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Back Pain

Pain is invisible – there is no way for others to see it or touch it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big problem. About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and it costs up to $635 billion yearly in medical care and lost productivity. It can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to. There’s no magic pill for treating chronic pain, but learning to manage it can help create a happier and healthier life.


Symptoms

  • Mild to severe pain that lasts more than 12 weeks
  • Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical
  • Feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness

Pain is not a symptom that exists alone. Other problems associated with pain can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Withdrawal from activity and increased need to rest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Changes in mood including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety, and stress
  • Disability


Diagnosis

  • There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision. So, health professionals rely on the patient’s own description of the type, timing, and location of pain. Defining pain as sharp or dull, constant or on-and-off, or burning or aching may give the best clues to the cause of the pain.
  • Since chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons, patients and their health professionals need to work together to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved.
  • Although technology can help health professionals form a diagnosis, the best treatment plans are tailored to the person, with input from healthcare team members.


Treatment

With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so the person can resume day-to-day activities. Patients and their healthcare providers have a number of options for the treatment of pain. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain:

  • Medications, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgery are some treatments used for chronic pain. Less invasive psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be used to treat chronic pain. These methods can be powerful and effective in some people. When it comes to chronic pain treatment, many people find adding complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) approaches can provide additional relief. These may include tai chi, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapies, and similar treatments.
  • Self-management of chronic pain holds great promise as a treatment approach. In self-management programs, the individual patient becomes an active participant in his or her pain treatment—engaging in problem-solving, pacing, decision-making, and taking actions to manage their pain.


Don’t let pain control you. Let us diagnose and treat your pain so you can enjoy a happy and healthy life!