Ways to Improve Chronic Back Pain

Article featured on Orthopaedic Associates

Back pain is a pain to deal with, affecting millions of Americans every day. Those who suffer from back pain daily may find it hard to focus on their daily activities, like going to work or cooking a meal. Unfortunately, back pain tends to be persistent and doesn’t just go away overnight.

If you find your back pain has lasted longer than three months, it’s considered chronic back pain. That being said, chronic back pain doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

Causes of Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain typically affects men and women as they age, but it isn’t always correlated with age. Other common reasons patients may experience back pain include:

  • Trauma
  • Arthritis (in the spine)
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord)
  • Pinched nerves

If you’re unsure what is causing your back pain, it’s important to see a specialist who can properly diagnose you. Diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your back pain can help your physician better treat you and can help you focus on home remedies that best suit your needs. Your physician may recommend an MRI scan or x-ray to establish the source of your back pain.

Many believe the only way to treat their back pain is through surgery, but that is far from the truth. There are several ways you can treat your chronic back pain without using surgical techniques, including the following.

1. Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy and light exercise are some of the best things you can do to reduce your chronic back pain. Physical therapy sessions and regular exercise will help you strengthen the muscles in your back and around your spine, reducing both inflammation and the straining of the muscles in your affected areas. We encourage you to work with a physical therapist to find which exercises will work best for you and your condition.

2. Injections

Injection-based treatments are minimally invasive and can often be as effective as invasive surgical procedures. Injection-based treatments include nerve blocks, steroid injections, and forms of regenerative medicine like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These treatments are effective because they directly introduce an anti-inflammatory or regenerative medicine to your affected areas.

3. Lifestyle Changes

When you have chronic back pain, you often have to accept it and adapt. This doesn’t mean giving up hope – rather, it means reducing instances that can worsen your inflammation by making small changes to your lifestyle. Some lifestyle modifications our physicians recommend include making several trips to carry in groceries rather than carrying them in all at once and taking short breaks between long periods of strenuous activities like cleaning the house or mowing the lawn.

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.



1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

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