Over 15% of the American population experience some sort of chronic pain. Pain is your body’s reaction to an injury or illness, and as your body heals, pain eases and your body stops hurting. However, for many people, this pain continues and when it does, it’s considered chronic pain.
Sometimes, one experiences back or neck tension as a result from sleeping wrong one night. This muscle tension and stiffness goes away with time. But, when one lives with daily chronic debilitating pain, one that interferes with the quality of life one desires, it is an issue that should be addressed by a medical professional.
Chronic pain can result in a poor quality of life, avoidance of social events, an inability to work. This unbearable pain makes every day activities difficult.
Fortunately, at Cantor’s Spine Institute, we treat many patients that suffer from chronic pain. Dr. Giuffrida, Cantor’s Director of Interventional Sports and Spine Medicine, can create a customized treatment plan to manage and address your chronic pain. Resolving chronic and debilitating pain without surgery is always our first plan.
To help ease your discomfort, here are ways we’ve help our patients manage and alleviate back pain:
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Low impact exercises and physical therapy are often a great first step to manage chronic pain.
Under the personalized care and guidance of Dr. Giuffrida, our patients are given specific exercises or prescribed physical therapy programs that have helped them regain strength in not only their backs and necks, but also areas such as the legs, arms and torso.
These exercises for chronic pain management build core strength, a vital part of spine health, an important part of rehabilitation, and overall body strength.
Here are a few exercises and physical therapy options Dr. Giuffrida recommends to his patients to help alleviate back and neck pain:
- Daily walking to loosen muscles and facilitate weight loss, if necessary
- Yoga to increase flexibility and strengthen core muscles
- Posture strengthening to prevent slouching resulting in undue stress to your neck and back
- Swimming and aqua therapy to provide low impact exercise
- Light lifting, utilization of tension bands to strengthen muscles, and a customized stretching program. *under the instruction of a certified fitness trainer
- Schroth Method for scoliosis
Some patients come to Cantor Spine Institute to manage their chronic back pain with medications along with other treatment options.
Our comprehensive approach to chronic pain management allows our patients to have options and not rely 100% on oral medications for pain management.
When talking about chronic pain management, the term “medications” can encompass many things. One of the most important things to note is that the prolonged use of opioids is an ineffective treatment for chronic pain.
The prolonged use of opioids is also addictive. Depending on your diagnosis, Dr. Giuffrida may recommend one or a few of the following treatments:
- Over the Counter (OTC) pain relievers taken as directed and in moderation
- Prescription topical pain relievers or pain-relieving patches
- Epidural or Facet Block Injections
- Steroid Injections
- Spinal Cord Stimulators
- Intracept Procedure
- Joint Drainage/ Injection
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections (PRP)
- Stem Cell Therapy
Managing Chronic Pain through Diet
One of the causes of prolonged pain leading to chronic pain in the spine is inflammation. Aside from medications, procedures, and exercises, we often recommend reducing inflammation through dietary changes.
Research has shown that many common foods can cause inflammation in our bodies resulting in joint pain. So yes, what you can have a significant impact in your pain levels.
Diets high in sugar, bleached flour, trans-fats, and processed foods have been shown to exacerbate pain (make it worse), as well as add unnecessary weight to the body. Carrying extra weight on your joints will cause an individual to ache and possibly make chronic pain worse.
Consulting with our risk management team can help you adjust your eating style and discover foods that help to promote healing from within.
There are products available that can help lessen the stress on your neck or back. Proving the areas in your spine with added support can relieve some of the chronic pain and improve daily activity.
Back braces, ergonomic chairs, orthopedic shoes and cushioned floor mats can help alleviate pressure while sitting, standing and walking. Additionally, if you have a job that requires you to work at a desk, consider ordering a standup desk or elevated computer platform to avoid hunching over throughout the day.
Resolving spinal problems without surgery is always our first plan. For severe cases of chronic pain that have not shown improvement with the nonsurgical treatments mentioned above, Dr. Cantor and Dr. Asghar can discuss surgical options that can help provide immediate and sustained pain relief.
When nonsurgical treatments have been explored and have not provided our patients pain relief; our surgical advances at Cantor Spine Institute provideour patients with minimally invasive treatments with faster recovery times and fewer complications.
While the term “surgery” can often make some patients nervous and conjure intimidating thoughts and visuals, making our patients comfortable and at ease with the procedure that will alleviate their chronic pain is a top priority.
At Cantor Spine Institute, we provide our patients with the safest and most effective treatment options.The medical team has mastered the use of the most sophisticated and advanced treatments, surgical tools and techniques.
Our cutting-edge approach to spinal health and management of chronic pain allows our patients to rest assured that the treatment they require will ultimately result in a stronger and healthier quality of life free of pain.
To schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options to manage your chronic neck and back pain with Cantor Spine Institute’s comprehensive treatment plans call 954-567-1332.