About Chronic Back Pain

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Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. It can range from a constant ache to a sudden sharp pain. A back pain is considered to be a chronic pain it needs to persist for a period longer than three months. Chronic nonspecific pain as its called is "nonspecific" in nature. In other words, in most cases the cause of the pain is unknown or difficult to diagnose.

Four out of five people that visit their doctor for back pain have nonspecific back pain as the cause. Because chronic nonspecific back pain can result from several factors physical, psychological and even social its treatments need to be just as diverse.

Noninvasive treatments for chronic nonspecific back pain are the most common prescribed by doctors. These include back braces, pain medications, cold or heat therapy, electrical stimulation, and exercise therapy.

Many back braces or lumbar supports are available without a prescription at local pharmacies and general stores. The main concern behind the use of a back brace is that the over use of a back brace may atrophy or waste away spinal support muscles that would normally support the back due to lack of use. If you plan on using a back brace to support your lower back its best to limit its use to several hours a day. You can also use a back brace to help support your back when returning to a labor intensive job after an injury or from a long vacation.

Another option is OTC or over the counter pain medications. These can include medications such as Aleve or Aspirin, but also encompass topical analgesics such as PainEnz, or Icy Hot. These topical analgesics stimulate your sensory receptors for heat to cover up or counter act pain.

Back pain is a serious issue; the above treatments are really only for temporary relief of nonspecific back pain. If you are experiencing sharp or acute back pain you need to have it checked out by your doctor. It could be signs of a much greater problem that can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
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