Spinal Cord Injury Facts: Treating Your Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common health concerns in the United States. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and about half will have a recurrence within one year. If you’re suffering from back pain, it may be helpful to know some facts about spinal cord injuries (SCIs). There are many treatment options available for SCI patients, so don’t give up hope!
If you’re having back pain, consider seeing a chiropractor or massage therapist.
If you’re having back pain, consider seeing a chiropractor or massage therapist. Both are trained to help patients with spinal cord injuries, but they can also help with other health problems and pains.
- A chiropractor is an osteopath who focuses on the spine and other joints in the body.
- A massage therapist is trained in using pressure to manipulate soft tissues like muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (the thin membrane surrounding muscles). Massage therapists may use their hands or specific tools on your skin to work out knots or tightness in your muscles.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve back pain.
NSAIDs have been used to treat back pain for years. If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from a chronic back condition, NSAIDs can help relieve your pain and inflammation. It’s important to take these medications as prescribed by your doctor, or else they may not work as well.
NSAIDs are generally available over-the-counter in pill form or creams that you apply directly to the area where you feel pain. They come under different brand names (i.e., Motrin and Aleve), but they all contain the same active ingredient: ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is called a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) because it works by reducing inflammation throughout your body without causing damage like traditional steroidal medications do.
Physical therapy and exercise can help with your back pain.
- Physical therapy can help with back pain caused by spinal cord injury.
- Exercise can also help with back pain caused by spinal cord injury.
- If you have a spinal cord injury, physical therapy and exercise are both important to managing your condition and decreasing your risk of future complications.
Evaluate your need for analgesic medication.
Once you have received a diagnosis of spinal cord injury, it is important to evaluate your need for analgesic medication. If you are taking pain medications and not experiencing any significant improvements in your symptoms or quality of life, then you may wish to consider other treatment options. You should discuss with your doctor if stopping the medication will help reduce side effects from long-term use of these drugs. Your doctor can also provide guidance on how long to take the medication before considering other methods of treatment.
There are many ways to treat your back pain and spinal cord injury.
There are a variety of treatments available to help you manage your back pain and spinal cord injury.
- Chiropractic: The practice of manipulating the spine and other joints to correct alignment problems and relieve pressure on nerves, which can cause pain. A chiropractor may also recommend exercises, massage therapy or physical therapy.
- Massage therapy: Massages can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow, which helps relieve pain. They may also be used before or after physical therapy to loosen tight muscles that make it harder to move comfortably.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapists teach people with SCI how to improve their strength and mobility through exercise, equipment training (such as walking aids), weight-lifting programs or use of supports such as braces or splints. They may also recommend rehabilitative services such as occupational/physical therapy assistants who provide hands-on assistance with daily tasks in addition to teaching patients how they can do things themselves when they leave the clinic setting at home or work environments outside the home environment like grocery stores).
These are just a few of the many options for treating your spinal cord injury. If you’re having back pain, consider seeing a chiropractor or massage therapist. They can help identify and address the cause of your pain so that you can get on with your life as quickly and comfortably as possible.