Coping with Chronic Back Pain
Some people wrongly believe they just have to live with the pain
As many people know, low back pain can seriously interfere with a person's social and work life. A recent report published in the British Medical Journal suggests that though a third of people usually recover completely within 12 months, certain factors can delay chronic low back pain recovery.
Pain and disability affect recovery time
In this study, 406 people with recent onset of chronic (defined as at least three months) low back pain were followed for one year. Participants were interviewed to determine how their conditions improved on measures of pain intensity, disability, and ability to work. Factors associated with delayed recovery of chronic low back pain included:
- High disability levels or high pain intensity levels at the onset of chronic back pain
- Low level of education in the person with back pain
- Greater perceived risk of persistent pain from the back pain sufferer
Other studies have shown both more and less time needed for complete recovery.
Tips for dealing with chronic low back pain
As much as 30% of the adult population may suffer from chronic low back pain. Fortunately, there are important steps people can take to keep their backs healthy or speed recovery:
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.