Chronic back pain is, unfortunately, a very common phenomenon. It is estimated to cost $100 billion annually in the United States in the way of treatment and lost work productivity. I have treated chronic back pain for 28 years, and I have suffered chronic back pain previously. It is a miserable part of the human condition. Many patients have told me it’s worse than the pain of kidney stones or childbirth.
It is important to acknowledge the common causes of chronic back pain. The so-called pain generators in the spine are, as I’ve said above, the disc, nerves and joint. The most effective nonsurgical treatment I have found is spinal decompression treatment. The reason is that the cause of neck and back pain is the slowly progressive, degenerative, compression of the spinal discs, nerves and joints.
This process all begins with microscopic degenerative changes to the disc, which starts in childhood. Depending on the person, this degenerative process can proceed quickly, and severely, at many levels. Other people, for reasons we don’t entirely understand, age with relatively mild degenerative changes to the discs. Once these discs degenerate significantly, they cause greater stress and micro-trauma to the joints and ligaments and nerves. Most back problems are transient in nature, coming and going, and being self-limited. However, it’s also common for people to experience back pain for many months to many years and sometimes for the greater part of their lifetime. There are also some people, for whom no means of treatment is effective. This is one reason people often come to abuse narcotic medications.
But more typically, I have found spinal decompression treatment to be highly effective in treating chronic back pain. I have treated many patients who have had chronic back pain for many years and most of them improve, significantly, with spinal decompression treatment. Of course, given my professional background in orthopedics, physical medicine, physical therapy, chiropractic and neurosurgery, I will avail myself of any means of treatment for a patient that serves their best interest. After all, treating patients is not about me or any other doctor. It’s about determining, and pursuing, what is the best interest of the patient, whatever that may be. I have treated many patients simply with an appropriate referral for effective treatment, elsewhere, that I cannot provide. This may include pain management or surgery. I know many physician specialists who are exceptionally good and effective in providing treatments I cannot.