Back Pain and Neck Pain Blog
If you have had back pain for a while, you probably already know that navigating the healthcare system to find the right doctor or treatment can be quite a challenge. While the process will probably always be frustrating at times, playing an active role - asking pertinent questions and sharing the decision-making with your care provider - can help make it easier.
Please note that there are market forces and personal forces (such as friendships and familiarity) that can influence which physician you are referred to. When you have been referred to a particular specialist or spine surgeon, it’s a good opportunity to ask questions about why he or she has been recommended.
Even if the pain is severe, episodes of back pain—and pain from ongoing back conditions—can be somewhat relieved with some first aid methods you can do at home. After an injury, resting for a day or two can give your back a chance to recover and start to heal on its own. In addition, some combination of the following treatments is usually recommended to help alleviate or at least manage the pain.
There are many misconceptions about spine pain. Seeking credible information is essential to having the best chances for recovery. In that spirit, we at Spine-health wish to clarify a few of the common myths about neck pain.
As Chicago (the home base of Spine-health) deals with some chilly weather this week, and other cities also come to terms with the end of summer, an old, unanswered question comes to mind:
Do changes in the weather bring on changes in chronic pain?
The fact that smoking is not good for your health is not exactly news, but most people do not associate smoking with pain.
Lifestyle issues such as smoking, as well as lack of exercise and obesity, hamper the patient’s ability to find sufficient pain relief over the long term. In fact, research has shown that smoking causes back pain.
In my own personal experience with treating back pain patients, I have seen that chronic smokers rarely ever recover from chronic pain conditions even with a variety of treatments.
You may be asking yourself or others about the most sure-fire ways to treat certain back conditions, and what to expect after a particular treatment. However, the important first step that often seems to be overlooked is to know your true back pain diagnosis (which is harder than it sounds).
Obviously, even the best treatments for back pain won't do much good if the diagnosis is not correct. Here are a few pointers about how to know and understand your diagnosis: