YOU ARE HERE because you suffer from back pain (it becomes chronic back pain if it lasts 3 months or longer). Here we examine a variety of available options for relief. Let’s start with a brief overview.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, You are a member of a pretty big club. According to the Mayo Clinic: “Most people in the United States will experience low back pain at least once during their lives. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work.”
Government surveys confirm “While no one dies from mechanical back pain, it is one of the most common reasons for work disability. The bill for lost productivity and back-related health care totals about $100 billion a year. In one sense, we’re all paying for back pain… in our health insurance premiums and our Social Security disability costs.”
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 90% of the population experience spine symptoms at least once in their lifetime.
One study shows the breakdown of the most common pain areas in order of complaints. Lower back pain takes a strong lead with 63%, followed by neck pain, then shoulder and wrist.
Treatment Options and Success Rates
We are going to examine three categories of treatments for back pain: Medications, Non-Invasive, and Invasive. People who suffer from chronic pain are often willing to try anything for relief. You may have tried one or more of the remedies presented here. Some may offer immediate relief; others may fail altogether. Overviews of the various treatments are presented separately on the menu above with links to sources providing more in depth information.
1) Non-invasive treatments which effect permanent changes in posture, work habits and/or lifestyle are preferred over medications and invasive treatments and are the least expensive plan of action. Don’t trust any program that doesn’t offer lots of personal testimonials.
2) Medications mask the underlying problem, may be addictive, and are expensive.
3) Invasive treatments should only be considered after careful consideration of the long-term effects of injections and/or surgery.
4) Costs of treatments (repeat visits, surgery) may be prohibitive in ultimately getting permanent relief. There may be better, permanent, and less costly options available for back pain relief through targeted exercise programs or yoga.