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6 tips for living with chronic back pain

Living With Chronic Back Pain
3 minutes, 43 seconds

It’s estimated that around 8% of adults in the U.S. have chronic back pain. Of this population, there are more women than men. It was also reported that this population with chronic back pain had reduced physical mobility as a result of their significant and recurrent pain.

If you’re someone who struggles to manage their chronic back pain, take a look at some of the tips below. These tips and treatments may help improve your quality of life and make it easier to do the things you love.

What are some of the symptoms of chronic back pain?

  • Sharp, burning pain.
  • Dull, aching pain.
  • Pain that spreads from the back to the legs or arms.
  • Tingling or numbness in the back.
  • Intermittent pain that returns time after time. 

What are some of the potential causes of chronic back pain?

What are some treatment tips that might benefit those suffering from chronic back pain?

  • Get help through physical therapy — Physical therapy is a treatment option that offers maximum benefits and minimal drawbacks. It can improve muscle strength, increase range of motion and ease pain for those struggling with chronic back pain. It can also teach patients when and how to use exercises and intentional movements to protect themselves from future flare-ups. It’s a noninvasive form of treatment and only requires commitment and persistence. If you ever feel like your back is just killing you, PT can help.
  • Use anti-inflammatory medication — Chronic low back pain can be temporarily helped with the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Some medications can target inflammation and reduce it while also reducing pain. However, this type of treatment is not a long-term solution and may only stave off the pain for a few hours at a time.
  • Get enough rest — If your chronic back pain is rooted in inflammation, it may also help to give yourself plenty of time to rest your back. Life can get pretty hectic sometimes, but it’s important to take some time to rest your body when it needs it. 
  • Ensure regular movement — Depending on the source of your chronic back pain, you may significantly benefit from regular, gentle movement. Gentle exercises, like walking or swimming, can help reduce muscle tension and ease stiffness in the joints. It can also help manage weight, which may be contributing to the pain you’re experiencing. Regular movement is generally a good idea for reducing chronic back pain, but you should still speak with a trusted health care professional before starting any kind of exercise plan.
  • Receive cortisone shots — Another type of treatment available to those who are dealing with persistent pain is cortisone shots. Cortisone shots are injections that contain a hormone and analgesic that reduces inflammation and pain. These shots are usually injected into a joint that is causing problems for a patient, and they last for several weeks. However, they may temporarily increase inflammation and pain for 48 hours following the injection. Additionally, they may cause long-term joint damage, which is why most physicians limit the number of injections allowed per joint. Cortisone injections are more of a short-term fix for chronic pain than a long-term solution. They’ll eventually wear off and the number of injections you can get is limited.
  • Undergo surgery (as a last resort) — Getting surgery on your back may help your chronic back pain. It’s usually recommended for more severe cases of back pain or cases that don’t respond positively to more conservative treatment options like anti-inflammatory medications or rest. Surgery may help the pain in the long term, but positive results aren’t always guaranteed. Not only that, but surgery usually requires an extensive period of time for recovery. Your pain levels may temporarily increase and leave you feeling even more immobile during the weeks and even months following your surgery. What’s more is that after your surgery, you’ll probably be recommended to a physical therapist to help you get back on your feet.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT if you’re living with chronic back pain

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your chronic back pain. You don’t have to let your back pain take control of your life; rather, you can use PT as a tool to gain control over your pain. If you’re struggling with back pain, don’t wait another moment to get the help you need. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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