Chronic back pain can be debilitating and crippling. It hurts to move so people move less than the muscle tone goes flaccid and when they try to move, it hurt even more! It becomes a vicious cycle. Many people fall prey to the endless round of pain medications and the side effects they cause from gastric distress to dependency, creating another entire set of problems. However, sometimes just getting to the cause of the back pain itself can be a nightmare of tests upon tests and physical therapy after physical therapy without seeming to do any significant help with the pain. Physicians often refer patients to both a pain management clinic as well as to an orthopaedists at the same time because back pain goes together and must be handled together for best results.

There may be many problems associated with chronic back pain.

Sports Injuries. Even walking, if done incorrectly can cause a gait problem that can be alleviated with physical therapy

Hereditary problems such as scoliosis. Many people with scoliosis must wear special braces to help keep the spice in alignment and prevent further damage and pain.

Obesity. A sensible diet coupled with exercise, just walking, can over a year's time decrease a person's weight dramatically. Nevertheless, it must be consistent. When weight is decreased off the spinal cord, the pain is often immediately relieved.

People with chronic back pain may worsen the problem buy the way they walk and cause further damage. These people often benefit greatly from physical therapy to retrain them how to walk without causing undue strain on the muscle, strengthens and tones the muscles they need and improves posture.

Kyphosis is a rounding of the back caused a lot of times by age and can be extremely debilitating. Persons with Kyphosis often need to wear a corset type of garment such as worn by persons with scoliosis to help relieve pain.

Chronic back pain can lead to depression and many people find that they need counseling for the emotional pain of living with the very real pain all the time. Your physician will make a referral to social services or some pain clinics offer this type of service to many individuals with chronic back pain. Persons with chronic back pain often lack energy for some everyday tasks due to knowing in advance "If I do the laundry my back will hurt for two days so I will do it only once a week" But the problem is when chores are left to pile up the doing of them only once a week causes increase back pain and then it takes longer to get over that pain.

Chronic back pain often leads to depression and as noted above sometimes not only an internal medicine physician but also a pain management physician, orthopaedist and a psychiatrist are needed to complete the team of taking care of chronic back pain.

The most important team member for dealing with complications related to chronic back pain is the patient himself or herself. The patient must agree to abide by the therapy exercises, the mediation regime, the physicians plan of care and to follow p at all times in case of complications.

Persons with chronic back pain are also more prone to falls and must call the physician if this occurs. This is because persons with chronic back pain often develop osteoporosis, which can lead to fractures from lack of calcium in the bones themselves. Physical therapy helps with this as weight-bearing exercise; such as walking, will decrease the risk of trauma from falls. No one has x-ray vision and it is best to err on the side of caution at times. Other complications the patient needs to report to his or her physician include:

· Sudden debilitating pain never felt before

· Decreased ability to function, walk, perform dressing or grooming activities

· Numbness in megs especially feet

· Pain in calves especially with walking

· Falls of any kind

· Increased stiffness in the back upon awakening

· Sleep disturbances, muscle aches or fatigue