How To Get Rid Of Chronic Back Pain?

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You have had low back pain for a long time. This can be a burden and restrict your everyday life considerably. But there is rarely anything serious behind it. – You can also do something about your pain yourself.

This information is for people who have had low back pain for more than 12 weeks or who are at risk of developing it. You will learn here how permanent low back pain develops and how it can be treated.

What is low back pain?

Low back pain is pain in the back area below the ribcage and above the buttocks. Often, no clear reason can be found for the complaints. In this case, experts speak of non-specific low back pain. There is then no indication of a dangerous cause, such as damage to the intervertebral discs or a vertebral fracture.

What causes constant pain?

Non-specific low back pain is usually harmless and goes away on its own. However, in about 7 out of 100 people, the pain does not go away. The pain is “chronic”.

Low back pain can have many causes. Mental or professional circumstances as well as one’s own behaviour can also contribute to complaints becoming permanent. These include, for example:

Dejection, stress or anxiety

Incorrect avoidance behaviour, but also persistent perseverance.

physically strenuous work or one-sided posture

Mobbing, job dissatisfaction or unemployment

Smoking, obesity, alcohol and low physical fitness

How someone deals with pain and whether they see it as threatening also influences the course of the disease. With non-specific low back pain, it is not necessary to necessarily find the cause. However, if one is constantly looking for an explanation, this can also have an effect on the complaints.

The examination

If your low back pain persists, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and your mood. This includes your family and work situation. At this point, it is also important to determine whether your previous treatment should be adjusted. Several specialists may also examine you and discuss further treatment with you. If necessary, imaging procedures such as X-rays or MRIs can help rule out the possibility that there is a serious cause after all.
The treatment

Non-medicinal measures

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Exercise is the best remedy for persistent low back pain. Bed rest, on the other hand, is harmful. It can even make your pain worse. It is important to maintain your daily activities.

Relaxation techniques or cognitive behavioural therapy can also relieve discomfort. Occupational therapy, massage, heat therapy or back school can also be part of your treatment. Your doctor may also offer acupuncture.

Experts advise against other procedures. These include treatments with cold, electricity, magnets or ultrasound, as well as kinesio-taping.

If exercise is hardly possible, medication can help you get active again in the short term. Experts recommend traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac, ibuprofen or naproxen.

Multimodal treatment programmes

If your symptoms do not improve, a combination of different methods should be used, such as relaxation techniques, exercise therapy and psychotherapy. This can take place as part of a multimodal group training, pain therapy or rehabilitation.

Not recommended: Injections and surgery

Experts advise against injections with painkilling substances or other drugs. Spinal surgery is also not recommended if the cause of your pain is unclear. Studies could not provide any evidence of effectiveness.

What you can do yourself

Find out more about low back pain. You can read more about the treatment recommendations of a group of experts in the patient guideline “Low back pain“.

Try to continue everyday movements as best you can or gradually resume them.

Strengthen your core muscles; they support and relieve the spine. Swimming or running, for example, are suitable. It is best to choose an activity that you enjoy.

At a back school, you will learn so-called back-friendly behaviour, but also specific exercises to relax or strengthen the muscles.

Talk to your doctor about possible psychological causes for your complaints. It can help if you think about whether there was something that was bothering you beforehand.

Over-the-counter medicines can also have side effects. Ask about the right way to use them.

Low back pain rarely has serious causes. Nevertheless, look out for additional signs: If the pain is accompanied by problems such as paralysis, numbness or difficulty passing urine or stools, you should see a doctor immediately. These can be signs of a disease that needs to be treated.

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