It’s normal to have back pain occasionally, especially if you’re over 30 or have a physically challenging job standing or sitting. For many people, it goes away on its own. But if back pain lingers for months without cause, you may be experiencing the first signs of chronic back pain.
WHAT IS CHRONIC BACK PAIN?
“Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It can come and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration. Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you don’t know the cause,” according to Hopkins Medicine.
But chronic back pain is different for everyone, with different symptoms, different tolerance levels, and different reactions to medicine or therapy. Sometimes, the symptoms can be treated with multiple strategies, including using ketamine.
IS CHRONIC PAIN A BIG DEAL?
Yes, and its consequences shouldn’t be minimized or ignored. It not only affects millions of people worldwide and often fuels the need for employers to offer comprehensive medical management services, but the World Health Organization calls it one of humanity’s leading sources of disability. Chronic pain leaves its tire tracks on about 50 million American adults; of those, about 44 percent are men and 56 percent are women.
Chronic pain and its evil twin, chronic back pain, harm all age groups and income levels, resulting in stress for individuals, families, and America. How bad is the economic burden? Some reports say the U.S. loses about $600 million a year due to lost productivity.
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC BACK PAIN
- Lasts more than a few weeks
- Is intense and doesn’t improve by resting
- Works its way down the legs, particularly if the pain goes below the knee
- Causes weakness, tingling or numbness in either or both legs
- Is paired with unexplained weight loss
- Burning sensations
- Discomfort which feels like it’s stinging, squeezing, or shooting
- Your back is constantly sore or stiff
Many of these symptoms may respond to store-bought pain relievers, therapy, and new treatments like ketamine infusion.
RISKS OF CHRONIC BACK PAIN
- Advancing age results in wear and tear on the spine which results in disc degeneration or spinal stenosis, for example, producing back and neck pain. This is especially true if you’re over 30 compared to someone younger.
- Certain spinal disorders may have a genetic component.
- Any job with repetitive bending and lifting, or that requires many hours of standing without relief or positioned in a chair that doesn’t offer back support puts you at greater risk.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE CHRONIC BACK PAIN?
If you have chronic back pain, you can expect to undergo many tests which may include:
- Blood tests to check for evidence of cancer, inflammation, infection, and/or arthritis
- Bone scans to discover and track a bone disorder, fracture, or infection
- A Discography
- Electrodiagnostic tests
- Diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays
WHAT HELPS WITH CHRONIC BACK PAIN?
In some cases, a doctor will first recommend a store-bought pain reliever or an assistive device for a sore limb before suggesting other treatments. In the case of chronic back pain and diagnostic procedures with inconclusive test results, a healthcare provider could also offer:
- Ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine is thought to restore and reset connections between nerves throughout the body.
- Analgesics and NSAIDS (aspirin or ibuprofen).
- Alternative therapy like acupuncture.
- Behavioral therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Spinal mobilization and spinal manipulation.
- Spinal injections.
- Chiropractic procedures.
- Implanted nerve stimulators.
- Rehabilitation programs.
SURGERY MIGHT BE AN OPTION IF …
Back pain is considered chronic when it lasts six months or longer and you don’t know what caused it originally. There are red flags to watch for, which may indicate the need for surgery:
- New or increasing bowel/bladder issues
- Weak limbs
- Walking and equilibrium problems
- Signs of faster (brisk) reflexes
CAN CHRONIC BACK PAIN EVER GO AWAY?
Each of us deals with pain differently, including chronic back pain. If a cause for your pain has been diagnosed and can be treated, there’s a chance the symptoms will disappear for good. However, remember the nature of the condition is such that it can strike anywhere, at any time.
If you’re experiencing back pain that’s become chronic – lasting for several months – and you don’t know what caused it, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. Chances are high the pain won’t go away on its own, and even if you can function with it, it could result in other problems down the road. Many of the symptoms can be relieved with therapy, pain medication, and newer innovations like ketamine infusion.
About the Author
Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon Psy.D., DABPS, C.HT. is a double board certified integrative and interventional psychologist, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and master success coach. She’s considered an expert in integrative health and believes in a holistic approach-treating the body and the mind. She leads a very successful integrative and functional health and wellness practice, serving clients locally and internationally. She and her multidisciplinary team focus on wellness, preventive care and coaching to help people live healthier, happier and more satisfying lives. What makes her truly unique and exceptional is her broad and deep skill set and her approach to health and wellness.
As the founder and director of Dr. Aimee and Associates, and now The Center for Integrative and Functional Health and Wellness, Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon and her team of experts don’t just treat symptoms, they solve health problems, create better outcomes and change lives. Dr. Aimee Harris-Newon also hosts the popular radio show, Mind Over Matters on AM 820, which airs every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CST.
For more info visit https://www.thecifhw.com/
Clinical Outsourcing Services Facilitate Improving Health Systems on a Large Scale
The healthcare industry is enjoying immense growth at a global level and it is due to a hike in the demand for various health services. Due to this, healthcare systems are making important changes in their operations to provide exceptional services to their clients.
The demand for clinical outsourcing services is booming on a large scale. Healthcare systems are now opting for practice management services to provide support and better management for hospitals. With the help of such services, it is possible to ensure the right balance in a healthcare system for helping both physicians and patients enjoy a quality life.
According to Grand View Research, the global healthcare industry stood at USD 143.6 billion in 2019. And it is expected to witness an immense growth at a CAGR of 16.2% during 2020-27. Due to this, there is a lot of work available to do for a healthcare system.
Managing billing work, insurance claims, and patient inquires are some of the subjects that make it difficult for hospital staff to focus on their primary work subjects. One of the best ways to cope up with this is by consulting clinical outsourcing services to run many operations in a streamlined manner in healthcare systems.
Partnering with practice management services can help healthcare systems to improve their operations to give high-quality care for patients. With the help of such services, it becomes possible to build strong connections between staff members and eliminate many inefficiencies by simply implementing the best possible methodologies.
It eventually helps to improve patient experiences and provide them with better care. It is also possible for people to build a strong reputation for a medical practice in the market.
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