Chronic pain is an unfortunate reality for many Americans today.
For some it manifests as painful cramping in the joints, impeding the ability to walk, sit or move up a flight of stairs comfortably. For others its wrist pain, exacerbated by poor posture and constant typing. Spine disorders remain one of the trickiest to deal with, due in no small part to the complexity of the nerves and discs. While there are ways of managing your pain with more back support and lifestyle changes, the only way to see significant long-term improvement is through the aid of a back specialist. Not only can they give you a proper diagnosis, but they can make sure your condition doesn’t get any worse.
It can be intimidating finding support for spine disorders, particularly if you’ve been in pain for some time. Here’s what you should know.
Chronic pain is a constant issue around the world. It’s estimated as many as one and a half billion people live with chronic pain as we know it, ranging from chronic migraines to severe spine disorders. Another survey on chronic pain found as many as 80% of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. When it comes to managing these symptoms many will turn to short-term pain relief, which can include over-the-counter medication, heating pads or regular rest. When you are facing the onset of severe spine disorders, however, you need more reliable help.
Spine disorders take on many forms. Before you find a neurosurgeon it helps to understand what causes these issues in the first place and how they are made worse over time. Degenerative disc disease or (DDD) is one of the more common spine disorders out there, with an estimated 30% to 50% of people between the ages of 30 and 50 having some degree in development. The majority of bulging discs will also occur in the lower back due to constant stress. Cervical disc replacement may be required to reverse this issue and return your mobility to you.
The onset of spine disorders is seeing more and more surgeries done. It’s estimated as many as 50,000 neurostimulators are implanted around the world every year. While it can be scary admitting you may need an invasive surgery to put a dent in your developing back problem, the relief you’ll feel will be unparalleled to nearly every other option. One study found as many as 60% of people who received spinal cord stimulation experienced notable pain reduction or relief when surveyed one to two years after the procedure.
Pain relief provided by spinal cord stimulation is also a cost-effective measure in the long-term. Not only does it provide you the mobility you once lost, it also means you have to spend less money on pain relief medications. One study’s participants stated they either reduce the amount of opioid medications they were taking or stopped taking them entirely once their high-frequency therapy was completed. These participants had also been in chronic pain for an average of 12 years or more. What can you expect when exploring your own spine disorders?
Whether it’s the onset of degenerative disc disease or signs of a herniated disc, a professional can diagnose you and put you on the path toward recovery. A bulging disc is able to originate in any of the three spinal regions with spinal discs. These are the cervical (or upper), the thoracic (middle) and the lumbar (lower). Around 10% of all bulging disc cases see surgery required for a patient to achieve relief from pain and loss of function both. Lumbar spinal fusion, for example, is a technique that fuses two or more vertebrae in the lower back.
You don’t have to live with chronic pain. Meet with a specialist and see if you will require minimally-invasive surgery or nerve compression to live your life to the fullest.