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What does “Chronic Back Pain” actually mean?

May 24, 2017
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Taken from the www.spinalhealthweek.com.au website:

What is Chronic Back Pain?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) defines chronic back pain as a long-term condition. General back pain is usually resolved within a few weeks or months but back pain that lasts for three months or longer is described as ‘chronic’.

Chronic back problems include pain which can be identified as a persistent ache anywhere on the back. Usually felt in the lower back area, chronic back pain can also cause stiffness, soreness and inflammation. The pain itself may range from mild to severe or from a dull ache to a sharp pain.4

People with chronic back pain can often find it hard to undertake normal daily activities and this can affect general outlook on life. Chronic pain can create a perception of harmfulness, which may lead to reduced physical activity and a sense of disability or helplessness.5

Chronic pain conditions are commonly associated with insomnia. Poor sleeping patterns and lack of sleep can exacerbate pain and impact quality of life.6

What Causes Chronic Back Pain?

It is not always possible to identify the cause of back pain. Although pain from a direct injury (such as a sprain or strain) or a medical condition (like a slipped disc or sciatica) may be easier to identify, chronic back problems can also result from lifestyle choices.

People who lead inactive lives and have poor posture are more at risk of experiencing back pain due to prolonged strain on the back and spine.

Help is at Hand

Chronic back pain can be quite distressing but there is no need to suffer in silence. There are steps you can take to address chronic pain symptoms. Improvements, no matter how small, may help you feel like yourself again. Taking small steps toward better health and seeking professional advice can make a big difference in how you feel.

Chiropractic Can help

Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, without the use of surgery or drugs. Chiropractors work towards restoring and maintaining normal spinal function, and encourage patients to make the necessary lifestyle choices to achieve this.

Chiropractic and Chronic Back Problems

For chronic back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical treatments, such as spinal manipulation or manual therapies. Chiropractors will assess your health and offer advice on how to manage the symptoms.

Chiropractors advise patients on self-management of chronic pain through exercise, diet and lifestyle modification, working with other healthcare providers where needed.

Patient Centred Approach – One Size Does Not Fit All

Chiropractors assess each patient individually and tailor treatment accordingly.

Although chronic back problems are common, the causes are not always the same. Some people are at the early stages of developing chronic back problems, while others are long-term sufferers and the treatment approach reflects each person’s unique circumstances.

Take Steps to Better Health

For many people, back pain can be prevented or managed with appropriate lifestyle changes and care. It is never too late or too early to take steps to improve spinal health. Improving overall lifestyle can help prevent chronic back problems and may also address other health issues.

Stay Active

People with chronic back problems may find it difficult to exercise but they should try to remain as active as possible. The best way is to seek advice, start gradually, be consistent and build capability over time.

People who use exercise as a treatment for chronic back pain find that it reduces back pain intensity. This effect has been observed in multiple studies and it has been found that exercise has a positive effect on pain.7

Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your spine, reduce the severity of chronic pain symptoms and improve overall wellbeing. No matter which activity you choose, proper posture is important.

Check with your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional before undertaking exercise to make sure it is appropriate for your specific needs.

Use the Just Start Walking app to incorporate walking into your daily routine. Download the Just Start Walking app from the App Store.

Lifestyle Changes

Poor posture increases pressure on your spine and can cause tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. Good posture keeps the body in its best shape and natural position. This may reduce wear and tear of joints, relieve stress and improve overall health.

Incorporating mobility into your daily routine could also help with back pain. Sitting or lying down in one position for a long time isn’t good for your back. Staying active can relieve the strain and help improve circulation to the body. Seek advice from your chiropractor or other healthcare professional on which activities are best for you.

 

 

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