Chronic back pain, defined as pain lasting longer than three months, can have a major impact on your overall quality of life. However, there are steps you can take to improve the way in which back pain affects every aspect of your life, from your ability to care for and keep up with your children to the tasks you perform on a regular basis at home and work.
Understand Your Trigger Points
Most manageable chronic back pain is associated with certain trigger points, such as specific movements. By talking to a professional Santa Monica spine surgeon or specialist and learning what’s likely to trigger your back pain, you can modify your activities and take precautions to avoid those movements. Trigger points can also include stress. If this is the case, incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine, whether it be deep breathing, taking yoga classes or learning how to walk away from stressful situations, may be the key to alleviating chronic back pain.
Know How Your Medications Affect You
By taking some time to understand how the medications your doctor has prescribed work, you’ll be able to have a more active role in your treatment. This will allow you to ask more focused questions, such as requesting a change in medications that you feel aren’t effective for treating your pain.
Explore Alternative Options
Herbal supplements and techniques like acupuncture aren’t always embraced by the traditional medical community due to the fact that there’s not a lot of conclusive data available on such remedies. This doesn’t mean that people don’t experience meaningful results. Most alternative options, with the exception of some herbal supplements, pose very few, if any, serious risks, so there’s no reason not to explore some alternative options if you’re not currently enjoying the quality of life you prefer.
Quality of Life Tips
Other healthy habits can be adopted to help reduce chronic back pain symptoms such as:
- Minimize alcohol consumption
- Develop a regular sleep schedule
- Set smaller, achievable goals
- Quit smoking
If you feel that your chronic back pain is hindering your quality of life, schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Bae, Medical Director of the Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Along with minimally invasive spine techniques, Dr. Bae also specializes in motion preserving spine surgeries such as multi-level artificial disc replacement.