Chronic Back Pain can be Avoided!
At Evansville chiropractic clinic, Integrated Physical Medicine (IPM), we work very hard to prevent our acute low back pain patients from becoming chronic because chronic back pain can be avoided! Most people with acute back and neck pain will just take ibuprofen or some other NSAID drug and hope the symptoms go away. However, if the symptoms persist, like sciatica or hip pain, there is a significant risk of the condition becoming chronic and, therefore, much more challenging to treat.
Current estimates suggest that one in seven people in the United States suffers from chronic low back pain, defined as discomfort that has lasted for more than three months. This condition can significantly impact an individual’s capacity to participate in day-to-day activities. As a result, it’s critical to pinpoint the variables that may be linked to a higher risk of chronic lower back pain developing from acute lower back pain.
According to a 2020 published systematic review, one-third of patients who initially sought treatment for new-onset low back pain still experienced symptoms after six months! 26% of patients who initially sought new-onset low back pain treatment experienced symptoms three months after initially seeking treatment.
A February 2021 report looked at data involving 5,233 acute low back pain cases and concluded that 32 percent of those cases progressed to chronic low back pain.
The researchers identified the following risk factors for chronic low back pain:
- Smoking tobacco
- Severe initial handicaps that impair the ability to rehabilitate or heal effectively
- Depression and anxiety
- A high score on the STarT Back screening measure, which evaluates these specific elements,
- pain referred to the leg
- shoulder/neck pain
- trouble walking long distances
- difficulty getting dressed
- fear of physical activity
- worrying thoughts
- hopelessness about condition changing
- impaired capacity to enjoy hobbies and other joyful activities
The researchers also concluded that receiving care outside of existing guidelines in the first 21 days can enhance the risk of low back pain chronicity by a factor of two! Our Evansville chiropractors carefully follow all clinical practice guidelines to ensure this does not happen to our patients. (Warning: Not all health care providers do!)
How Chronic Back Pain can be Avoided
What are the current guidelines for treating acute low back pain, then? Clinical guidelines advise all providers (including chiropractors) to reassure patients to lessen their anxiety about movement and encourage them to continue their regular activities as long as possible. Additionally, as FIRST-LINE therapies, the recommendations advise using ice/heat, spine manipulation (a chiropractic specialty), massage, or acupuncture.
Chronic back pain can be avoided! The chiropractors at Evansville’s IPM follow all the current guidelines to help our patients avoid becoming chronic pain sufferers. Let us help you get out of pain today! We will often be able to see you on the same day.