4 Ways to Relieve Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain can interfere with every detail of your daily life, making even simple movements like walking and sitting difficult. The American Chiropractic Association¹ reports that back pain is the primary cause of disability worldwide, meaning this excruciating condition is a very common one.
Fortunately, there are options for treating back pain. From at-home remedies to easy exercise, here are five ways you can relieve your chronic back pain.
1. Physical Therapy
Learning how to move your body appropriately is often the first course of action for chronic back pain. Back pain can lead to poor posture as you try to find a comfortable way to deal with the pain. However, over time, slouching or maintaining a less-than-ideal posture can affect your muscles, joints, discs, blood vessels and nerves, says Spine-Health.com².
Physical therapy can teach you how to work with your body throughout the day to improve your posture and reduce your pain. Your physical therapist will teach you exercises based on what’s causing your discomfort, including:
- Core strengthening
- Retraining posture
- Testing pain tolerance
Physical therapy is a common treatment for back pain, and Everyday Health³ reports that insurance can cover some portion of your physical therapy if prescribed by a doctor. Check with your insurance company to determine the copay and any limit to the number of sessions that are covered.
Massages certainly feel good, but they offer great benefits for those with chronic back pain. According to Health⁴ reports that people with back pain may benefit from weekly massages. Massage stimulates the release of endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals.
The average hour-long massage in the U.S. costs $60 per hour, the University of Minnesota⁵ reports. However, that cost may be covered by insurance if you have a prescription or get your massage in a clinical setting, such as from a physical therapist.
Another benefit of massage therapy is it isn’t associated with serious side effects. You may feel sore after a massage because of related muscle pain, but for the most part there’s no danger to a massage.
If you’ve tried other forms of non-surgical treatment for back pain but haven’t found relief, consider an injection. Far less invasive and less painful than back surgery, injections apply different combination of medications directly into the pain site.
Some types of injections for back pain include:
Epidural steroid injection: This provides relief from neck, mid-back, lower back, and leg pain for one week to one year.
- Selective nerve root block: A mixture of cortisone and lidocaine that’s used to relieve nerve pain in the neck.
- Facet rhizotomy: This offers long-lasting relief for low back pain by incapacitating the sensory nerve that sends pain signals to the brain.
- Facet joint block: An anesthetic and a steroid are injected along the spine to treat pain.
- Sacroiliac joint block: Treats pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Your insurance provider may cover this type of treatment if it’s deemed medically necessary and your symptoms haven’t responded to more conservative treatments. The estimated average price of epidural steroid injections without insurance is $1,771, MDSave.com⁶ reports.
When done properly, yoga can help ease chronic back pain. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine⁷ found 12 weeks of yoga to improve function better than other types of exercise. Yoga, which can involve physical postures designed to relieve back pain, breathing practices, meditation, and philosophic yoga education, improves flexibility and function better than other forms of exercise.
And yoga is affordable too. Yoga classes usually cost between $12 and $16, Cost Helper⁸ reports.
Although yoga isn’t associated with any side effects, you can injure yourself if you don’t perform the postures properly or if you push your body in a way that’s bad for your back. Moving slowly is important, and you’ll want to check with your doctor before beginning a yoga routine.
Stop Your Back Pain Today
Don’t let back pain prevent you from living life to its fullest. Although chronic back pain can be crippling, there are remedies and treatment options you can turn to for relief.
Consider the above options for your own back pain. One, or even a combination, of these pain relief methods may help you move more easily, reduce your daily pain, or even begin living pain-free. You can also do your own research to find other back pain options. Search online for at-home or medically approved pain relief options, and don’t forget to consult with your doctor before beginning any new treatments.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.