How To Keep Acute Back Pain From Becoming Chronic

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Spine Cancer

Chronic back pain rarely develops out of nowhere. More often, there are one or more underlying factors that contribute to its onset. One of the most common underlying causes of chronic back pain is an unaddressed acute injury. If you don’t fully treat a specific back injury, oftentimes it can lead to irregular or chronic back pain down the road.

So what are some of the best ways to keep an acute back injury from becoming chronic? In today’s blog, we share some ways to prevent an acute injury from transitioning to chronic discomfort.

Stop Acute Pain From Becoming Chronic

In order to keep acute trauma from transitioning to chronic pain, you need to actively and comprehensively address your original injury. Every acute back injury will be a little different, but here are some common themes among patients who are looking to completely treat their original back problem.

  1. Don’t Push Through The Pain – We understand that you may not want to miss time from work or athletics, but it’s imperative that you step away in the short-term so that pain doesn’t linger in the long-term. Structures are weakened after an acute injury, and if you keep stressing these areas, injuries can worsen or they can fail to ever fully resolve, leaving behind lingering discomfort. We know that it’s tough, but you need to prioritize treatment and not just keep going on as if nothing is wrong with your back.
  2. Rest, Then Activity – You’ll want to get specific treatment advice from a provider who can view your spine in person, but oftentimes mild to moderate acute injuries heal best with short-term rest followed by a gradual return to physical activities. Protect the structures in the immediate aftermath of an injury by resting the area, but know that you’re not going to get back to full health by laying in bed all day. Once you start to feel better, gradually start to take on more physical activities. Go for a walk, do some light stretching or partake in some controlled physical therapy exercises. It’s this activity and strength training that will help you return to a pre-injury level of fitness.
  3. Improve Your Posture – We’re not assuming that you have poor posture, but the fact of the matter is that most people don’t have perfect posture throughout the day. Maybe you don’t bend enough with your knees when lifting, or you tend to slouch on the couch when watching television or hunch forward at your desk when working on the computer. When you have poor posture, different areas of your spine are exposed to greater amounts of stress. This may not have a noticeable effect at the moment, but over time it can lead to degeneration of supportive structures in your spine. If you find that your posture has been affected by an injury, push yourself to make adjustments so that these posture issues don’t cause problems for you down the road.
  4. Break Up Periods Of Inactivity – Whether you’re recovering the day after an injury or you think you’re finally recovered from your back problem, it’s always a good idea to break up extended periods of inactivity. Sitting for long periods will put prolonged static pressure on muscle groups in your spine, and over time this can lead to tissue damage or an overall weakening of the soft tissues that support and stabilize your spine. Make it a point to stand up and move a little every 30-45 minutes so that your back isn’t overburdened, especially if it’s still recovering after an injury.

If you can do all of the above and you trust your hands-on care to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute, you should be able to keep acute pain from becoming chronic. For more information, or for help with a different spine issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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