Chronic Back Pain: The Top Treatments, Symptoms, Causes

chronic back painPain is the number one reason for medical visits in the United States, and back pain is the most common type of pain reported. An estimated 8 out of 10 people struggle with back pain at some point in their lives, and in most cases it goes away on its own. But for some, back pain becomes chronic, which simply means the pain persists for weeks, month or even years — often taking a serious toll on the person’s ability to enjoy life.

About 100 million Americans, and 1.5 billion people worldwide, suffer from chronic pain, and back pain is again among the most common pain experienced chronically.[i] The sheer numbers of people facing chronic back pain has led to an ever-expanding array of treatments …

Despite More Treatments, Chronic Back Pain is Not Improving …

Writing in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine,[ii] researchers noted a stunning increase in back pain tests and treatments in recent years, including a:

  • 629% increase in Medicare expenditures for epidural steroid injections
  • 423% increase in expenditures for opioids for back pain
  • 307% increase in the number of lumbar magnetic resonance images among Medicare beneficiaries
  • 220% increase in spinal fusion surgery rates

Yet, despite all of these conventional treatments, people are still suffering with chronic back pain! Researchers said:

“The limited studies available suggest that these increases [in back pain treatments] have not been accompanied by population-level improvements in patient outcomes or disability rates.”

In other words, conventional treatments are failing miserably, and even causing deaths and disabilities in the process. It’s a major clue that, as researchers noted, the proportion of office visits attributed to back pain has changed little since 1990 — even as there are more back pain treatments available than ever before. People are still visiting their physicians seeking answers, and then leaving disappointed — and, worse, still in pain. As stated in the study, many back pain treatments are unproven, ineffective and potentially dangerous:

“There are important implications of expanded testing and treatment for back pain. Innovation has often outpaced clinical science, leaving uncertainty about the efficacy and safety of many common treatments. Complications and even deaths related to pain management are increasing.Despite uncertainties, manufacturers aggressively promote new drugs and devices. However, trust in the science supporting these products is eroded by revelations of misleading advertising,allegations of kickbacks to physicians,and major investments by surgeons in the products they are investigating.”

Most Treatments Don’t Deal With the Cause of Your Pain

And therein lies the problem.

There’s a good chance that one day your back just started hurting out of the blue … but it wasn’t due to anything you could pinpoint — no car accident, fall, or athletic injury, for instance (these, of course, do cause back pain, but in a far more limited number of cases). Although your back pain may have come on suddenly, it probably didn’t happen overnight.

In most cases, there is a more insidious cause, caused by the normal wear-and-tear of everyday life, or specific characteristics of your lifestyle. For instance, all of the following can trigger or exacerbate chronic back pain:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Sitting for too long (such as working a desk job)
  • Standing on your feet for too long
  • Repetitive lifting, pulling or pushing
  • Smoking, which can make it difficult for nutrients to nourish the disks in your back
  • Psychological and social factors

One or more of these factors, over time, can lead to muscle imbalances and actual damage to your spine. The end result is an array of conditions commonly associated with chronic back pain, such as arthritis of the spine, facet joint syndrome, or pinched nerves. Even if you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, it is not the cause of your pain — the issues noted above are.

How do You Know if Your Back Pain Really is Chronic?

That may sound like a silly question, but you could have chronic pain and not realize it, as chronic pain is extremely variable in its signs and symptoms.

For instance, chronic back pain can vary from mild to severe, and you may feel it continually or in persistent episodes (several hours a week, for example, for months on end). And while chronic pain may begin with an initial trigger event, such as an injury, it may manifest even in the absence of any trauma or accident. As for the pain itself, it may be throbbing, shooting or burning, and it may involve feelings of tightness, stiffness or tingling. The pain may not even be limited to your back — chronic back pain can oftentimes radiate down your legs or into your neck and arms.

Further, chronic pain is often associated with other health issues, including fatigue or insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression and even sometimes a weakened immune system.

What is the Answer to Chronic Back Pain?

Often a multi-faceted approach works best — but it needn’t include drugs and surgery. In fact, we insist that it doesn’t!

We encourage you to sign up for the free Lose the Back Pain newsletter, using the subscribe link in the upper-right corner of this page, to gain immediate access to the best natural tips available, such as the simple exercises below.

If you’re one of the many who are currently struggling with chronic back pain, you absolutely owe it to yourself to explore the Lose the Back Pain System, which takes you step-by-step through the process of identifying the exact muscle imbalances you have, and then gives you the targeted stretches and exercises you need to get fast relief. This is the best option if you’re looking for real, lasting pain resolution, as it will help to heal the underlying causes (the muscle imbalances) that triggered your pain in the first place.

chronic back painBelow are even more natural options that target the underlying causes of your pain directly by addressing muscle imbalances, inflammation, spinal decompression and other forms of spinal stress that are the true culprits in chronic back pain:

  • Muscle Balance Therapy, which can help generate balance and stability in your pelvis and spine, and minimize excessive wear and tear of the disc and other joints of your spine
  • Healing Heat, which is deep penetrating and longer lasting for pain relief and to increase joint range of motion
  • Rub on Relief, a pain cream that was formulated to address many of the foundational reasons why you are in pain. While giving you the simplicity and fast-acting relief you expect from a pain cream, this blend of ingredients works to address both pain and inflammation.

Try one or try them all … but do try something!

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:

Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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9 thoughts on “Chronic Back Pain: The Top Treatments, Symptoms, Causes”

  1. Dee Feldman says:

    I have a LOT of back pain!!!

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Dee,

    We are sorry to hear you are dealing with a lot of back pain. You may like to consider getting a copy of our Free book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure as a starting point to help you.

    It has a lot of information to help you regarding the back, pain relief strategies and you can consider the various treatment options and action plans. Plus there are many other useful aspects for you to read. We do hope you find it helpful.

    Thank you
    Admin (THBI)

  3. Jennifer Anderson says:

    I have had back,hips, legs and foot pain since I slipped and damaged discs in my lower back 16 years ago. The doctor said it could lead to me losing continence in bladder and bowel through the years. The pain is horrific and my surgeon diagnosed me as having CRPS – one of the most painful chronic conditions known where people even have limbs removed and commit suicide because of the pain. I was in a keep fit team for my country so was always very fit until this accident happened when I was 56 years old. I am now 72 years. I take 250mg of oxycontin each day and it helps for about six hours out of 12 hours but I am beginning to find out the oxycontin is making pain more painful. I also have diverticulitis which is very painful as well but I am not constipated as I have a good diet. I have been trying some of your exercises as I have extremely tight ham strings and I sent for the book 7 Day Back Pain Cure. Do you have a book illustrating exercises suitable for strengthening my core although I do find exercising very painful? My pain clinic doctor does not help and he told me to bin an American book on CRPS written by Elena Juris foreward by Edward Carden MD. They do not seem to know how to treat this condition in United Kingdom. I live in Scotland Can you help please?

    1. Admin says:

      Hi Jennifer, Thank you for your questions…

      Please know that Steve from the HBI has sent you a private email
      with some additional suggestions to help you get started…

      Thank you
      Admin (THBI)

  4. JANE COLLINS says:

    In trying to help my husband up from the floor,he was ill, I managed to snap a vertabrea that sounded like a firecracker going off. My pain did not actually start until it was fused and I started going to excersizes and then to chiropractors.then to specialists that wanted to attach a rod to my spine,Im 85 yrs of age by the way. and I refused. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is acupuncture but the pain is getting worse and I might wind up in a wheel chair very soon. Oh yes, I had 2 sets of shots, nothing. Any suggestions I still have an open mind and would love to enjoy my great granddaughters and she is a beauty!!!!!!!!! HELP

  5. John Killion Taleo says:

    I have knee and back pain during my playing rugby time now as l am approaching my 60 years of age… Very difficult to get up. I’m always on pain killer. My question is my knee seems to be gout attacking the joint or what??

    1. Admin says:

      HI John,
      Thank you for your comment and explaining your situation. We believe education is key when dealing with back and related pains. A great starting point is our free back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has information regarding pain relief, the back, pains, treatment options, plus many other useful aspects to help you. We hope you find it useful.

      You may also like to look into our Lose The Back Pain System to help you.

      Thank you Our Best Wishes
      Admin ( The Healthy Back Institute)

  6. Frankie says:

    Have you heard any clients report any benefits for CRPS when using your products?

    1. Frankie, We have many customers using our products for many reasons but to date, I do not know of any of our customers that have CRPS.



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