your chiropractor for recommendations on where to get started and how to progress over time. Most often, it is best to start with gentle stretching, core exercises, and low impact exercise.
Improve your posture.
The alignment of our spine is key to our overall health. One way to get a sense of your alignment is by taking a look at your posture. Yet, there are more subtle changes to your spine that a chiropractor may also be able to help you address with adjustments and posture training. Poor spine alignment results in reduced nerve flow and can majorly affect your ability to heal.
Get the Care You Need
Dealing with chronic back pain can leave you feeling like your life is not in your control. Finding a chiropractor certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is your best best for getting the relief you need. A CBP care provider will offer a science based expert treatment protocol for getting you back to feeling like yourself as soon as possible. Find a CBP provider in your area today.