Back pain may be a common problem, but that doesn’t make it easier to live with. It’s even more frustrating when an acute injury evolves into an ongoing issue.
At Apex Neurology, Northern Medical Care PC in Forest Hills, New York, Dr. Omar Ahmed and his team can help with numerous conditions, including back pain. If your discomfort turns into a chronic problem, here’s what you need to know.
The difference between acute and chronic pain
The significant difference in these two categories of pain involves duration. That’s because when you have acute pain, your discomfort goes away when your body heals. In most cases, acute pain also has an obvious cause, including:
- Burns, cuts, or bruises
- Strains or sprains
- Broken bones
Generally speaking, acute pain diminishes within six months. When your pain lasts longer than six months — or if it persists after you heal — you have chronic pain.
Understanding chronic pain
Chronic pain involves pain signals that remain active within your nervous system, even after you heal. It’s also possible to experience chronic pain without a past injury or obvious sign of physical damage.
Common causes of chronic pain include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Nerve pain
Back pain is also a common cause of chronic pain, especially from degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and osteoporosis.
Why you shouldn’t ignore chronic back pain
No one wants to live in pain, especially when it becomes chronic. It can take a toll on your life that goes far beyond discomfort alone. Living with chronic back pain can put added stress on your body and emotional health, triggering additional issues such as:
- Muscle tension
- Reduced mobility
- Lack of energy
- Changes in appetite
- Depression, anxiety, and anger
Chronic back pain can also affect your quality of life by limiting your ability to participate in work or leisure activities because of discomfort or fear of reinjury.
What to do when your back pain becomes chronic
Dr. Ahmed offers pain management solutions to ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. It starts with a thorough physical exam and diagnostic imaging tests to identify the specific cause of your back pain. Then, Dr. Ahmed creates a customized treatment strategy to address your condition at the source and increase your comfort.
In most cases, successfully treating chronic back pain involves a combination of strategies, ranging from medication and hot and cold therapy to targeted interventional injections and physical therapy.
We can help you find relief for your chronic back pain and restore your quality of life. Contact Apex Neurology, Northern Medical Care PC to schedule a consultation by calling 347-201-4665 or using our online booking tool.