Your back hurts, and you want relief. It does not get any simpler than that. You know how chronic back pain changes how you do everything from your work to your leisurely pursuits. As a sufferer of chronic back pain, you probably have to make plans to do things that were at one time done spontaneously. It is not uncommon for back pain sufferers to mow a lawn or play a few holes of golf only to have to take a day or more to recover from the flare-up that activities can cause. If you are having problems with your spine, here are four things that work.
Electronic Stimulation for Back Pain
You probably have already heard of devices commonly referred to as TENS units. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is just a fancy way of saying the devices send little jolts of electricity through the skin into the nerves. Depending on the electrical frequency, the electricity can even cause muscular contractions that could theoretically increase strength and improve circulation in the affected area. Recently, TENS units have become available as an over-the-counter item you can purchase without a prescription.
Deep Muscle Massage
The muscles of your back are arranged in layers. Over your muscles is a layer of fat and your skin. It takes training and experience for a massage therapist to provide an effective deep muscle massage. You should expect a little discomfort, especially if your back pain is deeply rooted in muscle issues, which happens to be the cause in many cases of chronic back pain. If you are not happy with the first massage therapist you try, do not give up. Relief obtained from deep muscle massage has a lot to do with the therapist. Also, be sure to ask your doctor if deep muscle massage is okay for you to try.
Get a Definitive Diagnosis
When you take your car in for service because it is making a noise or performing erratically, you want the mechanic to find the problem and fix it. If you call a repair shop and tell them what your car is doing, you are likely going to hear a lot of different things that could be causing the problem. The only way to know is to have an expert take a look. The same goes for your back, but even your doctor can be stumped without imaging and other tests being performed to figure out the source of your chronic back pain. Making an appointment at an orthopedic spine clinic is an important step in your healing process. You need to know what is happening with your back before it can be fixed.
If you ask around among your friends, neighbors and relatives, you may hear mixed results of their success when trying chiropractic medicine. Some chronic back pain sufferers rely on their chiropractors to be able to function in daily life. Others have gotten some initial relief and then failed to finish their treatment plan. Part of the issue seems to stem from the fact that some chronic back pain is caused by owner error. The person living with the back pain refuses to comply with sound medical advice to do things such as lose weight, exercise properly and regularly, and make other lifestyle adaptations to get relief. Chiropractic care can fix things such as pressure on nerves, but the rest of the treatment plan that includes stretching, strength training and weight management must be heeded for long term success.
Be aware that there are some acute back pain conditions that require immediate medical intervention. If you have a sudden onset of pain in your upper back that is radiating, it could be your heart and not your back. Serious spinal conditions, such as cauda equina syndrome and other conditions are critically important to have evaluated immediately.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, PC for those needing back pain treatment.