Chronic pain related to the spine may arise in the back and/or legs and in the neck and/or arms. Sensations of aching, numbness, burning or tingling may be felt.
Chronic pain is pain that persists for more than three months. It may be caused by an ongoing mechanism such as arthritis, persistent nerve root compression, nerve root injury or other ongoing processes. In some cases, the exact cause of the pain cannot be identified and can be associated with changes that have taken place within the nervous system itself.
Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
The treatment plan for chronic back pain patients is typically based on the results of the diagnostic workup and what interventions have already been tried. However, considering the variation in treatments from one center to another, some treatments may be attempted again using a different delivery technique. This may include the way an injection is performed or the components of a physical therapy program. Chronic back pain patients are managed with medications, injections, chiropractic care, physical therapy, psychological support, education, chronic pain management program and/or surgery. Chronic back pain management programs generally require the patient to participate in care for several hours a day for a period of usually 4-6 weeks. Surgery, such as fusion or decompression, may be undertaken if there is a structural basis for the pain. Surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator to control pain may be considered.