If you’re like most of the population, you’ve likely had back pain at one time or another. While it may be a distraction, back pain is usually a temporary inconvenience. When your pain isn’t responding well to home remedies like taking it easy for a day or two or using over-the-counter pain-relievers, there may be other reasons why it’s sticking around. This is especially true if your back pain reaches a point where it’s considered chronic (lasting 3 to 4 months or more). The staff at The Spine Institute Center in Los Angeles discusses 5 reasons why your back pain isn’t going away.
1. Ignoring It for Too Long
Some people don’t pay much attention to their back pain in hopes that it will go away. Simply sticking to your routine without making any effort at all to give your back time to heal will only make the problem worse. Also, avoid the temptation to “play through the pain” if your back pain suddenly gets worse while playing sports.
2. Making an Incorrect Self-Diagnosis
Looking up your symptoms online is fine if you’re trying to get a general idea of what might be causing your back pain. However, it shouldn’t be the sole basis for how you treat those symptoms. If your back pain isn’t going away or responding to any of your self-remedies, see your doctor to get a better diagnosis.
3. Getting an Inaccurate Diagnosis from a Doctor
Even when you do receive a diagnosis from your doctor or a specialist, it may not be right, or other contributing factors may have been overlooked. If you’re not responding to the suggested treatments, get other medical opinions. A doctor taking a fresh look at your situation may notice something that was missed during the first diagnosis attempt.
4. Putting Off Surgery
Most structural causes of spine pain like herniated discs and spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical pain management techniques such as steroid injections, modification of activities, and electrotherapy methods like TENS units. But if these remedies aren’t working, it may be time to consider surgery. The good news is that most common forms of spine surgery like traditional spinal fusion and decompression surgery are highly reliable and less-invasive today.
5. Living an Unhealthy Lifestyle
The soft tissues, muscles, discs, and joints that support your spine can be affected by what you eat and how much exercise you get. If you’re not eating a lot of green, leafy veggies or exercising much, you may be making your back pain worse. Habits like smoking and drinking too much alcohol can also affect how nutrients get to your spine.
Treatment for back pain that isn’t going away with conservative treatments will depend on the source of the pain. With something like non-specific low back pain, it may be more difficult to determine a clear cause. Fortunately, there are a growing number of treatments and procedures available, including newer options like disc regeneration therapy and nucleoplasty, which involves inserting a heating wire into the damaged disc.
Whether it’s for spinal fusion or another type of minimally invasive spine surgery, Los Angeles patients can rely on Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute. Call 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation and start taking the first steps toward living a pain-free life.