Chronic Lower Back Pain
Chronic Lower Back Pain
If you are experiencing chronic lower back pain on a regular basis, perhaps it’s time to take a pause and begin taking it seriously. For many people, lower back pain is something that you can blame on a hard day’s work and something that is expected to disappear after a comfortable night’s rest. However, if it continues to persist after resting, it can be indicative of a more serious condition that warrants a more serious approach.
Recent statistics show that a good number of chronic lower back pain problems today is primarily due to a herniated disc which is a serious condition that warrants immediate medical attention. Years before, we have always deemed back pain as just a product of stress or overexertion; today, it tends to not get the attention that it deserves because the corporate office environment does not look like a likely culprit for overexertion of the back muscles.
However, the fact is that sitting in front of a computer – as is the case with many of today’s chronic lower back pain sufferers – eventually results in a herniated disc. Bad posture combined with prolonged periods of sitting without any stretching puts undue pressure on the lower spinal discs eventually causing moderate to severe damage. Lack of exercise combined with old age also naturally degrades the strength of the lower back muscles and this exacerbates the circumstances which lead to a herniated disc.
Doctors strongly advise patients to embrace early reporting habits when it comes to chronic lower back pain so the condition can be managed before it gets worse. At the first sign of back pain, patients should see their doctors so the appropriate diagnostic tests can be administered to confirm the cause of the condition. In the event that it is indeed a herniated disc, the right treatment methods are always available to address the condition before it worsens.
Among the most reliable treatment methods for managing chronic lower back pain are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications for pain management, combined with therapy, rest, light exercises and stretching. If the pain progresses beyond what is manageable by normal medication, epidural injections can be used to alleviate the pain for up to 8 months. If the pain continues to persist beyond that, doctors may be forced to recommend surgery as a final course of action to address the problem.
For surgical methods, doctors may opt to remove the herniated disc and fuse the remaining vertebra. In rare cases, replacement discs made from synthetic materials are being used to ensure the mechanical stability of the spine. Recently developed methods do not take out the herniated disc but only loosen the muscles pressing on the nerves. Depending on the exact nature of the surgery, recovery may take up to 6 to 8 months with a high rate of success and low likelihood of the problem happening again.
In the end, what’s very important to remember is that chronic lower back pain can lead to something very serious if not given due attention. It is likewise prudent to adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as proper posture and exercising to minimize the risk of lower back pain from happening. Given its complexity, it is a condition best avoided or reported early on so the right actions can be taken in a timely manner to arrest its progress as soon as possible.