Patient’s Guide to Spinal Pain Management

As many as 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. However, the fact that back pain is common doesn’t lessen its impact on our quality of life. Spinal pain has the ability to disrupt our routines, steal our mobility, sap our energy and rob us of our ability to focus on what’s important to us. And let’s face it — chronic, unrelenting pain can be simply maddening. The good news is — spinal pain is treatable, and surgery isn’t always the default answer. It is possible to find lasting relief through safe pain management for chronic spinal pain.

For those suffering from some kind of back or spine-related pain, we’ve put together the following patient’s guide as a starting point. We’ll discuss the most common causes of back pain and explore some holistic options for treating spinal injuries, particularly treatments that don’t involve surgery or narcotics. We’ll also talk about the importance of working with an experienced specialist to create a customized treatment plan for lower back pain and other types of spinal pain.


What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can happen for all kinds of reasons, which is perhaps why it’s so common to us. In some cases, genetics play a role in how we’re structured. At other times, it might be a birth defect or how our bones develop from childhood. Sometimes injury or trauma can cause acute pain. Many times, back pain occurs as a natural result of the aging process. However, many of the top causes of back pain are highly preventable, such as weight gain, bad posture, the wrong shoes or mattress, or even smoking. In these cases, first line of defense in spinal pain management is prevention. Back pain isn’t always avoidable, but if it happens due to a preventable cause, a simple change of habit is sometimes all it takes to find relief.


Common Non-Surgical Options for Spinal Pain Management

Many people with chronic back pain assume that surgery is their only option to lasting relief. In fact, surgery is the last resort. It does cause lasting relief in some, but it doesn’t come without risk, it doesn’t always work the way we hope, and it can cause other physical issues in the process. So whenever possible, we recommend exploring and exhausting non-surgical treatment options first. Check out the resources we’ve compiled below for some of these options:


What About Pain Medications?

While over-the-counter pain medications can be an effective tool in pain management, we are very careful with prescribing stronger narcotic pain medications. There are many risky health hazards associated with opioid medications, not the least of which is that they are addictive and patients develop a resistance to them over time. We may prescribe them under watchful eye especially in acute situations, but we steer our patients toward healthier pain management treatments as often as possible.


Other Helpful Resources

Check out the following helpful articles for more information on spinal pain management:

At Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center, we are committed to helping our patients develop effective spinal pain management strategies so they can reclaim their quality of life. To learn more, call us at 404-256-2633.

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