What Is Chronic Lower Back Pain?

Chronic lower back pain is a type of back pain that lasts for three months or longer, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is the leading cause of disability in the world and one of the most common sources of those who seek medical treatment or miss work due to an ailment.

Chronic lower back pain sometimes is the result of an underlying injury or surgery, but will persist long after the original injury has healed. The goal of chronic lower back pain treatment is first and foremost to identify the cause of the pain and then is about finding a way to relieve pain from there.

Symptoms of Chronic Lower Back Pain

The symptoms of chronic lower back pain are pretty simple – muscle pain, or shooting and burning sensations. The pain may also radiate down the legs and worsen with twisting of the torso.

Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Substance abuse
  • Problems in your personal or professional relationships
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be the result of quite a few different injuries or surgeries, but this pain will typically go away on its own with time. If this pain does not go away with time, it may not actually be acute pain at all. You may be suffering from chronic lower back pain if:

  • The pain persists for more than a few weeks
  • The pain is severe and does not improve with rest
  • The pain spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • The pain causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in one or both legs
  • The pain is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
  • The pain causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • The pain is accompanied by a fever
  • The pain follows a fall, blow to your back, or other injuries

Conditions sometimes linked to chronic pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

Risk Factors For Chronic Lower Back Pain

  • Older age
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excessive weight
  • Improper lifting
  • Conditions like depression or anxiety
  • Smoking

Treatment for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lifestyle Changes

Once the pain in your lower back begins, your body will likely tense up. To combat this, you might try taking deep breaths and visualizing the breath reaching the affected part of your back. You may also find success with other stress management techniques, like yoga or meditation.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but relaxing too much to avoid pain may only make your pain worsen over time. It is difficult to do, but you must occasionally push yourself out of your comfort zone.

That doesn’t mean literally climbing a mountain or altogether abandoning your comfort zone, but you should challenge yourself to be active. Try to set realistic expectations for yourself throughout your treatment process.

One of the hardest parts of a chronic pain condition is the social isolation associated with it. Fight back against this by building a social support network of friends or family, joining a support group, or booking sessions with a physical therapist.

Medication

There is no shame in seeking out treatment for any sort of health condition, covering anything from the flu, depression, or something like chronic lower back pain.

In fact, the field of chronic pain treatment is currently undergoing many advancements thanks to innovative new treatments like ketamine infusion therapy that promise exciting results for those suffering from chronic back pain.

How Does Ketamine Help?

Chronic back pain is due, in part, to inflammation. The chronicity of the pain begins to remodel nerve synapses to become increasingly sensitive by overpopulating post-synaptic receptor sites. Raising levels of brain-derived nerve growth factor helps to remodel these synapses to be less sensitive, as well as lowering the firing of ion-gated Calcium channels that control the rate of pain signals being fired. There is also the potent anti-inflammatory effect which relieves pressure and improves pain thresholds.

Contact us today to learn more about our innovative new treatment option.

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