Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Warwick Pain Center RI Blog

RSS Grab RSS Feed

Managing Pain and Stress During the Holidays

Darren Kincaid - Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in  Warwick, RI

The holiday season offers opportunities to improve your health; but it can also intensify feelings of frustration and despair that come from dealing with chronic back pain. We can't promise a stress-free holiday season, but here are 4 helpful tips on how to handle this time of year when you're suffering from back pain.

1. Use time off to start an exercise routine

A controlled, gradual, and progressive exercise program can help heal and strengthen the various structures in your spine. So to help with your pain, consider dedicating a full vacation day over the holidays to improving your physical conditioning.

If you are new to exercising, you can spend the day with a physical therapist; who can customize a program to meet your unique needs. They may introduce you to exercises you have not considered, like water therapy, Swiss ball exercises, or beginners yoga.

2. Research your condition

Without the pressures of work, you finally have some time to properly research your back condition. So curl up (or recline) with a good book on back pain, or dig into our trustworthy resources. This research may help you better understand your condition, and also reveal new treatments to help relieve your pain.

For example, did you know that:

  • Using a tennis ball for a do-it-yourself massage can reduce trigger points and muscle tension?
  • Applying a low-level heat wrap can be as effective at reducing lower back pain as medications?
  • Another idea is to schedule an appointment with a pain specialist to discuss all of the available treatment options.

3. Spend time with a friend

One aspect of chronic back pain that often is not discussed is how isolating it can be. Your pain may make physical activity difficult, so after work and other daily responsibilities you may not have the energy to visit with friends.

If you have free time over the holiday season, set aside a few hours to reconnect with a friend. This won't solve all of your back-related problems, but the empathy and understanding of a friend can go a long way towards helping you better cope with your condition.

4. Focus on nutrition to help your back

Let's face it, most of us don't follow a very healthy diet. We might have been able to get away with this in high school, but now the extra weight you carry may be contributing to your back pain. For example, excess weight in the midsection can pull your pelvis forward, which leads to additional stress on your lower back.

Balanced nutrition includes adequate protein as a source of the building blocks of soft tissue healing. Additionally, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are necessary to supply the vitamins and trace elements necessary for effective healing.

Pain can be especially hard to deal with over the holiday season, so please take time to get a better handle on your back condition. Using this list, you can take at least one or two tangible, positive steps toward finding relief from your pain.

For more information on managing back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Source: spine-health.com

Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 08, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA

Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It can come and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration. Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you don’t know the cause.

Below are some insights into common chronic back pain causes and nonsurgical treatment options.

Common Causes of Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury.

The most common causes include:

  • Arthritis of the spine—the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
  • Spinal stenosis—narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
  • Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
  • Myofascial pain syndrome—unexplained muscle pain and tenderness

In some cases, it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain. If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, it’s time to seek a second opinion from a back pain specialist. It’s important not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medical procedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they not help; they could make the pain worse.

If the source of the pain is not known or can’t be treated, your best option may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and making the pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.

Nonsurgical Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

Physical Therapy

Exercise is the foundation of chronic back pain treatment. It’s one of the first treatments you should try under the guidance of your physician and spine physical therapist. However, the same set of exercises doesn’t work for everyone. The exercises have to be tailored to your specific symptoms and condition. Maintaining the exercise routine at home is also a big part of success.

Physical therapy for chronic back pain may include:

  • Retraining your posture
  • Testing the limits of pain tolerance
  • Stretching and flexibility exercises
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Core strengthening

Diet

Some diets are highly inflammatory, especially those high in trans fats, refined sugars and processed foods. Consult with your doctor to see if your diet could be contributing to your chronic back pain and how you could change it. Maintaining a healthy weight could also help lessen your back pain by reducing the pressure on your spine.

Lifestyle Modifications

When you have chronic pain, it’s important to accept your limitations and adapt. Listen to your body and learn to pace yourself. Take a break when mowing the lawn, or make several trips when carrying groceries. Take note of the activities that worsen your pain and avoid them if possible. Not only could this help your back feel better, it could also prevent the underlying condition from advancing.

Another important lifestyle change to try is giving up smoking. Nicotine is scientifically known to accentuate pain and delay healing.

Injection-based Treatments

Nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, nerve ablations and other types of injection-based procedures are available for chronic back pain. They are used when the source of the pain is known and can sometimes help rule out certain causes if the treatment doesn’t work. Injections may stop or lessen pain for a certain period of time, but are not intended as long-term solutions and shouldn’t be used in isolation.

Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture, massage, biofeedback therapy, laser therapy, electrical nerve stimulation and other nonsurgical spine treatments can also make a difference for chronic back pain. Talk to your spine specialist about alternative treatments that could benefit you.

Pharmacologic Treatments

Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications can be used to help control chronic back pain. However, most come with unwanted side effects and are not intended for prolonged use.

Opioid medications generally shouldn’t be used as the first, the only, or the long-term line of treatment for chronic back pain. Many are addictive and don’t address the underlying cause of your pain. Opioids should be prescribed only after a thorough exam by a specialist and if other drugs have failed to provide relief. If you find yourself relying on opioids to get through the day, it may be time to seek a second opinion.

For more information on treating chronic back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

hopkinsmedicine.org


Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.

Enter your email address:

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.

Enter your email address:

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.

Enter your email address:

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.

Enter your email address:

Recent Posts


Archive