Chronic back pain is something that a lot of the population suffers from. While the causes for the pain may be different for each person, the one similarity they all have is most of them end up getting some kind of treatment for chronic back pain. Many individuals with chronic back pain don’t see a doctor until they can’t stand the pain any longer and it has seriously restricted their life style, preferring to try their own treatment for chronic back pain instead.
Some of the types of treatment for chronic back pain that sufferers will try are over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, heating pads or packs, herbal remedies or bed rest. Even though chronic back pain is back pain that has been with the person for at least three months, occasionally these treatments may help, depending on the cause for the pain. Often these types of treatment for chronic back pain are only a temporary fix because they are getting at the symptoms but not the cause. In the case of pain medications, they are “masking” or hiding the symptoms, but not helping with the cause so when the medication wears off, the pain will return.
It would be wise to remember that back pain is only referred to as ‘chronic back pain’ if it’s been with you for at least three months. If you’ve had the pain for that long, there is a reason for it and, most of the time; self prescribed treatment for chronic back pain is not going to cure the problem on a long-term basis. They may save you money on medical bills at the start, but if the problems become more severe from waiting, it may take longer to cure, thus costing more in medical bills than if you would have seen a doctor earlier.
When you do finally see a doctor for treatment for chronic back pain, he may or may not run tests, depending on many factors such as age, lifestyle and severity of the pain. Most doctors today work hand-in-hand with physical therapists and will refer you to a physical therapist as the first step of your treatment for chronic back pain. In many cases, doing the physical therapy prescribed on a regular basis lessens or eliminates the pain.
Other forms of treatment for chronic back pain may be prescription medications such as muscle relaxants or pain pills. Many doctors prescribe anti-depressants for pain. Although, some people are hesitant about taking anti-depressants, they have some of the same components as muscle relaxants. If these medications don’t help, doctors will often give an injection of cortisone for the pain. These injections have a longer term affect than pain pills.
Another treatment for chronic back pain that has occasionally been used is intradiscal electothermal therapy (IDET), a method that heats the spine from the inside. This was only effective with a small percentage of people with disc-related chronic back pain.