Chronic back and neck pain can really affect the quality of a person's life. Sleeping becomes difficult, so the sufferer is tired as well as being in pain. Even the smallest tasks become more difficult because of the constant pain. Sitting is uncomfortable. Getting rid of the pain takes on more and more urgency as a person's life impacted by the constant pain. Some people can no longer work because of the pain. Chronic pain can lead to depression and other mental conditions. In extreme cases people with chronic pain can even consider committing suicide. Luckily, modern science has made great strides in chronic back and neck pain treatments.
Different Choices for Treatment
There are different ways to seek relief from chronic pain, depending on the cause of the pain, and what body parts are involved. If the pain is caused by spinal compression there are several choices for treatment to relieve the pain. Different methods work for different people depending on the exact problem. Medication for pain can be a big help to some chronic pain sufferers. Surgery has been developed that can help others. Physical therapy, involving special exercises, can help many with spinal compression.
One of the causes of chronic back and neck pain is spinal compression and degenerative discs. The spinal compression involves extreme strain on affected discs that act as cushioning between vertebrae along the spine. Spinal discs can bulge putting pressure on nerves. The nerves in the spine can be pinched or otherwise damaged, causing pain. When the spinal cord is under stress, causing parts of it to become compressed, pain results. Without some kind of treatment, the pain will become chronic. If nothing is done, the damage can get worse causing the pain to intensify. A person suffering from this type of pain should see their primary care physician to discuss treatment options. Sometimes a person suffering chronic back pain will benefit from trying the least invasive treatment options first, then still have the option of surgery if other treatments fail.
Pain sufferers choosing non-surgical treatment options for their spinal compression condition may be given spinal decompression exercises to try. The decompression therapy will use exercise to help relieve back pain. Doctors and therapists can recommend a set of safe exercises that can involve stretching or even yoga. These exercises are meant to gently move the spine into a better position to relieve pressure on nerves and allow spinal fluid to circulate. The use of a decompression table, an inversion table, inversion chair, back stretching devices or other devices can aid spinal decompression therapy.
A Few Proven Exercises Used for Spinal Decompression Therapy
* The Cat Stretch: This exercise is designed to help lessen pressure on spinal discs in the lumbar area of the spine.
* The back arch: This is an exercise meant to elongate the lower spine to decompress lumbar disks.
* The Child's Pose: A yoga pose that stretches the spine and elongates the lower body, including the thigh muscles.
* Partial sit-ups can be effective decompression exercises.
* Hanging from a bar by one's arms can stretch the spine and relieve pressure if done correctly.
* The use of an exercise ball can be helpful. The patient kind of drapes themselves over the ball, then moves gently back and forth to stretch different areas of the spine.
These and other helpful exercises can be done at a physical therapy facility with professional over-site, or at home. They are all done on an exercise mat. There are many different exercises geared to different parts of your spinal column. It is important to have a medical professional design your exercise regimen based on your physical condition and which spinal discs are compressed. The patient should be shown clearly how to do each exercise, before attempting them at home. A medical professional should be monitoring the exercise program to determine if it is working for the patient, or needs to be altered to be more effective.
Using Equipment for Spinal Decompression
Some patients will do well with decompression tables or inversion chairs. To use these devices, one straps themselves in and rotates the table so that the head is various degrees below the feet. The angle can go as far as to have the person completely upside down. This angle serves to relieve back pressure by allowing the spine to stretch because of the body position. Equipment available now to affect spinal decompression can help those who are unable or unwilling to do the spinal decompression exercises. There are inversion chairs and back stretching devices that can also be helpful to those suffering back pain due to spinal compression.
Surgery is Another Option
If the compression devices do not work in a reasonable time, the doctor and patient can explore the different surgical options to relieve back pain. Surgical spinal decompression reduces pressure on one's spinal cord and nerve roots. Surgery is always a last resort, but remains an option for those who need it.