Short-term or acute back pain only lasts for several days or weeks and often does not require treatment. On the other hand, chronic back pain stays for over a month even when doctors treat the underlying cause. Chronic back pain is very common, especially in people between the ages of 30 and 50. 

Persistent back pain can be challenging to deal with. You lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks and work out with a feeling of a sharp pain in your back. Back pain, when left untreated, can lead to permanent disabilities. Therefore, if your back pain is interfering with your quality of life, consult McNulty Spine today. 

Treatment Options for Chronic Back Pain

Medications

You can use various medications to treat chronic back pain. You can buy these over the counter. However, some may require a prescription from your doctor. Your doctor is most likely to suggest OTC (over-the-counter) options first as they are light medications. However, if your condition persists and does not get better, they may suggest stronger ones that require a prescription. 

You can get your back pain diagnosed and consult with your doctor about which medicine is right for you and how much of it you should consume. Here are a few examples of common medications often used by chronic back pain patients. 

  • Acetaminophen (can be bought over the counter)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (OTC)
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids
  • Muscle relaxants

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS is a type of treatment that sends mild low-voltage electric currents in your body. The procedure requires the placing of electrode pads at or near the nerves where the pain is located. Electric currents run through various parts of your body during the process, and you receive electrical impulses. Patients experience a warm or tingling feeling. This theory modifies your perception of pain and prevents you from being aware of it. 

Surgery

Doctors do not recommend surgery, and only a handful of patients opt for it. However, when other methods prove ineffective, it is your last option. Back pain surgery, like any other, carries risks, and there is no telling if it will be successful. 

Alternative Options

To avoid medications and surgery, you can try the following options: 

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture 
  • Chiropractic care
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage therapy

Massage therapy has proved to be effective for treating various body pain problems. Massage can cause your tightened muscles to relax and improve sleep. It has also proved to increase blood circulation and flow in muscles and tissues. Another essential feature is that massage therapy can potentially increase endorphin levels in your body, your brain’s “feel good” chemicals.