We’ve Got Your Back: A Spine and Pain Series
While dealing with occasional aches and pains is common for most people, chronic pain is much more severe and can interfere with your everyday life, physical health and mental health. At Harbin Clinic Spine & Pain Management, our physicians are determined to eliminate or reduce your pain by identifying the source and helping you manage it to help get your life back. Pain is multifaceted, so we focus on all components of your pain to help restore your body’s function and mobility to improve your quality of life.
Using the latest diagnostic technologies and medical and interventional therapies, our physicians evaluate and determine the cause of your pain quickly to begin your treatment plan. Our physicians identify what’s causing your pain and then create an individualized and inventive treatment plan that best ensures your long-term improvement. Harbin Clinic Spine & Pain Management treats a large array of conditions such as osteoporosis, scoliosis, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal fractures, phantom limb pain and more. Because our physicians recognize that each patient’s needs are unique, each treatment plan is customized to the individual and can include chiropractic care, physical therapy, spine or joint injections, prosthetic and orthotic evaluations and comprehensive medication management.
“Acute and chronic pain can have a severe impact on a patient’s physical and mental health, especially if left untreated,” says Dr. Christopher Alexander, a Physiatrist with Harbin Clinic Spine and Pain Management Cartersville. “My goal is to provide them with the best treatment plan and encourage them throughout the process, from their first appointment to after their recovery.”
Harbin Clinic Spine and Pain Management cares for, enhances and restores function, mobility and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities. Follow along as we address some common questions regarding Spine and Pain Management with the help of Spine and Pain Management physician, Dr. Alexander.
Identifying Chronic Pain
Minor back and neck pain are common ailments today, with most people having experienced one or the other. The pain you feel in your back or neck is typically caused by inflammation in your body. There are many reasons why your body could be inflamed, most of them easily identifiable, such as improper lifting, bad posture, weight, age and lack of exercise. While this type of minor neck and back pain can be more bothersome than damaging, relieving the pain is a top priority for not only your comfort but to ensure the pain doesn’t progress and become more damaging. For more severe and chronic pain, talking to your primary care physician about getting a spine and pain referral is the most beneficial thing to do. But for those more minor aches and stings, here are some at-home activities you can do to alleviate your pain.
One of the most important things to do while experiencing back pain is to keep active. While you may not feel like it, staying moving prevents the muscles in your back from weakening, resulting in less spine support. Stretching is crucial since it also helps strengthen your muscles and improve the support in your back. For the moments when you need to treat the pain, using heat or ice on the area can help. Heat is better for relaxing stiff or tight muscles, while ice is optimal for areas that are swollen or inflamed. If your pain doesn’t seem to improve and continues to worsen, that might be an indicator of a bigger problem. You should consider seeking a referral to a spine and pain physician if your pain:
- is severe and constant
- lasts for more than two weeks
- keeps you from participating in your usual activities
- interrupts your sleep
- worsens when you lay down
- spreads down your leg, specifically below your knees
- causes weakness, numbness or tingling in your legs
- causes swelling or redness on your back
“If you’ve been experiencing pain for an extended period without seeing improvement, it’s time to see a spine and pain specialist,” says Dr. Christopher Alexander. “Severe, lingering pain could be the result of an underlying issue, condition or disease, and identifying the problem the earlier, the better.”
If you are dealing with severe and chronic back or neck pain, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to see a spine and pain specialist. For more information, please visit Harbin Clinic Spine & Pain Management.