Back Pain Management Q & A

What is back pain management?

Back pain management is a way of using a variety of methods to help you cope with a chronic pain condition that’s affecting your back. These methods are brought together in a treatment program designed for you by the team at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.

Back pain is among the most common of musculoskeletal conditions, and most people experience it at some time during their lives. Back pain is often short term, and with self-care measures, you should recover within a few days or weeks. 

If your pain doesn’t improve, or continues to get worse and lasts for three months or more, it’s become a chronic pain condition. When you have chronic pain, it’s essential to get help from the specialists in pain management at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.

What causes back pain?

Back pain is usually due to either acute injuries, the effects of wear and tear, or disease. Your lower back or lumbar spine is the area most likely to develop pain problems.

The vertebrae can fracture, and the discs that cushion the vertebrae can get thin and dry, and herniate. Facet joints that hold the vertebrae together can develop arthritis, and the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your back can all suffer from overstretching and tearing.

The spinal cord that runs down your spinal canal is full of nerve roots, with nerves branching out all the way down your spine, and if they come under pressure, they can cause pain and other sensory problems.

The conditions that typically cause chronic back pain include:

  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Failed back surgeries

Strains and sprains that don’t heal properly are also frequent causes of back pain.

What does back pain management involve?

When you have a chronic back pain problem, your Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® doctor carries out a thorough review of your medical history, current symptoms, other health issues, and all the factors that could be contributing to your back pain. 

They also run diagnostic tests and nerve conduction studies as appropriate to get a clear picture of what’s causing your pain.

Using all this information, they create your back pain management plan. The treatments that could be part of your plan include several different types of therapy. For instance, you might need medications, which could include:

  • Pain killers
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants

Physical therapy is also vital in managing chronic back pain. Your plan could also consist of several types of treatment, such as:

  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Selective nerve blocks
  • Spinal decompression
  • Implantable pain pumps
  • Spinal cord stimulator

Understanding your pain and how to manage it mentally are also of great importance. Psychological counseling and learning pain management strategies can make a significant difference in your ability to cope with chronic pain.

Stress management is essential, as stress causes your muscles to tighten, which makes musculoskeletal pain worse. Regular sessions in yoga, Pilates, or tai chi can help you manage stress as well as being excellent forms of exercise if you have chronic back pain.

What other therapies might I need for back pain?

Other types of injections could include regenerative medicine, for example, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and stem cells that help boost your body’s ability to repair and regrow healthy tissue.

The ideal combination of treatments for you as an individual goes into your back pain management plan. You then meet regularly with your provider at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments.

If you need help managing back pain, call Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® today, or book an appointment online.