Posted on: 13 June 2016Share
If you're dealing with chronic back pain, your family doctor may not have the skills and equipment needed to help you manage it effectively. Instead, you may want to consider seeing a specialist at a pain management clinic. These clinics typically have a variety of therapies on offer, so you can find something that helps you live more comfortably with your chronic condition. Here are a few treatment options that might work for you.
The specialist may decide that back injections are worth a try. Two types of medications are used in these injections, and sometimes the medications are given at the same time. Corticosteroids are injected into your spinal area to reduce swelling. This relieves pressure on the nerves in your spine and can reduce the amount of pain you feel. Relief from a steroid injection comes on gradually and lasts for a long time. Everyone is different, so you won't know until you have an injection if your pain will be improved for a few weeks or a few months.
The other medication used in back injections is an anesthetic. It goes to work immediately. This injection is useful when your back pain is flaring and the pain is intense. You'll get immediate relief from your pain as the anesthetic numbs the nerves in your back. The downside is that the medication wears off rather quickly, so your pain will return in a matter of hours.
Electrical stimulation of the spine may help reduce your pain. This can be done with an external unit that attaches to electrodes on your skin, or you may be a candidate to have an internal stimulation device implanted under your skin. These devices send an electrical impulse to your spine in the area of your pain. The electrical impulse blocks the pain signals that normally travel up your spine to your brain. Instead of feeling your usual pain, you'll feel the mild tingling from the stimulation device. Whichever device you use, you'll turn it on multiple times each day according to your doctor's instructions. While it won't cure your pain or provide continuous relief, electrical stimulation could make your pain more bearable.
A pain clinic should have a variety of treatment modalities available along with professionals in different specialties. For instance, you may work with a physical therapist, massage therapist, or acupuncturist. Exercises that strengthen your back and stretch your muscles may reduce pain and prevent your back condition from progressing further. Massage helps relieve pain by working the knots out of tense muscles. In addition, your clinic may use hot or cold therapy, ultrasound, or even chiropractic treatments that may help.
Each case of back pain is unique, especially considering everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. That's why there is no one solution to back pain. You may need to work with your specialist and try different approaches until you find something that works. It's worth the effort to find a treatment that reduces your pain. That way, you don't have to rely on heavy doses of prescription pain medications that may not work, or that have undesirable side effects.
For more information, talk to a professional like Pain Relief Center.