Overview of chronic pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than three months. Specifically related to pain in the neck or back, chronic pain is often a side effect of nerve compression caused by a degenerative spine condition.

Symptoms of nerve compression expand beyond chronic pain, although chronic pain is the most characteristic symptom of any spine condition. Because nerve compression often occurs in the spine or spinal canal, the pain and symptoms can follow the pathway of the spinal nerves, which leaves from the spine and travels into the extremities. Therefore, chronic neck or back pain is sometimes accompanied by pain, numbness or tingling in the nearby extremity.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your physician or a spine care expert to determine the cause of your pain. Diagnosing your chronic pain will help your physician to recommend a treatment option that fits your needs and your lifestyle.

Causes of chronic pain

Spinal nerve compression can occur at any level of the spine and can be the result of any of a variety of degenerative spine conditions, including:

  • Bone spurs
  • Bulging disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • And more

These spine conditions occur over time with the natural deterioration of the spine. As the components of the spine break down, certain aspects of the spine may move out of alignment or no longer be able to support the weight of the body. When this happens, the spinal alignment may shift and press against a nearby nerve root, resulting in chronic neck or back pain.

Treatment of chronic pain

Your physician or spine care specialist can recommend a series of conservative treatment options based on the cause of your chronic pain. The most common conservative treatments for degenerative spine conditions include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Pain medications
  • TENS
  • Chiropractic treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic pain and have tried any or all of these conservative treatments in an effort to ease your chronic pain but have failed to see results, you may turn to elective surgery to find relief for severe chronic pain.

At Laser Spine Institute, we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients with chronic neck or back pain. Our minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery offer patients a safer and effective method of treatment compared to traditional spine surgery. For more information about the advantages of our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.