Chronic back pain — common mistakes made when self-diagnosing back pain

Most people endure back pain at some point in life, whether caused by an injury, a bad night of sleep or a spine condition. In fact, most people over the age of 70 have a degenerative spine condition like arthritis of the spine or spondylosis that causes pain and discomfort. However, not everyone that experiences back pain seeks professional medical attention.

Some people believe that simple home remedies can fix back pain. While this might be true in some cases, this is certainly not a universal truth. Treatment for back pain should be chosen specifically according to your condition and your medical history. Some patients who attempt to treat their back pain without medical consultation may negatively impact their spine condition and cause more pain than what they originally experienced.

If you have chronic back pain and are considering trying some home remedies to find pain relief, we encourage you to consult your physician first. Our goal is to help you find pain relief for your back pain, which includes helping you find the right treatment option. Your physician can determine the best treatment plan by diagnosing the source of your pain and reviewing your medical history. You will have better pain relief results by consulting a physician than by attempting to heal yourself.

Common mistakes made when looking for pain relief from back pain

The Internet is a great source of pain relief treatments for back pain, and we encourage you to try some of these treatments after you consult your physician. The problem with treatment plans found online is that they are very generic. For example, you might find an article about stretches that heal lower back pain. However, treatment for lower back pain caused by a herniated disc is going to be much different than treatment for lower back pain caused by spondylitis. The at-home remedy you are trying might not even be related to your spine condition, which means you won’t find any results from it.

Please take a moment and review the most common mistakes people make when trying to treat chronic back pain without guidance from a physician:

  • It’s a shot in the dark — Back pain can be caused by several spine conditions and other factors. Finding a generic article online is not likely to treat the exact back pain you have caused by your exact spine condition. At best, you are not going to find positive results. At worst, you might make your pain worse by performing activities that should be avoided. You have to know the problem before you can solve the problem. Have your back pain diagnosed by your physician before you seek treatment.
  • Not everything is a lifestyle change — Many articles about back pain relief simply talk about lifestyle change, i.e., getting more active and losing weight, as a great start to treat a spine condition. While getting active and losing weight are always good things, those two tips will not always treat a spine condition, such as bulging disc. It may help conditions like spinal stenosis, though. This is why it’s important to have your pain diagnosed before starting a treatment plan.
  • Don’t try to sleep it off — This may sound counterintuitive, but you will actually help to heal your back pain by getting up and moving, even if it is uncomfortable. Staying in one place will rest your back, but it will also weaken your muscles and make your back stiff.
  • Get to the heart of the matter — Because most at-home remedies are generic, they mostly treat the symptoms of the spine condition and not the spine condition itself. You might find a way to relieve the pain, but if you are only treating the symptom of pain and not what is causing the pain, you will find yourself stuck in a cycle of managing symptoms and never finding full relief.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, we encourage you to seek counsel from your physician before beginning any type of treatment plan. You can also reach out to our care team to discuss your symptoms and find a diagnosis and treatment option to fit your needs. Our goal is to inform you about your spine condition and the treatment options available to you based on your condition and medical history so you can make the best decision for your needs.