Chronic Back Pain: How to Get Natural Chronic Pain Relief
Chronic back pain, defined as low back, mid-back, or neck pain that lasts 6 weeks or longer, can have serious repercussions on your mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life. For anyone that has dealt with chronic pain, it can leave a sense of desperation to get some (any!) type of relief. The primary causes for the onset of back pain are most often related to mechanical issues within the spine itself. However, acute pain that turns into chronic pain becomes much more complicated in nature secondary to overstimulation of pain pathways within the nervous system itself.
The Prevalence of Back Pain in the U.S.
Unfortunately, back pain will affect up to 8 out of 10 Americans at some point in their lives. Plus, once they’ve experienced back pain once, they are significantly more likely to experience it again. The best course of action is always preventative. If you are experiencing back pain, your number one goal should be to get relief and correct any underlying issues as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary complications due to chornicity. Today, we will dive into the top ways to get natural chronic pain relief and take back control of your life.
The Primary Causes of Chronic Back Pain
As mentioned above, back pain is most often initiated by some sort of underlying mechanical issue. These factors can all ultimately lead to spine degeneration, such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or spinal cord or nerve root compression. Some of the most common factors that contribute to the onset of back pain, spine joint pain, and degeneration include the following:
- Poor movement patterns that put repeated stress on the spine
- Weak core muscles
- Poor spine flexibility
- A high impact injury, such as falling or a car accident
- Muscle strain or joint sprain secondary to heavy lifting or complex movement
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices leading to being overweight and sedentary
- Spine misalignment, caused by poor posture or any of the other factors listed above
These specific events can all contribute to the start of back pain. However, as pain continues for an extended amount of time the feedback loop between your injured back and central nervous system that perceives your pain becomes faulty. This leads to ambiguous symptoms that leave sufferers frustrated and healthcare professionals writing their pain off as “in their head.” This negative view of chronic back pain can limit their healing and recovery potential. Often, suffering from chronic back pain leads to fear of movement, catastrophization of symptoms, and loss of productivity.
The Top Four Treatments for Natural Chronic Pain Relief
When fighting the chronic pain battle, there are great natural treatment approaches that can give you the sustainable back pain relief you’ve been looking for. The remedies listed below are all designed to give true relief and not just mask symptoms like many traditional pain management recommendations do. For example, prescription of pain relievers or antidepressants, steroid injections, and even surgery are most often recommended in the Western medical world. Even popular natural options like essential oils, turmeric, and other natural medicines are designed to mask rather than address the true problem. Unfortunately, these options only yield short term relief when the underlying issues are not addressed simultaneously.
Don’t Forget to Get Some Professional Guidance
Holistic based treatment options are best for getting to the true root cause of chronic back pain since it is a multidimensional issue. Having guidance from a trusted healthcare professional can help you feel better informed and confident in your body’s capability to recover. One of the top options for conservative treatment of back pain is Corrective chiropractic care. Chiropractors are experts in understanding the dynamics of the spine and how to find balance and healing. Chiropractors certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) are the absolute experts in understanding how the spine affects every facet of your health. The chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Posture in Henderson, NV are CBP certified and ready to help you with your chronic back pain treatment.
Now, let’s dive into the four treatment options that can expedite your recovery and help you feel your best- particularly when under the guidance of a CBP practitioner.
#1. Start with Your Mindset
Our personal beliefs surrounding pain and suffering play a big role in how we perceive injury and recovery. This can be a hard thing to realize, yet it should make sense intuitively. Pessimism changes our body’s physical biology to make us more prone to illness and injury. Thus, it should make sense that it affects our ability to recover and adequately cope when dealing with back pain. It’s common for back pain to elicit feelings of hopelessness and negativity. However, it’s important to do your best to adopt a positive mindset in the face of adversity. This is possible with the right treatment tools and support.
A holistic healthcare professional, like a chiropractor, understands the delicate balance between our physical and mental health for recovery. By simply helping you understand your back pain and offering pain relieving treatment, you will start to feel more hopeful. They can also recommend specific support groups or mental health support. Additionally, tools for changing your mindset include the following:
- Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety
- Make healthy lifestyle changes to boost your mood- including a nutrient dense diet, consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and proper daily stress management
- Begin a mindfulness practice, including meditation or a gratitude journal
#2. Pain Relieving Modalities
Dealing with pain is a tricky subject when it becomes chronic. It can lead to a cycle of pain that leaves you feeling totally stuck. You are in pain so you may be avoiding normal daily movements, but the lack of exercise and stiffness actually exacerbates your pain further- and so the cycle goes on. Getting some quick natural pain relief can help you break this nasty cycle and give you a window of time to get on track with other holistic treatment options.
In a chiropractic office, you can expect them to be able to offer a handful of options for quick pain relief- although it may vary with each specific clinic. Then, if you find a particularly helpful treatment modality, they can recommend home options that you can continue consistently on your own. These might include:
- Heating pads or ice treatment
- Electrical stimulation to disrupt pain signals
- Massage or other hands on treatment for reducing stiffness and tension
- Machine guided or manual traction to promote better spine alignment, relaxation and disc hydration
#3. Pay Attention to Your Posture
How we hold ourselves everyday plays a pivotal role in our spine health and the onset of back pain. Unfortunately, most of us don’t pay much attention to our postures with daily activities, like sitting, standing, and sleeping, until it is too late and symptoms are already evident. Yet, the truth of the matter is that constantly slouching is hard on the spine and puts it out of balance over time. Underlying spine misalignment and compromised nerve flow are big contributors to pain that won’t seem to go away no matter what you try.
Working with a chiropractor can give you a deeper understanding of your posture and how you can improve it to promote healing and reduce pain. Some strategies to get started included the following:
- Keep ergonomics in mind as you set up your desk work space
- Take frequent breaks from sitting to stand up and stretch
- Train your body to hold better posture with exercise and visual feedback such as a mirror
- Use pillows to support your spine’s natural curve when sitting on a couch or sleeping
- Get regular spine adjustments from your chiropractor to promote optimal spine alignment and nerve integrity
#4. Don’t Forget to Move
A period of rest is often necessary with acute onset of back pain. However, taking too much rest can actually be more detrimental to your back. Instead, research has shown repeatedly that there are multiple benefits to regular consistent exercise when it comes to recovering from chronic back pain. Some of these benefits include an improved sense of well-being, better blood and nerve flow to affected areas, and an improved overall balance in the spine itself. If you’ve found yourself avoiding exercise because of your pain, you’re not alone. But it’s time to start getting back into a routine slowly. As you gain strength and confidence, you will wonder why you didn’t get started sooner.
Chiropractor’s can make personalized recommendations for an exercise program to overcome your back pain based on your body’s unique needs. Some of the most common options include:
- Rhythmic gentle stretching of the spine to boost flexibility and help realign the spine
- Core strengthening exercises to build spine stability and balance
- Low impact exercises that minimize risk of aggravation, such as biking, walking, and swimming
Take Back Control
This article should have given you some valuable insight for getting started with your recovery. With each small improvement and a boost in your own self-confidence, you will start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. There is so much more to chronic back pain relief than popping a pill. If you want the best possible outcomes, consider your options and get some helpful guidance.
Seeing a chiropractor regularly can make all the difference when navigating back pain. By addressing your health holistically and any true underlying issues, you’ll have a great chance for getting real long lasting relief. The team at Advanced Spine and Posture in Henderson, NV can help you in your back pain recovery journey. Get in touch with their office to see how they can help you live your best life today.