If you've been diagnosed with a chronic spinal condition like hyperkyphosis, one of the first things your doctor is going to do is help you establish a pain management plan. In many cases, that's going to mean working with a pain management clinic in addition to your doctor. Here's a look at some of the options available to help you manage the pain associated with your condition.
There are several different types of medications that can help you regulate the pain associated with kyphosis. While there are some over-the-counter anti-inflammatories that may help in the early stages, eventually you'll need to explore prescription medication options. Here are a few of the things that your pain management specialist may consider for you.
- Corticosteroids – these are medications designed to treat severe inflammatory conditions. The intention of corticosteroids is to resemble a cortisone treatment. These medications are only available by prescription.
- Opioids – Opioids are medications that are in the same medical family as morphine. They're designed for short-term use, but in some rare situations, a pain management specialist may recommend something like this to manage a severe chronic pain condition. One of the most common situations where opioids are prescribed is following a spinal fusion done to ease the curve of kyphosis.
If the curvature of your spine is severe enough that it's pinching nerves and causing severe nerve pain in your back, a nerve block can help ease that pain. Nerve blocks help to stop the nerve response, which lessens the pain that you feel. This may make it easier to go about your daily routines.
Hyperkyphosis causes significant strain in the muscles along either side of your spine. Physical therapy has been shown to ease the pain from that muscle strain. Physical therapy often includes aquatic therapy, stretches and other exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles along your spine.
Stretching is just as important as toning when it comes to the muscles along your spine. You'll find that one of the things you'll be recommended to do is a series of abdominal stretches. Stretching your abdominal muscles can help to reduce kyphosis, because it mobilizes your spine at the same time as it stretches the muscles. You can stretch your abdominal muscles by laying over the top of a Swiss ball. Just make sure you're relaxed when you do it, and breathe as naturally as possible. You'll also benefit from a foam roll exercise. This exercise involves laying on a foam roll to mobilize your spine. You place the roll on a flat surface, then lay on your back over the roll. This will stretch the curve in your spine. This stretch can be difficult, and it may make the muscles sore in the affected areas, but as those muscles stretch, it will improve.
Another popular option for treating the pain associated with hyperkyphosis is transcutaneous nerve stimulation. This treatment stimulates the nerves and pulls the nerve response away from the painful area. When you pair this stimulation with heat, it can make a significant difference in your pain control.
Biofeedback and Muscle Relaxation
Many pain management centers also have counselors who can help you learn to manage your pain levels through full-body relaxation and focus. It's also important to learn how to manage your stress levels, because stress can tense your muscles and cause you more pain.
With so many different methods available for patients to manage pain from hyperkyphosis, you may be surprised at how easily you can restore your normal routines. Talk with a pain management specialist today about how you can best control the pain that you're struggling with, and ask about the treatments presented here.
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