Chronic pain risk factors

Chronic pain is something that many adults experience at some point throughout life, especially chronic neck or back pain.

Chronic neck or back pain is often caused by years of wear and tear on the spine, typically due to age, weight gain and repetitive motions. While degenerative spine conditions developed from the natural aging of the spine are often the source of chronic neck or back pain, there can be other risks and factors as well. For example, injury, trauma and genetics can sometimes put people at a higher risk for developing chronic pain.

Understanding the cause of your chronic neck or back pain will help you not only treat the symptoms, but also make lifestyle changes to help prevent future pain and discomfort. Your physician or spine care expert can help you make a plan to alleviate your pain and promote spine health through a series of conservative treatments and lifestyle changes.

Causes of chronic pain

Defined as pain lasting for longer than three months, chronic pain in the neck or back associated with spinal conditions is most often the result of nerve compression. When pressure is placed upon a spinal nerve or the spinal cord, problems such as pain, numbness, weakness and tingling can arise. This pressure on a nerve can be caused by a number of degenerative spine conditions — conditions in which spinal anatomy deteriorates over time — such as:

  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Degenerative disc disease

Prevention tips for chronic pain

Since aging is one of the primary chronic pain risk factors, it makes sense that many of the typical steps you can take to keep a healthy and strong spine are also common ways to maintain your overall health as you get older. Eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy body weight, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine intake, and quitting smoking are all good ideas for keeping your spine (and body as a whole) healthy and strong while also potentially preventing degenerative spine conditions.

For more information about the causes of chronic pain, or to learn about how minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute can help treat chronic neck or back pain, contact us today.