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running with back pain

When You Have to Stop Running

running with back pain Running involves high-impact and repetitive stress for long periods of time. And when your lower back feels strained, it can be an indication of overuse and stress — or a more serious problem. Unfortunately, it’s often due to your running schedule. While it may be your first instinct to keep moving through the pain, disregarding back pain can lead to greater problems.

Running with back pain stresses your joints and discs, as well as the muscles and tendons that support your structure. Back pain can develop from improper lifting or standing. You can also feel pain from running too far or too long without proper warm-up. Anytime you develop an injury that seems more than mere muscle soreness, a visit to your specialist at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) gets you back in running shape much quicker than pushing through the pain.

What Low Back Pain Means

Ranging in severity from muscle strain to more serious structural concerns, your low back pain may indicate:

  • Muscle strain
  • Tendon tears
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Sciatica

With proper self-care, muscle strains and tendon tears resolve relatively quickly. Conditions involving compromised discs or sciatica may result in the need for altered exercise regimens. Sciatica is a condition that causes inflammation of the nerves running from your low back down your leg. You may experience pain, numbness, weakness or tingling — and repetitive impacts aggravate the inflammation.

Self-Care Measures for Running with Back Pain

When it comes to your back, pain usually means it’s time to take a break. Runners typically don’t want to hear this. But taking care of your back now with patience may mean the difference between getting back into your running shoes and having to hang them up for good. Good self-care includes:

  • Rest anywhere from a day to three weeks, as long as it takes
  • Cold packs or ice for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day
  • Heat therapy or moist heat to loosen tight, constricted muscles
  • Gentle stretching, preferably after heat therapy and before any kind of activity
  • Over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen for pain and ibuprofen for inflammation

If your pain continues after three weeks, call your doctor at SSI to determine if more serious conditions should be addressed. At the same time, if you have a history of back problems or have recently undergone a procedure, let your doctor know right away if you have back pain again.

Exercise Options in Place of Running with Back Pain

While waiting for your back pain to heal or if your spine specialist determines there may be more serious conditions, other low- or no-impact exercises may prove beneficial. These exercises don’t aggravate inflammation like running with back pain does. Instead, look for exercises that target strength and flexibility during your healing process. Options for exercise include:

  • Elliptical machines
  • Rowing machines
  • Biking or stationary bikes
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Water therapy to help with pain and flexibility

Running with back pain is no fun anyway. Finding relief for your back pain to maintain the active lifestyle you enjoy is your SSI back team’s main goals. The proper exercises, remedies, medication and routines help you get back to the exercise you love without the frustrations of pain.

back surgery in south carolina

After Your Surgery in Mt. Pleasant, SC

back surgery in south carolinaOnce you’ve undergone back surgery in South Carolina, you may need to take it easy for a few days before heading home. If you live quite a distance from the campus at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) — as many patients do — you may need to wait even longer before you can travel comfortably.

No worries! In Mt. Pleasant, SC, you’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscape in the country, with some of the most historic landmarks and some of the best food. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a companion, whether you need to stay off your feet or begin some gentle walking, you can find lots of ways to spend your time after back surgery in South Carolina.

Reliable Treatment

Having back surgery in South Carolina, right outside of Charleston, provides you access to a team of highly trained, board-certified surgeons. After your procedure, you receive clear instructions about how to slowly resume activities. In most cases, you’re encouraged to walk after surgery — how much depends on your procedure and your health.

The greater Charleston area gives you and your caregiver, friend or family member a lovely setting with as many events and distractions as your doctor determines is safe and realistic. No matter what your recommended activity level, you can find something to do while you heal:

If you’re told to walk for at least 10 to 20 minutes every hour:

  • Walk along King Street to find a plethora of shops and restaurants. They’ll keep your mind off your discomfort, give you plenty of opportunities to sit and watch the ambling pedestrians and try some of the tantalizing fare that Charleston is famous for.
  • Walk the waterfront. The fresh breezes blowing off the Atlantic Ocean may feel healing after you’ve been through a procedure such as back surgery in South Carolina. Rows of benches perched along the seawalls provide ample spots for rest.

If you want to shop in short bursts:

  • The City Market houses the local artisans that make this one of the most craft-friendly cities on the East Coast. It’s easy to step outside the four city blocks to grab a cup of tea if you tire. The side streets are packed with local eateries and sweet shops as you shop.
  • The Old Village and Pitt Street shopping district allows you to stay near SSI. Just across the Cooper River, you’ll find unique shops and local crafts alongside comfy cafes, where you can sip a milkshake or revive with a cup of joe.

If you can’t walk that far, but want to enjoy the surrounding beauty after back surgery in South Carolina:

  • Horse-drawn carriages continue the tradition throughout downtown Charleston. Choose from a number of operators for a private or public ride that lasts as long as you want!
  • Harbor tours are also popular options. You can see the sites without extensive walking. Book a tour of your choice with Charleston Harbor Tours for either a quiet day trip or a raucous night cruise.

Aftercare for Back Surgery in South Carolina

It’s important for your recovery that you closely follow the directions of your spine surgeon and physical therapist at SSI. Through appropriate pain management, returning to normal activity as quickly as your doctor recommends increases your chance of a successful and quick recovery.

The best aftercare involves good planning and preparation. Having the correct items at hand and finding suitable activities during your recovery help make your healing time more pleasant — not just for you, but for your caregivers as well.

preventing back pain by not walking barefoot

Going Barefoot: Good or Bad for Your Back?

preventing back pain by not walking barefoot

Going barefoot may remind you of vacations, childhood in the sandbox or just your daily end-of-the day release. What could be more relaxing than kicking off your shoes and wiggling your toes? But as good as it feels in the moment, going barefoot may be doing you more harm than good, especially if you already have back problems

In the quest for preventing back pain, many spine specialists recommend supportive shoes and reducing the time spent walking around barefoot. Once you realize the effect unsupported feet have on your gait, movement and posture, you may be willing to forego a little foot freedom for a healthier back!

What Happens to Your Legs, Back and Feet

The repetitive motion and increased shock from walking or running without the proper support for your feet can aggravate stressed muscles and tendons. Going barefoot jars your bone structure from your ankles up to your neck.

Since injuries or congenital malformations result in poor biomechanics, the slightest foot pain can alter your gait, causing you to walk differently. It puts pressure on your entire skeletal structure. If you have flat feet or pronation, your shin and thigh bones rotate inward, thrusting your pelvis forward. If one foot is flatter than the other, the discrepancy disrupts the normal balance of your pelvis and lower back.

Symptoms Attributed to Walking Barefoot

Several symptoms can be attributed to walking barefoot, including:

  • Weakness in your feet and legs
  • Breakdown of tissues in or around your spine with subsequent pain
  • Unusual lengthening or shortening of leg muscles that support your pelvis and spine
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips, back and shoulders
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Swollen or ruptured discs in your back

Preventing back pain means doing everything you can to support your back, especially if you already have back issues or are recovering from back surgery. Common foot problems that can occur from walking barefoot for too many years include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Bunions

Treatments for Resolving or Preventing Back Pain

Your specialist at Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) relies on several options to treat lower back pain that’s related to foot issues, including:

  • Physical therapy to restore proper gait
  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • Orthotic inserts or specially designed shoes to correct posture and provide pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, either over-the-counter or prescription
  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation
  • Injections of steroidal or pain-relieving medications
  • Massage therapy to relieve stressed or bound muscles and tendons

In rare cases, surgical options can correct severe foot problems. Minimally invasive surgery can relieve your issues, preventing back pain.

Keep Your Feet Covered and Supported

Low back pain can occur suddenly, due to injury. It can develop gradually due to age, poor posture, occupation or fitness level. If you have even the slightest problem with your back, don’t go barefoot. Your body must work harder if your support structure is compromised.

Talk to your doctor and physical therapist at SSI if you have any questions about your footwear. There are caveats to wearing shoes. The wrong kind can cause back pain, too. Avoid shoes that:

  • Aren’t supportive
  • Are unstable
  • Have high heels that cause you to shift your weight forward to the front of your spine
  • Have no heels, which is almost as bad as going barefoot
  • Cause bunions, blisters, corns, calluses or hammer toe

It’s all right to run barefoot in the grass. In moderation, it isn’t harmful. Choose your shoes wisely for preventing back pain, and treat your toes to a walk on the beach or some wiggles on the lawn when your back is feeling its best.

Why Are There So Many Different Back Pain Treatments?

It’s often said that variety is the spice of life. And while that isn’t exactly the case with back pain treatments, there is certainly no such thing as too many options. Your case is unique to you, so you may need various back pain treatments to zero in on the one that works.

The back pain specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute are pleased to have so many options today. You can get only the treatment you really need — no more, no less. Back pain can span a large spectrum from mild to unbearable. It can stay constant or come on suddenly. The treatment that best suits you depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of your injury or ailment
  • How your pain is manifesting
  • Where you’re feeling the pain
  • The frequency of your discomfort
  • What movements or activities trigger an episode

Just to Name a Few…

Your spine and central nerves connect to absolutely every other part of your body. While the number of treatment options may seem overwhelming, it’s proportionate to number of potential problems and diagnoses. Even a partial list of back pain treatments is formidable, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, a great fix for minor aches and discomfort
  • Physical therapy and stretching, extremely beneficial for everyone and typically recommended as a standalone treatment or as a follow-up to other back pain treatments
  • IDET and TENS, electrical nerve stimulation and electro-thermal therapy that can be used to relieve tension-related back pain issues
  • Bioelectric therapy that may be able to block the transmission of pain messages to your brain
  • Injection therapy for back pain, which can actually involve several different treatments:
    • Stem cells and PRP, injected directly into your problem area to treat a wide variety of conditions
    • Epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain
    • Nerve blocks, facet joint blocks, and sacroiliac joint block injections used primarily as a means of treating specific sources of pain
  • Spinal decompression surgeries, intended to reduce and relieve pressure and compression on your spinal cord
  • Spinal fusion, another form of surgery, also called spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, which joins two or more vertebrae to eliminate the motion between them and relieve your pain
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, surgeries used to treat back pain that result from compression fractures by injecting bone cement directly into your fractured vertebrae

Options, Options, Options

Back pain treatments also have an element of personal preference, if only to a reasonable extent. For example, your spinal medicine doctor is unlikely to agree to a holistic or alternative treatment plan if your condition has advanced to the point of needing surgery. Catch your problems early, and you have more choices.

Approximately one in every three people is subject to back pain each year. It’s entirely possible that your pain may go away on its own following a few weeks of home treatment. But don’t ignore warning signs; get professional advice before you decide on any treatment option.

And if you’re among the many people who have their lives plagued by chronic pain, it’s time to consult a specialist with access to an array of treatment options. It’s better for you in the long run because you’ll find the treatment that works best for you.

More Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids

Addiction to opioids has become an epidemic in America. An estimated 115 people die every day from opioid overdose. Another 1,000 Americans get treatment in hospitals daily for misusing their prescription opioids.

Lower back pain affects 26 million people and is one of the most common reasons for opioid use that too often leads to addiction. The consensus is that opioids offer quick relief. But with such high statistics of misuse and abuse of the medication, it’s often best to try opioid alternatives first. Your doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are dedicated to your overall health; they’re always seeking opioid alternatives when it’s appropriate.

Chronic Pain and the Dependence on Opioids

Being in constant pain can ruin your life. You can’t enjoy the life you want to live. Chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts unabated for more than three months, often starts because of an injury, like a pulled muscle, or certain diseases, such as degenerative disc disease.

The areas most affected by chronic pain besides your back are your head, face, neck, arms, shoulders, hips and legs. Acute pain usually disappears after a few weeks; however, chronic pain can last for years. When over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen don’t work, you may be tempted to start taking opioids, but if you do, you may eventually develop a dependence on the drug.

How Opioid Abuse Starts

Opioids bind with certain chemicals in your body to numb the pain receptors in your brain, giving instant relief. But this relief is short-lived, leading many people to reach out for the next pill sooner than prescribed. Dependence on opioids takes just four to six weeks to develop, but the mental craving for the drug can last a lifetime.

There are instances, such as after surgery, when you may need to take opioids for the acute pain. Whenever you’re prescribed opioids, it’s imperative that you follow usage directions carefully. In addition to weaning yourself off the drugs when you’re ready, your SSI team also recommends lifestyle changes to help you heal faster.

Lifestyle Changes as Opioid Alternatives

Chronic pain can disrupt your sleep. Studies by the Sleep Foundation found that 42 million Americans claim pain is the main cause behind their sleep problems. Activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, Pilates, acupuncture and aqua therapy are great non-medical opioid alternatives.

Physical therapy and massage also work especially well when you have chronic lower back and leg pain. Talk with your SSI spine physician and physical therapist about different massage techniques and available physical therapy practices that may work for you.

Medical Treatment without Opioids

Opioid alternatives work just as well as these medications. Your doctor first pinpoints the exact cause of your pain after a thorough medical checkup. Treatment can be either surgical or non-surgical, depending on the area of your pain and how long you’ve been suffering.

Some of the non-opioid treatments that are available at SSI for chronic pain include:

With the right course of treatment, you can find relief from chronic pain. Check with a pain management specialist like SSI to benefit from the opioid alternatives available. Get out of pain without risking addiction!

Back Twinges You Shouldn’t Ignore

Of the many reasons people visit the doctor, the beginning of back pain ranks among the most common. Back pain is also a major cause of disabilities. The most frustrating part of back pain is that the more progressive injuries to your back have an origin you may have been able to successfully treat in the earliest stages if you hadn’t ignored the warning signs.

Daily life comes with its share of regular aches and pains. From something as simple as getting out of bed to heavy lifting, you can trigger a painful reaction from any small movement. Some pain subsides on its own, but you should have most pain addressed immediately. The beginning of back pain is easier to resolve than the chronic or debilitating pain it becomes.

Pain Is a Red Flag

The human body is built to withstand an extraordinary amount of punishment. At the low end of the spectrum, sitting on hard surfaces or standing most of the day causes micro-traumas in the body. Professional athletes and people engaged in highly demanding physical activities experience extreme levels of punishment on the other end of the spectrum.

The beginning of back pain may stem from a pulled muscle. While you may consider using a combination of hot and cold packs to relieve pain in your muscle, it may trigger another response — such as a compensating tweak in another part of your body. A chain reaction can develop, leading to a condition that requires medical attention.

Symptoms Accompanying the Beginning of Back Pain

Come in to the Southeastern Spine Institute if you notice your initial twinges of back pain comes with other symptoms, such as:

  • Back pain combined with leg pain. Radiating pain that starts anywhere in your back and travels down to your buttocks, leg and as low as your foot, may be a sign of nerve irritation.
  • Back pain that occurs in conjunction with limping. This could be a sign of a serious condition resulting from nerve damage.
  • Back pain that happens at the same time as bowel or bladder issues. If you’re experiencing pain or difficulty urinating or defecating, contact your doctor immediately. This may signal you have a rare condition called cauda equina syndrome, which puts an intense level of pressure on the nerves at the bottom of your spinal cord that connect to your pelvic organs.
  • Back pain that causes a reaction throughout your entire body. The beginning of back pain accompanied with sensations like chills, fevers and night sweats are serious indicators that your body is reacting to something harmful. In some instances, these symptoms indicated the presence of cancer.
  • Some back pain isn’t back pain specifically. The back pain you’re experiencing could be a symptom of problems with your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, it swells in response and creates pain in your lower back.

Let the Professionals Diagnose Your Discomfort

Many types of back pain can be remedied by taking healing steps on your own. But only your trusted spinal physician can recognize what will pass with time and what needs to be addressed immediately. Since back pain can develop into debilitating conditions, don’t take a chance.

Even if you believe the beginning of back pain you’re having is a minor condition, schedule an appointment with the Southeastern Spine Institute to rule out any potentially serious complications. When it comes to your back, it’s always wiser to be safe than sorry.

It’s Not Your Age – It’s Your Health

Back pain can range in intensity from a minor twinge or dull ache to intense, crippling pain. Back pain affects nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population at one point or another. And while the older you get, the more susceptible you are to back pain, it’s not an inevitable part of the aging process.

If you’re starting to experience back pain, there’s a good chance it’s not your age that’s causing it. While not all back pain is preventable, certain healthy habits are effective in many cases for preventing back pain. Beneficial lifestyle choices minimize existing back pain or speed your healing process. Take care of your back, and you may never have to experience those twinges of discomfort.

Preventing Back Pain with Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important healthy lifestyle choices you can make when it comes to preventing back pain. If you’re already experiencing some discomfort in your back, you may feel that the last thing you want to do is exercise, but it’s a great way to strengthen your body, ultimately reducing your pain.

Physical activity has many other benefits that help with everything from arthritis and weight management to lowering blood pressure and boosting your immune system. Regular exercise strengthens both bone and muscle, and it eases stiffness. It also enhances your mood and increases your energy level. Talk to your doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute about what type of exercise is right for you and your back condition.

Lifestyle Changes for Preventing Back Pain

You can’t stop time, nor can you reverse the aging process. But you can take steps to ensure that you keep a healthy back through the years. And if you do suffer from some level of back pain or are recovering from a procedure, consider lifestyle changes to keep you healthy, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around extra weight can be very hard on your lower back. If you can get to within ten pounds of your ideal body weight, it makes a big difference.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is a habit that can lead to back pain because it damages blood vessels and reduces the amount of nutrient-filled blood that reaches your spinal discs. It also increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Pay attention to your posture. Watch how you’re sitting, standing, walking and even sleeping. Hunching over a desk or slouching as you walk puts a lot of pressure on your spine.
  • Protect your back while lifting. Rather than leaning forward to pick up heavy objects and straining your back, bend your knees and use the large muscles of your legs to protect your back while lifting.
  • Wear supportive shoes. Supportive shoes reduce back strain. High heels and flats with no support throw off your posture and contribute to discomfort in the back.

Get Older without Pain

Your footwear doesn’t have to consist of “old lady shoes” or “old man shoes.” Most shoemakers today recognize the importance of support and offer a host of stylish options. And you don’t have to change everything at once; every little change helps.

Getting older doesn’t have to mean suffering with back pain. When you make preventing back pain a priority, you give yourself a good chance of remaining strong and healthy for many years to come!

Falling Asleep in Your Chair: Good or Bad for Your Back?

Nearly everyone suffers from back pain at one time or another, but chronic back pain is a growing problem in America. It’s also an expensive one. According to The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, back pain costs Americans more than $100 billion each year.

Preventing back pain is much cheaper and easier than treating it. Identifying the cause of your back pain also helps prevent it. Poor lifting strategies, overexertion and ill-fitting shoes are some of the most readily identified culprits. And while you may follow ergonomics in the workplace, you may not have considered your back when it comes to your favorite chair at home.

Always Watch Your Back

If you do a lot of heavy lifting, chances are you have personal equipment such as a back brace or weight supporting belt. If you’re participating in aggressive exercise like CrossFit, you focus on your stance and technique. If you’re on your feet a lot, you probably choose shoes with good support. That’s the type of attention you should be paying to your favorite chair.

After a hard day’s work, it’s nice to settle into that comfy chair to relax. But it can lead to a late night of binge watching your favorite show. You may even wake up in the chair, not realizing you fell asleep. Maybe you spend way more time in that chair than you realize, scrolling through social media or reading a good book. If the chair is more comfortable than supportive, it may be a not-so-obvious source of back pain.

Preventing Back Pain When You Snooze in Your Chair

If you have a subpar mattress, you may think you’re better off sleeping in your chair. But you may want to replace your current mattress instead. You should replace an inexpensive mattress every eight years; better mattresses come with 20-year warranties. An older, lumpy, uneven mattress may be the source of your back pain. If you’re really interested in preventing back pain, choose the right mattress.

Changing your chair, on the other hand, could mean the difference between preventing back pain and suffering more. Choosing a chair based on comfort and not support can lead to back problems. It’s possible to keep your cozy chair and prevent back pain if you follow a few guidelines, such as:

  • Invest in a quality chair. The right chair not only allows you to relax, but also relieves pressure on your back. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for support.
  • Stand up during commercials. Not only does this suggestion take the pressure off your back, but it also allows you to wake up and not fall asleep as readily.
  • Make a habit of noticing your posture. Pay attention to your spinal alignment. Be aware of any pressure points.
  • Enjoy your recliner for relaxing and your bed for sleeping. In this way, you can prevent back pain.

There are a few reasons that you may want to sleep in your chair, such as after surgery or when you’re avoiding your bed because of a substandard mattress. Otherwise, chances are falling asleep in your chair doesn’t do much for preventing back pain. Now is a good time to examine your everyday chairs to see if they could be a source of your back pain.

Can Osteoporosis Run in the Family?

Osteoporosis is becoming a common disease worldwide. More than 54 million Americans are suffering already, and the numbers keep growing. In fact, studies show that every three seconds, a bone is fractured due to the disease.

Bones are living tissues that keep breaking down and rejuvenating. With age, and under certain circumstances, this process gets skewed. When that happens, osteoporosis results.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones become fragile and brittle due to the development of big holes in the bones. Additionally, osteoporosis and genetics interfere with the development of new bone mass. This makes bones more prone to fractures. The disease can reach a point that you can break a bone even by sneezing or coughing.

Osteoporosis and Genetics: How They’re Linked

Osteoporosis is a lifelong disease that can lead to significant back pain and other chronic health issues. There’s no permanent cure, so prevention is usually your best defense against it. But this may not be possible if your family has had issues with osteoporosis and genetics.

Studies on twins and family members clearly show a definite link of 50 to 90 percent between bone mass density, osteoporosis and genetics. But research is still ongoing since there isn’t just one gene that comes into play for osteoporosis — there are 56 different genes!

Arm and Wrist Bones Vulnerable

Although the DNA doesn’t pinpoint to which bones become brittle first, the spinal medicine physicians at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) see more wrist and forearm injuries as the first sign of the disease. Hip fractures, so often due to osteoporosis, are the most dangerous, especially in the elderly, as they almost always require specialized care.

But your spine represents the easiest way to see if you have osteoporosis. The bones in your vertebrae crumble over time, which can give you back pain. You also start looking shorter. If the problem isn’t treated appropriately, you may develop a hunched back, also called a dowager hump in women.

It’s a Risky Business

Women are susceptible to osteoporosis more than men. Your estrogen level — and when you start menopause — is written in your DNA. Women are 25 percent more inclined to break a bone after the menopausal age due to the osteoporosis and genetics link. Only about five percent of men are affected by osteoporosis, and then typically not until after the age of 65.

Although the disease has now become global, white women and women from Asian countries get the disease more frequently than others. The risk factor increases if either of your parents or siblings has fractured their bones due to the disease.

Take Preventive Measures

Osteoporosis is also called the silent disease because you don’t feel your bones losing mass until you break one. If you have family members with brittle bones, get screened immediately. During the screening process, your SSI doctors can see how low your bone mass is. They can also estimate your likelihood of getting the disease.

Back specialists at SSI check all aspects of your family history. If you’re at risk, they recommend a proactive dietary and exercise regime to strengthen your bones. With your health on the line, get screened for osteoporosis today.

medication

When SSI Doctors Prescribe Opioids

medicationOpioid abuse reached a crisis level in 2018, but prescribing opioids under the guidance of a physician in therapeutic doses is still an efficient and effective way to alleviate back pain. The physicians at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are highly trained specialists in back pain management. Your spinal medicine physician determines the cause of your pain and then finds a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Your doctors realize that you mainly just want a better quality of life. Back pain not only keeps you from doing the things you love, it keeps you from doing the things you need to do. Left untreated, chronic back pain can even lead to anxiety and depression. But getting you on your feet and back to your daily activities doesn’t necessarily have to involve prescribing opioids or long-term treatment plans.

Types of Back Pain and Treatment Options

Prescribing opioids is rarely the first option. There are many causes of back pain, ranging from poor posture to accidental injury to damage because of inflammatory disease. Determining the type of back pain helps guide your doctor in the course of your treatment.

Common causes of back pain and associated treatments include:

  • Poor posture. A common source of back pain, it’s easily treated with physical therapy and education about proper posture and alignment.
  • Chronic back pain. Chronic pain can be a result of an injury or accident. You may experience great improvement with several types of injections such as:
  • Pain from cancer. Cancer in your abdomen can be relieved by a celiac plexus block.
  • Severe back pain due to injury. An accident or degenerative disease may require surgery. Prescribing opioids and physical therapy may also be a part of your treatment.

A healthy back is comprised of a series of nerves, discs, bones and ligaments, and each has a specific function. They all must be in proper alignment, too. When any element is injured or diseased, the result is back pain. Treating back pain at its source not only helps relieve your pain, but also prevents further damage.

What You Need to Know About Opioids

Your SSI doctors can determine if prescribing opioids is the right course of treatment for you. If you’re prescribed opioids, a few factors you should know include:

  • Opioids can be a successful part of your treatment plan after back surgery or for chronic pain that has no treatment.
  • There are several types of opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine.
  • Opioids are highly addictive. Improperly using them can lead to abuse and addiction.
  • Opioids have side effects such as nausea, confusion, hallucinations and constipation.
  • Opioids should only be taken as prescribed by your physician.

There are many causes of back pains and many more types of treatments. Surgical and non-surgical options are discussed as part of your customized treatment at SSI. Prescribing opioids may be necessary for long-term use if you’re in chronic pain. Follow the guidance of your physicians as they develop a treatment plan that’s unique and right for you.