Steps to prevent chronic pain

Chronic pain in the neck or back can sometimes be avoided with certain prevention techniques. If you are currently experiencing this condition or if you have witnessed someone suffering from chronic pain for a long period of time, you understand the physical and emotional toll that it can take on a person’s quality of life.

Daily activities that were once simple and enjoyable may now be impossible to accomplish due to the sheer amount of pain in your neck or back, commonly caused by degenerative spine conditions. The prevention steps that are outlined below can help you avoid or postpone the onset of chronic pain, so you don’t have to put your life on hold.

Causes of chronic pain

The first step in chronic pain prevention is to understand what has caused the pain to develop. A degenerative spine condition that leads to chronic pain usually develops as the spine naturally weakens over time.

The most common degenerative spine conditions that can cause chronic pain include:

  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Pinched nerves
  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Arthritis of the spine (osteoarthritis)

Chronic pain results from these conditions when a nearby nerve root is compressed by the damaged part of the spine. A pinched nerve can cause pain to travel from the spine into the closest extremity, like an arm or leg.

Chronic pain prevention tips

Making daily choices to improve your spine health can help you prevent chronic pain in your neck or back.

Some steps to chronic pain prevention include:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet to limit the pressure on your spine, as it supports the majority of your weight
  • Quitting smoking and limiting caffeine consumption as well as alcohol intake, since these substances have been shown to negatively impact spinal conditions and their symptoms
  • Performing stretching activities like yoga or Pilates to keep your spine flexible

Chronic pain treatment options

If you still develop chronic pain in the neck or back, despite making daily choices to increase your spine health, you should schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss the treatment options available to you.

For many patients, a series of conservative treatments are effective in relieving pressure on the pinched nerve in the spine and reducing chronic pain. These conservative treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Low-impact exercises

However, some patients require more in-depth treatment to relieve chronic spine pain. If your pain has not been reduced after several months of conservative treatment, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

We offer two types of minimally invasive spine surgery at our facility — decompression and stabilization. To date, these minimally invasive procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain without the risks associated with traditional open neck or back surgery. Our minimally invasive decompression surgery is often used to help treat spine conditions that cause chronic neck or back pain, though some cases of severe spinal damage may require a stabilization procedure.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost MRI review* to learn if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your chronic neck or back pain.