Tips for Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

Tips for Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

  • chronic back pain

Back pain is so widespread that 8 in 10 adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. People who suffer from this condition will face disruptions in their personal and work life.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from back pain. Some let the condition go away on its own, others use homemade remedies, and the rest opt to seek medical attention.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain symptoms, you may want to know the best chronic pain management techniques. This article will provide important details about chronic back pain.


What Is Chronic Back Pain?

Chronic back pain refers to a feeling of discomfort in the five vertebrae that lasts for more than 12 weeks. The pain usually persists even after the underlying cause has been treated.

Chronic back pain occurs when the vertebrae move in an unnatural way. For instance, the intervertebral discs, muscles, or spines can collide or overstretch. Chronic pain can also occur if the vertebrae develop abnormal sensations or malformation.

When you get injured, your back may get sprained or strained. This can tear the muscles and ligaments in your lower back. In some instances, a traumatic injury can compress the vertebral discs or even the spine. Your vertebrae can also become inflamed if you have arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.


So, how do you know back pain is serious? You will know your back pain has become chronic if you have the following symptoms:

  • There is an achy or dull pain in the lower back.
  • Your feet, lower legs, thighs, and lower back become numb or have stinging pain.
  • There may be spasms in the hips, pelvis, and lower back.
  • You have difficulty completing simple activities, such as sitting, standing, and walking.

When these symptoms persist for a couple of weeks or days, then you are experiencing acute pain. You will only have chronic pain if your back keeps hurting for more than three months. By this time, the pain will be severe and you will have trouble sleeping.


back painCauses of Chronic Back Pain

Injuries are the primary cause of chronic back pain. The injury can sprain the back, pull a muscle, or damage the nerves. This pain will remain even after you have received back pain treatment. Other medical conditions that lead to chronic back pain are:

  • Endometriosis: This is a disorder where the uterine wall grows abnormally.
  • Fibromyalgia: This type of pain starts in the muscles and bones before spreading to the rest of the body.
  • Fatigue syndrome: This condition causes extreme pain and weariness.

Chronic pain may also not be related to a physical illness or injury. Instead, the pain may be a result of stress, anxiety, or depression.


How Common Is Chronic Back Pain?

Chronic back pain is one of the most common ailments among adults. As stated earlier, approximately 80% of adults will have back pain at some point in their lives. About 10% of these back pain cases will develop into chronic back pain.

This means that 8% of all Americans are suffering from chronic back pain. 


Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

So, can chronic back pain be healed? It is possible to treat most cases of chronic back pain, especially when the cause is known. While you can choose to undergo a surgical procedure, you can also try one of the following treatments.

Physical Therapy

When you first see a physician, they may recommend physical therapy. This is usually an exercise routine that is tailored to your specific condition. Some of these exercises will test your pain tolerance levels. Your therapist will also prescribe exercises that will improve your posture and physical form. If you follow your exercise routine, you will gradually increase your core strength.


Several types of medications can treat chronic pain, although some have side effects. The recommended medication will depend on your overall health and pain level. Since drug interactions can lead to severe side effects, your doctor should know all the supplements that you are taking.

The most common medications are COX-2 inhibitors, such as Meloxicam. In some instances, the doctor may recommend temporary opioid therapy.


If the physician can pinpoint the cause of the chronic pain, they may prescribe an injection. Steroid injections, such as nerve blocks and nerve ablations, may also help to rule out suspected causes of pain. Your physician will inject the medication into the area surrounding the spinal cord. Since the medication must end up in the right area, the physician will guide the needle with the help of an X-ray machine.

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)

Nerve tissues can stop sending pain signals to the brain if their temperature increases. One of the ways to increase the temperature of the back tissue is to use an electric current from radiofrequency ablation.

The process starts with injecting intravenous medication and numbing a small section of your skin. The physician will then use a microelectrode to send an electric current to the affected tissue. Once the process is complete, you can expect the treatment to be effective for at least six months.

Other Back Pain Management Techniques

There are also back pain management techniques, such as:

  • Acupuncture: This is the insertion of thin needles at specific parts of the body.
  • Chiropractic care: This is the improvement of joint motion by the use of controlled force.
  • Yoga: Upper back pain can go away after doing yoga for an extended period.
  • Massage therapy: This can increase endorphin levels and reduce chronic pain.

Final Words

If your back has been hurting for more than three months, you may be suffering from chronic back pain. Several factors, such as injuries, can cause this condition. Fortunately, there are several treatments for chronic back pain, including physical therapy and injections.

You can also visit our medical center to try a new treatment for back pain. Contact us for more information.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

  • knee pain

The knee is one of the most complex joints in your body. It’s made up of four bones, three joints, and relies on 12 different muscles to function. Unfortunately, the knee is also a common source of pain, typically among adults. The pain could result from aging, being overweight, or general wear and tear. When it comes to the latter, athletes and people with jobs that require lots of standing are especially vulnerable.

The five most common causes of knee pain include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, arthritis, tendon tears, and fractures. Whether your pain is the result of aging, an injury, or your athleticism, it must be addressed. That’s why this article will discuss various knee problems, their causes, how to prevent knee problems, and when to seek medical treatment. This information is especially relevant to those experiencing knee pain and those at risk, such as athletes and older adults.


Common Knee Problems

As stated above, the most common knee problems are related to an injury of some sort. This injury could be as minor as a sprain or as severe as a torn ACL or a fracture. Regardless, if you don’t receive treatment for your knee injury, your symptoms may gradually worsen, and the damage could become more challenging to treat.

Outside of ACL injuries and fractures, your knee problem could be the result of a torn meniscus, knee bursitis, patellar tendinitis, or a symptom of one of 100 or more different types of arthritis. 

The type of pain you’re experiencing can indicate the cause. For example, if you’re suffering from pain on the inner side of the knee, you’ve likely suffered a sports injury or fall of some sort. On the other hand, if your knee has just suddenly started hurting, general wear and tear from physical activity or an active job is the most probable cause.

You should note that knee pain in ladies versus men is typically the same. The only notable difference between men and women regarding knee issues is that women are more vulnerable to ACL injuries. This is because women’s knees are more likely to tilt inward, putting more stress on the ACL. That said, all athletes should take the time to learn about ACL injuries and how to identify them. 


Diagnosing Knee Problems

While you can get a general idea of what’s causing your pain via a knee pain symptom checker, a medical examination is required to diagnose a knee injury properly. A medical professional may use an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or arthroscopy to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. They can then use this information to suggest an appropriate knee pain treatment suited to your needs.


When To Seek Medical Treatment for Knee Pain

knee pain doctor

Several symptoms indicate that you should seek professional medical treatment for your knee pain. For example, please get in touch with your doctor if you’re unable to fully extend or flex your knee, can’t bear weight on your knee, or feel as though your knee is going to give out. 

You should also see a professional if you experience marked knee swelling, see an obvious deformity in the area, have a fever in addition to knee pain, or have severe knee pain in connection with an injury. The duration of your knee pain is also relevant. For example, athletes should speak to a medical professional for knee pain lasting over 48 hours. Other adults should seek out professional advice if symptoms persist for three weeks.  


Treating Knee Pain

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to treat knee pain, whether you’re looking for professional medical treatments or at-home remedies. By answering these frequently asked questions about treating knee pain, we will address some misinformation while offering practical tips along the way.

How can I get rid of knee pain?

Suppose you’re experiencing knee pain from a minor injury or an arthritis flare-up. In that case, you may be able to manage symptoms by resting your knee, applying ice to swollen areas, wearing a compression bandage, or keeping your knee elevated.

What should I eat for knee pain?

If you’re already experiencing knee problems, changing your diet won’t offer a cure or any immediate relief. However, eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber may reduce pain and increase mobility in your joints over time. In addition, we recommend increasing your intake of foods like cold-water fish, colorful fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

Which medicine is best for knee pain?

With some over-the-counter medications, such as Advil and Aleve, you can ease knee pain. You could also try applying a cream with a numbing agent, like lidocaine or capsaicin. 

Can drinking water help knee pain?

Drinking water will not cure knee pain or joint pain in general. That said, it can improve the health of your joints, so long as you’re drinking lots of water while pursuing other knee pain treatment options. 

Only a healthcare provider is qualified to suggest a treatment plan for your knee pain if medical intervention is necessary. There are many different ways of treating knee pain, including physical therapy, steroid injections, genicular nerve blocks, Traumeel/Zeel injections, prolotherapy, and more. Whether or not you need non-operative or surgical treatment will depend on the type and severity of your knee condition.

Preventing Knee Pain

knee pain prevention


There are several ways of preventing knee pain. They include maintaining a healthy weight and exercising to build your muscles to support your knees. In addition, if you play sports, you should ensure that you’re in shape and prepared to meet the physical demands of that sport. Finally, to avoid accidentally injuring yourself, you should know the proper techniques and movement patterns associated with that sport.





Address Your Knee Pain at Carolinas Pain Center

Has your knee pain reached the point that you need to contact a healthcare provider? If so, look no further than Carolinas Pain Center. Knee pain is one of the many conditions we diagnose and treat through individualized services. Our team can offer a wide range of treatments to safely and effectively address your knee pain with our multidisciplinary approach.

If you’d like to book an appointment or have any questions for our team, please feel free to call 704-500-2332, email, or complete our contact form. You can also learn more about your treatment options from other helpful resources on our website.

What Does a Pain Specialist Do?

  • pain specialist

Pain specialists are doctors who specialize in treating chronic pain caused by various diseases and disorders. They generally operate at pain clinics that employ doctors from many different fields of medicine. This allows the pain specialists to create well-rounded treatment plans based on various pain-relief therapies tailored to the patients’ needs.

But what does all this mean for the patient? If you have your first appointment booked with a pain clinic or are thinking about seeing a pain management doctor, you’re probably wondering what it’s like to see one and what a pain specialist will actually do for you. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about seeing a pain specialist.


When to See a Pain Specialist

Anyone dealing with chronic pain should see a pain specialist. If you’ve been dealing with pain intense enough or long enough that you’re wondering if you should see a pain specialist, the answer is probably yes. For a more concrete answer, here are some indications that you should see a pain specialist:

  • Your pain persists with a specific motion or movement.
  • You’re struggling to perform day-to-day activities that you didn’t struggle with before. At this point, you’re experiencing debilitating pain. Seeing a pain specialist can make it so you can resume normal activities.
  • You find that pain radiates throughout parts of your body, or that the pain is accompanied by tingling and numbing sensations. This indicates a pinched nerve, and it is something pain specialists can help relieve.
  • You find you can only get through the day with pain medication. While this may seem like the only answer right now, it’s incredibly unhealthy to do this, and a pain specialist will be able to provide pain relief therapies that don’t solely rely on drugs.
  • Your pain is preventing you from sleeping well. The pain itself is bad enough, but a lack of sleep will cause many other health issues. Poor sleep is something that needs to be treated whenever possible.

If you’re still not sure that you meet pain clinic requirements, you can always start by visiting your primary care physician to get their opinion.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

Your first appointment with a pain specialist will be used to learn about your pain and the source of your pain so that the doctors can create a treatment plan for you. You can expect plenty of questions, such as:

  • Where is your pain?
  • What does your pain feel like?
  • How often do you feel pain?

Because pain isn’t something that doctors can objectively measure, these questions (and many more like them) are used to better understand what you’re feeling. You can also expect questions about your medical history and a variety of diagnostic tests and imaging. It can also help for you to bring any copies of imaging you have done in the past.

Prepare for your appointment by starting a pain journal.

In the moment, trying to recall everything about your pain and accurately answer those questions can be difficult. We can struggle to correctly remember things in stressful situations, and we’re not always aware of when and how we’re feeling pain. If you have an appointment booked or are planning to book an appointment, now is the time for you to start a pain journal.

A pain journal is something that you can use to record your pain as it’s happening. Just write down a short description of the pain, where it’s coming from, and rate it on a scale from 1 to 10. You’ll be able to bring this with you to your appointments, which will provide the pain management doctor with an accurate description of your pain.

This may seem like a hassle, but it’s beneficial for your treatment. You can use an easy-to-carry journal that fits in your pocket, which you can readily bring out whenever you feel pain.


Pain management near meTypes of Pain Treated by Pain Specialists

Pain specialists can treat pain of all kinds, whether it’s from injuries, disorders, or diseases. As long as the pain is persistent or chronic, it’s something that a pain specialist will help with. Here are some common causes of pain that specialists help treat:

  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Migraines
  • Cancer


Treatment Offered by Pain Specialists

While it’s easy to assume that pain specialists rely on pain medication to treat their patients, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Pain relief therapies are as diverse as the causes of pain, and treatment plans are put together from multiple disciplines to create healthy and sustainable ways for clients to live their lives free from debilitating pain. There will commonly be more than one type of treatment on a single plan so that patients can maximize their pain relief.

Here are just some of the treatment options that pain specialists can prescribe:

  • Drug Therapy. Drugs are sometimes used, although specialists won’t only rely on them. Specialists will generally get patients to start with over-the-counter medication and see if that relieves the pain. If that doesn’t work, they’ll move on to prescription medication.
  • Trigger Point Injections. This is a procedure meant to treat painful muscles using a local anesthetic injected into trigger points in the body. This treatment usually results in lasting relief.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy. Commonly known as TENS, this procedure relieves pain by stimulating nerves with a low-voltage electric current. This sort of scrambles the messages sent to your brain so that it isn’t correctly receiving pain signals.
  • Psychological Treatment. Chronic pain can easily affect your mental health. As part of pain treatment, it’s common to include psychological therapies to improve the effects the pain would have had on your health while it wasn’t being treated.


Treat Your Pain at the Carolinas Pain Center

If you deal with pain regularly and it’s affecting your quality of life, you owe it to yourself to go to a pain clinic. They’re trained to relieve pain of all kinds, and pain management will be able to help you live a better life. You can easily set up an appointment online. Take a look at our resources page if you want to learn more about pain and how it’s treated.

Can I Manage My Chronic Pain?

  • Chronic pain management

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life. Living with chronic pain will often lead to other health issues that can exacerbate the pain, resulting in a negative cycle of worsening conditions. Managing chronic pain means breaking out of this cycle and gradually improving your health.

If you’re living with chronic pain, it can easily feel like there’s no way of making it better. However, this article is here to help you break out of that cycle. We’ll talk about how chronic pain can affect your body and mind and give you tips on how to improve your quality of life. Instead of your pain controlling you, you can learn how to control pain.


Effects of Chronic Pain

Physically, chronic pain creates a lot of challenges. Day-to-day activities can gradually become more and more difficult to do on your own, and you may find that you no longer partake in hobbies you once loved. Pain can also easily affect your ability to exercise. All of these together can have a serious effect on your physical health as you won’t be moving as much as you used to.

Chronic pain can also be hard on you because of how your body responds to it. Pain triggers the stress response in the body, preparing your body to run away from the situation. Unfortunately, you can’t run from your pain, and your body’s stress response is active far longer than what’s healthy. This prolonged stress response leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues.

On top of the physical issues, chronic pain often leads to poor sleep and mental health issues. It’s common for those suffering from chronic pain to experience a change in their mood, increased anxiety, and a heightened risk of depression. Because of this, pain management and treatment may involve psychological care.


Living With Chronic Pain

Suffering from chronic pain doesn’t have to mean that you aren’t living your normal life anymore. While there may be a temporary halt on some of the activities you once did, proper chronic pain management can help you return to your regular routine.

Managing Chronic Pain

Chronic pain management isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Here are some of the ways that you can manage your own pain:

1. Exercising

When we’re in pain, exercise becomes more difficult, and it’s much more tempting to just avoid it altogether. However, not using our muscles weakens them, and we lose our stamina. After some time, this can make physical activity even harder and more painful to do, creating a downward spiral. So, make sure to continue exercising. Regular exercise can also ease your pain by keeping your muscles strong and your joints flexible. If you find what you would normally do for exercise too difficult, you can speak with your doctor or a physical therapist to look into workouts that will be less strenuous and easier for you to do.

2. Stretching

Stretching is another effective way to keep your body healthy and minimize your pain. Stretching helps to improve posture, blood flow through the muscles, flexibility, and range of motion. All of these can help reduce muscle and joint pain and overall stiffness. Here are some simple stretches you can try out. If you find it difficult to get started, try taking a hot shower or soak in the tub first.

3. Balanced Diet

Ensuring you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet isn’t likely to directly impact your pain, but it does come with benefits that will improve your health and indirectly reduce your pain. It’s easy to fall into bad habits and start eating poorly. However, a poor diet can lead to more health issues that will make chronic pain management even more difficult. A poor diet combined with difficulty exercising can also lead to weight gain, which can directly worsen chronic pain. The extra weight on your joints will create more pressure, which can increase pain. A balanced diet will make sure that you stay healthy and can help you lose weight if you need that.

4. Relaxation

Some of the health issues caused by chronic pain are a result of the body’s stress response. An effective way to counteract that response is to actively relax. Our bodies cannot be stressed when we’re relaxed, so relaxing will stop the stress response. On top of that, relaxing will also release muscle tension, which can contribute to your pain. There are plenty of ways you can relax, but we would suggest one of the following relaxation techniques: progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, or meditation. These are all techniques that will take a bit of learning to do well, but the benefits are worth the bit of effort to learn one or more of these techniques.

5. Support

Going through something difficult like chronic pain on your own is hard and can contribute to mental health issues. We would encourage you to seek support from friends and loved ones who are able to help you. It would also help to seek out others dealing with the same condition. You’ll be able to share your struggles with someone who truly understands you. If you don’t personally know anyone else suffering from chronic pain, you can check out some support groups.

Treatment for Chronic Pain

There’s only so much that you can do on your own. If it feels like chronic pain is killing you, consider getting treatment on top of doing things on your own to manage your pain. Chronic pain treatment will often consist of medical interventions that will be able to diminish your pain more than you’d be able to on your own. This will make learning to manage your pain and take care of your health much easier.


Finding Care for Chronic Pain

When chronic pain becomes too much, it’s time for you to seek treatment at a pain clinic. There, you’ll meet with pain specialists who will be able to devise treatment plans to minimize your pain and return your life to normal.

To get chronic pain treatment at a pain clinic, you can start by speaking with your primary care physician. If they believe a pain clinic will be helpful for you, they’ll refer you to one. However, you can just start by contacting a pain clinic directly. That would speed up the process if you’re looking for care as soon as possible.

The Carolinas Pain Center Can Help

If you need help managing your chronic pain, reach out to us at the Carolinas Pain Center. Our pain specialists will create a treatment plan specifically for you so that you can go back to a fulfilling life without constant disruption. Visit our resources page to learn more about chronic pain, what it means for you, and what you can do to manage it.