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Managing Chronic Back Pain


You have likely experienced an episode of back pain at least once in your life. Maybe the discomfort lasted only a short time and went away on its own.

However, back pain that lingers for weeks, months, or longer is considered chronic and requires medical treatment. Sometimes, chronic back pain improves with physical therapy or other noninvasive treatments. But if noninvasive treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend back surgery.

Our goal at Dignity Health in the Bay Area is to ease your pain while addressing its source, so you can get back to enjoying your life. Find a Doctor today to relieve your chronic back pain.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Back Pain?

Back pain can affect any part of your back — from the neck to the hips. Your condition is considered chronic if your symptoms persist for more than a few weeks.

Common symptoms of chronic back pain include: 

  • Back pain that lasts for a long period of time or persists despite treatment
  • Discomfort anywhere along your back
  • Dull, aching, tingling, burning, or stabbing pain

Chronic Back Pain Causes

A number of conditions can cause chronic back pain. They include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Muscle strains or spasms
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor posture
  • Poor workplace ergonomics
  • Ruptured disc
  • Traumatic back injury

Treating & Preventing Chronic Back Pain at Dignity Health

Our chronic back pain treatment and prevention strategies range from lifestyle changes to major surgery. Unless you experienced a traumatic back injury or have extreme symptoms, your Dignity Health doctor in the Bay Area will likely first recommend conservative treatment such as physical therapy or over-the-counter medication. 

However, if your pain continues, your doctor may suggest more aggressive treatment options, which may include surgery. 

You may be able to prevent chronic back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and practicing back safety. Here are a few ways to protect your back:

  • Always use good body mechanics when lifting.
  • Make sure your office chair is ergonomically adjusted for your body.
  • Strengthen your stomach (core or abdominal) muscles to make your spine more stable. 

Taking care of your back throughout your life can help you avoid ongoing discomfort of chronic back pain. To request a doctor referral, call 888.533.8760 today.

Dignity Health is here to help, whether you’re experiencing knee pain, hip pain, tendonitis, or chronic back pain in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, or Redwood City.