Chronic pain is different from acute pain in that it continues even after the initial injury or disease has healed. With chronic back pain, pain signals can remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months and even years. For this reason, chronic back pain often disrupts patients’ daily lives and causes significant emotional distress. If you suffer from chronic back pain, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Susan A. Baker, a board-certified doctor of both internal medicine and rheumatology. A recipient of both the “Patient’s Choice Award” and “Most Compassionate Doctor” award, Dr. Baker is known for offering an exceptionally high level of empathy and patient care in Los Angeles.
Two Types of Chronic Back Pain
Common Symptoms of Chronic Back Pain
- Mild to severe back pain that does not stop
- Shooting, burning, aching, or electrical pain
In addition to these symptoms, many chronic pain sufferers experience the following:
- Low energy or fatigue
- Weakened immune system
- Withdrawal from usual activates
Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Back Pain
The first step to treating your back pain is making an accurate diagnosis. This is done through a combination of medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic testing. This testing may include neurological tests done by a physician like Dr. Baker, as well as blood tests, and imaging tests. Common imaging tests include:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Electrodiagnostic procedures such as electromyography (EMG)
- Bone scans
- Ultrasound imaging
Dr. Baker will assess your rheumatology condition to determine which, if any, of these tests are right for you.
There are a variety of options for managing chronic back pain. Medications such as over-the-counter analgesics, opioids, anticonvulsants, and certain antidepressants have all been shown to provide effective relief for patients. Spinal manipulation may be used to adjust spinal structures and restore mobility. Other approaches to treating back pain include:
- Intervention therapy, in which pain is eased by blocking the nerve connection to specific areas in the back
- Traction, which uses weights to gradually pull the skeleton into alignment
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses electrical pulses to block pain signals to the brain
- Ultrasound, which utilizes ultrasound waves to relax the tissues inside the body
In serious cases that do not respond to other treatment, a variety of surgical options are also available. When you come in for your appointment, Dr. Baker will discuss all your treatment options and help you make the choice that’s right for you.
Chronic Back Pain Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What can I do to prevent chronic back pain?
Q: When should I seek treatment for my chronic back pain?
Q: Who is at the highest risk for chronic back pain?
To learn more about chronic back pain treatment, visit med.stanford.edu
Consult a Los Angeles Back Pain Doctor
Does chronic back pain have a continuous and negative effect on your daily life? Has it left you feeling depressed or unable to participate in activities you once enjoyed? Then don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Baker, a back pain expert who is renowned for her extraordinary patient care. Call today at (310) 274-7770 to set up your appointment and get started treating your pain.
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