Chronic Low Back Pain
What causes chronic low back pain?
- Spinal injury
- Muscle injury
- Injury to spinal cord or nerve roots
- Injury to joints, ligaments or discs
- Spinal disease
- Degeneration of discs
- Stomach ulcers
- Kidney disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Diseases from elsewhere that cause referred pain to the back
What can I do?
- Experts recommend supervised exercise therapy as a first approach to treatment. Talk to your doctor about physical therapy, exercise classes for people learning to cope with pain, or potentially some simple exercises you can do on your own.
- Improve your pain and wellbeing by improving your day-to-day functioning. For example, try to maintain a healthy weight and don't smoke.
- Learn to use relaxation and stress management strategies to help control your pain.
- Get involved in a rehabilitation program, a multidisciplinary pain program and/or a support group.
- Consider alternative treatments like massage, acupuncture or a TENS machine or prolotherapy (if the latter two are combined with an exercise program).
- Treatments like heat or cold can be applied as creams, gels and patches as well as by hot or cool packs.
- Some people benefit from a good mattress.
What can my doctor do to help?
- They can identify and help you manage associated problems with your mood.
- They can help you define specific goals, then determine the barriers and resources for reaching those goals.
- They can help you to explore different treatment options for reaching your goals
- They can advocate for you if you need assistance with forms, disability applications, a return to work plan or if you need help accessing other resources.
Set goals for yourself and work to achieve them