Back pain affects many people daily. It is a daunting task to get the proper treatment for it and a chiropractor if you need one. Every human being has a chance of experiencing back pain at some point in their life. There are many reasons for this, but unfortunately, there is no sure way of preventing them from happening.
We can’t change the fact that we will always have lower back pain, but we can make sure that we know about back pain when it arises. The main reason for back pain is pinching of the nerves in the spine, resulting in severe pain and discomfort. There are preventative practices you can take to reduce your risk of developing back pain. Still, if you already have it, there are some steps you can take towards relief. Some solutions include exercise, yoga, physical therapy, medication, and surgery.
Back pain is different for everyone. It can result from many other things, including accidents, obesity, or arthritis back pain symptoms. With some people, the pain is only temporary and goes away with time. However, it can also become chronic and last for years if not treated. Arthritis pain in lower back treatment is one of the most common treatments for back pain that comes with few side effects or risks.
Back pain is a common complaint among Americans; in fact, about 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time. But many people either suffer through this chronic pain by popping OTC pills, thinking that it’s inevitable, or have repeated massage or chiropractic treatments that only relieve pain temporarily. But people in good health shouldn’t have to experience ongoing pain. Here are five long-term strategies you can try to reduce your back pain:
- See a Physical Therapist
Most people think of going to a physical therapist only after an accident or medical incident (like a car crash or surgery). But physical therapy can help anyone who is experiencing decreased function or pain upon movement, generally using a combination of strengthening and stretching. In most states, you can even consult a physical therapist without going through your primary care physician.
- Consider Personal Training
Obesity can contribute to back pain, so getting a personal trainer to structure your workouts and hold you accountable to losing weight can be a good step toward decreased pain and better overall health — and remember, if you increase muscle mass, you’ll lose weight more easily because muscle burns calories and fat doesn’t. But even if you look like you’re in excellent shape, you may want to work with a trainer to ensure that your form is correct and you’re not injuring your back in an effort to build up your muscles.
- Readjust Your Computer
It may not be possible for you to switch careers so that you no longer spend hours a day on your computer (though if you have a sedentary job, you should consider spending your leisure time somewhere other than in front of a screen). But you can make sure that your desk setup is as good for your back as possible. Make sure your chair is adjusted so that your feet rest flat on the floor when you’re sitting up in your chair, and raise or lower your computer monitor so that you can see it by looking straight ahead, instead of diagonally up or down.
- Get Better Sleep
The spine has natural curves that allow it to absorb shock and better support soft tissues. Contrary to popular opinion, having good posture doesn’t mean flattening out those curves and keeping a “straight” back. A lot of damage to this spinal shape can be done at night, where the combination of a traditional flat mattress and poor sleeping positions can lead to poor rest and morning back pain. You may even want to consider an ergonomic or adjustable bed.
- Take Care of Your Mind
Research has shown that back pain is often linked to emotional health. That doesn’t mean your back pain isn’t real or it’s “all in your head,” but it does mean that taking care of your mental health and lowering your stress level can ease chronic pain. Try to add activities that make you happy — and release endorphins — into your daily routine. These include physical activities that promote mental rest such as tai chi, yoga or Pilates classes, but can be as simple as listening to your favorite music or eating a piece of dark chocolate (just remember the second list item above before you rely on chocolate alone for a boost in your mood).
Do you have any experience or advice to share regarding back pain? Join in the discussion in the comments.