How can I deal with chronic back pain?

The Drain of Pain: Dealing with Chronic Back Pain

If you have chronic back pain, you know how it can negatively affect your entire life-- lost work days, cancelled trips, missed games, and just plain misery. The physical and emotional drain of continual or recurring discomfort in the back can be quite difficult to deal with; constant low grade pain stresses the body and mind, and pain that comes and goes can catch you off guard and throw a wrench in any plan. Here are some tips to achieve chronic back pain relief:

  • First and foremost, identify the source of the pain. Knowing what the cause is will not only help you to properly treat the symptoms, but it will also help you to become more adept at identifying the onset of a pain episode. Being proactive in this way can prevent an instance of pain from turning into a full-blown episode.
  • Work with your doctor to find the medication that works best for you. One type of pain or anti-inflammatory medication may be more effective than another in your particular case.
  • For chronic pain, consult a pain management specialist. By taking a multidisciplinary approach to your pain, you will learn to manage or even avoid severe episodes. Such an approach includes consulting with physicians and nurses to manage your pain meds, psychologists to address depression and anxiety, and physical therapists to increase strength and mobility.
  • Additional avenues to help address chronic pain include stress relief, relaxation exercises, improved sleep and nutrition habits, and regular exercise. Go online and check out these organizations that offer peer support for people living with chronic pain and their families: National Pain Foundation; National Chronic Pain Society; American Chronic Pain Association

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Barbara Gibson