Managing Pain (Back Pain Management)

The concept of back pain management includes all treatments for back pain that aim to minimize its symptoms, rather then one simple treatment plan to get rid of the problem forever. Typically, back pain is considered to enter the chronic stage once symptoms (pain, loss of sensation, loss of mobility) have continued for more than three months. Once acute back pain has progressed to chronic back pain, it will probably be a problem that you will need to address or take steps to minimize throughout your lifetime. That is not to say that once you have chronic back pain you will always have chronic back pain. It just means that you will probably have to commit to some lifestyle changes to the reoccurrence of back pain symptoms, or to keep some symptoms from impairing the quality of your life. Here we will examine some back pain management techniques.

Your Physical Makeup and Posture - The latest research indicates that your overall posture, and the way that you sit in your chair and type on the computer do not affect the overall shape of your spine and future back pain problems. In short, your posture is probably not the cause of your back pain. That being said, your form while standing, walking, and working at your desk can exacerbate existing back pain. Improving your body mechanics may provide you with some back pain relief and to prevent future flare-ups of back pain. While you are typing away at your computer, your back should be straight and your eyes should point straight across towards the middle of the computer screen. Your pelvis should be in alignment with your back and spine, and your lower legs should be at a 90 degree angle with your thighs.

Overall Health - In general, activities and lifestyle choices that make you an overall healthy person will also may your back happy and less achy. Smoking would be one example. Research shows that smokers are at a greater risk for back pain. Smokers are also at a greater risk for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema. Overall physical fitness may also affect overall energy levels and the way your back feels as well. Patients who are deficient in physical fitness are more likely to have a recurrence of the sprain and strain type of back pain. Sprain and strain syndrome refers to back pain that results from spraining or straining the soft tissues of the back, principally, but not only, muscles and ligaments. These are the type of injuries that people are actually referring to when they "throw out their back." Patients may avoid these types of injuries by picking exercise routines that that are challenging but less risky, such as biking and walking. Patients will also want to choose exercise routines where they get to challenge all of their muscle groups, so that they do not cause or exacerbate muscle imbalances.

Interventional Pain Management - Patients will often try interventional pain management techniques in conjunction with more conservative techniques such as physical therapy as well as pain medications. Interventional pain management techniques include trigger point injections, steroid injections, and blocks using local anesthetics.