back pain


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Many patients may rush to surgery as their first option to help treat pain. However, many are also unaware of what nonsurgical treatments are available.  As many health professionals will tell their patients, surgery is the “last resort option”.  So, let’s discuss a few questions you should ask yourself before choosing to have surgery. Unfortunately, there are many more questions that may need to be asked, and this is best done one-on-one during an office visit with a pain specialist 

Have you had pain for more than 3 months? Generally, pain is not considered chronic until it has lasted for 3 to 6 months. That means, that fortunately the vast majority of pain will resolve on its own and is not due to more serious conditions.

Is the pain affecting my activities of daily living? If pain, interferes with your ability to take care of yourself or other responsibilities you may have at home, work, etc then it is imperative you see a health care provider.

Have I tried rest, heat, ice, stretching, over the counter anti-inflammatories? Most pain is temporary and short-lasting and can be treated with these simple remedies.

Have I tried physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments? If pain is more severe and simple home remedies are not sufficient, it is worthwhile to consider these options to help with your chronic pain as advised by your health care provider.

Is my chronic pain affecting my mental health? Many individuals dealing with chronic pain develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, etc.  These conditions can worsen one’s experience of pain, and so treatment by a mental health expert such as psychologist, psychiatrist can also significantly help overall pain levels.

Have I considered weight loss therapies to help with my chronic pain? Many causes of chronic pain are due to issues with the musculoskeletal system which includes your back, neck, muscles, joints, tendons. Many times, weight loss and muscle strengthening can significantly improve the pain you are experiencing.

These are a just a few questions that you should ask yourself when you are experiencing any pain symptoms. Everyone should be aware that there are many treatment options available before considering surgery.  As always the best option if you have any questions or issues regarding pain is a trustworthy pain specialist.

To learn more, visit us at www.upmcpainmedicine.com

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