A backache is something everyone has to deal with at some point or another. Whether you worked out too hard at the gym or strained a muscle doing yard work, minor back pain is something we all encounter.
While a minor backache should improve in a few days to a week at the most, for many people, it can become a persistent or chronic issue. If back pain has gone from a minor annoyance to a major drain on your quality of life, you need to take action.
Since knowing where to start can be one of the hardest steps on your back pain relief journey, we’re happy to share the following guide. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the caring and dedicated Spine Center Atlanta team.
If you are looking for long-term relief for your backache, follow these five steps:
1. Doctor Evaluation — Get Your Backache Checked Out
Too many people try to self-diagnose and self-treat a backache that doesn’t improve in a short period of time. There are many different causes for back pain, and receiving a proper diagnosis can help ensure you are getting the right type of treatment. This is why you should always receive a doctor evaluation for a persistent backache.
By reviewing your medical history, performing a physical exam, asking questions about your symptoms, and ordering any necessary testing, a qualified doctor can help pinpoint the source of your pain. From there, you can work together to develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for your needs and lifestyle.
2. Try Basic At-Home Treatments
Basic nonsurgical treatment is effective for many causes of back pain, from muscle strains to spine conditions such as a herniated disc. The goal of initial treatment is to relieve pain and improve mobility while you monitor the overall progress of your injury or condition.
This will usually involve treatments and steps that include:
Consistently managing backache symptoms can help improve overall function and quality of life for a large number of patients.
3. How Physical Therapy and Pain-Relieving Injections Work Together
For backaches with more severe symptoms, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Many causes of back pain are caused or worsened by weak supporting muscles in the lower back. Working with a physical therapist can help build strength and improve range of motion. This in turn can help to reduce pressure on the spine and potentially lower the risk of reinjury.
If back pain is too severe to undergo physical therapy without discomfort, pain-relieving steroid injections can help. By reducing pain and inflammation around the backache, patients are able to complete physical therapy and other tasks that may not have been otherwise possible. It’s important to understand that injections are not a permanent solution to back pain and spine condition and can eventually have a diminishing return.
4. Committing to a Healthy Lifestyle
Any doctor will tell you an essential part of finding lasting relief from any type of backache is to make healthy life choices. Problems like extra stress on the back from weight and inflammation from certain foods can make backaches worse. The right lifestyle looks a little different for each person, but finding the right one for you can make a surprising impact on your quality of life.
At your doctor evaluation, talk about the following to help improve the health of your spine and back:
For so many people, overcoming back pain on a long-term basis is possible, but it takes commitment and patience. By finding the right combination of treatments and life changes, it’s possible to find the relief you deserve.
5. When to Consider Surgery for Back Pain
For backaches, spine surgery is usually a last-resort treatment. First, doctors will ask patients to fully explore other treatments over a period of weeks or months. If symptoms do not improve, patients can then undergo a doctor evaluation or consultation with a surgeon to discuss the possibility of surgery.
If a surgeon does find an operable condition that is the source of back pain, spine surgery can become a serious consideration and possibility for pain relief. Minimally invasive spine surgery is a possibility for a large number of patients that offers a smaller incision, an outpatient procedure and a shorter recovery time. Always discuss the possibility of minimally invasive spine surgery with any prospective surgeon to find out if it may be right for you.
Why You Should Choose Spine Center Atlanta
The caring and dedicated experts at Spine Center Atlanta can help you find relief from chronic back pain at any stage of your journey. Our team truly takes patient-centered care to heart and will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan and support you in finding the relief you deserve.
Led by founder and board-certified surgeon, James L. Chappuis, MD, FACS, Spine Center Atlanta was built to deliver comprehensive, world-class care for back pain, all under one roof. Dr. Chappuis has decades of experience in helping patients with serious pain get their life back. As just one actual patient puts it, “The experience with the team and my care was outstanding. I was made to feel very comfortable, and all of my concerns were addressed the day of surgery. On a scale of 1 to 10, Dr. Chappuis and team are a 10-plus all day long!”
Find the relief you deserve from back pain. To learn more and schedule your initial appointment, contact Spine Center Atlanta today.