What is chronic back pain?
Chronic pain refers to ongoing pain lasting longer than three months. According to the CDC 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and of those, 19.6 million have chronic pain that interferes with their daily lives. Of all the various types of chronic pain, nothing is more prevalent than chronic back pain. Very Well Health claims that no less than 84% of American adults experience chronic back pain at some point in their lives.
What are the negative effects of chronic pain?
Chronic pain can have a detrimental effect on a person’s psyche. In a study performed by CDC researchers, it was discovered that of approximately 123,000 suicides in the United States occurring between 2003-2014, almost 11,000 of those people had evidence of continued, chronic pain. The rate of people with chronic pain committing suicide increased over the course of this study. In 2003, about 7.4% of those people had chronic pain — by 2014, this number had increased to 10.2%. Chronic pain can also contribute to sleeping disorders, further damaging a person psychologically and physically.
Chronic pain can also lead to job loss, which can have many severe and adverse effects. According to the the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 54 million Americans live with a disability. The standards for collecting disability payments through the government include the following:
- Using a wheelchair, cane, crutches, or a walker
- Difficulty performing one or more functional activities, such as lifting, carrying, using stairs, or walking
- Difficulty with one or more activities of daily living
- Difficulty with one or more instrumental activities of daily living, such as going outside the home, preparing meals, housework, or using the phone
- Has one or more specified conditions
- Has any other mental or emotional condition that seriously interferes with everyday activities
- Has a condition limiting ability to work around the house
- Has a condition making it difficult to work at a job or business
A person with chronic pain could fulfill one or more of these requirements, making them a candidate for disability payments, rather than working. According to Very Well Health, “back pain has become an epidemic in the United States, and it is a leading cause of disability and lost productivity in the workplace today.” That being said, chronic pain is not in and of itself a qualifier for a person to receive disability assistance. Instead, people suffering from chronic injury must prove that their pain exists as the result of another issue, such as fibromyalgia.
What are the causes of chronic back pain?
Chronic pain can be caused by any number of factors, but is often linked to things like arthritis, cancer, nerve issues, and most frequently, back pain. Chronic lower back pain is often seen in people working long hours in an office atmosphere, where they are sitting in a chair for most of the day. People who work manual labor jobs with lots of bending and lifting are also more susceptible to back injuries, as well as accidents leading to back injuries.
Common causes of back pain include the following:
- Slipped discs, often due to twisting or lifting injuries
- Spinal stenosis involving the compression of nerves
- Compression fractures
- Tissue damage caused by strain or trauma to back muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Spinal fractures
- Structural deformities such as scoliosis
How can I treat chronic pain?
There are many treatments for chronic pain, and what method works best for you is dependent on the cause of the pain, how long you have dealt with the pain, and many other factors. At Healthpointe, we are dedicated to exploring non-invasive methods before jumping straight to a surgical procedure. We have doctors who specialize in many types of conservative management. Conservative management includes methods such as rest, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and more.
That said, sometimes, patients will have exhausted conservative management, and more invasive procedures will have to be considered. Fortunately, Healthpointe has some of the best neurosurgeons in the country. Our doctors specialize in any number of surgical treatments, including, but not limited to, epidural injections, spinal cord stimulators, facet injections, and Intrathecal narcotic delivery systems.
Here at Healthpointe, our priority is our patients. With the attentiveness of our providers and wide scope of expertise, we’ve made it our mission to improve every patient’s health to the highest potential, one day at a time. We are committed to improving your pain and returning you to the condition you were in prior to your injury or illness, if not better.
Are you experiencing severe, chronic back pain? Healthpointe treats back pain though our Neurosurgery Department. Our doctors work alongside our patients to construct detailed treatment plans catered to each individual’s needs. To find out more about programs for back pain at Healthpointe, call (844) 887-7882, or visit spinemd.net.