Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the world, affecting people of all ages, young and old. Back pain can be debilitating, making it difficult to sit, stand, or walk for long periods of time. It can also make it difficult to sleep and interfere with your ability to work or participate in activities you enjoy. In severe cases, back pain can even lead to disability.
There are many different causes of back pain, but some of the most common include degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis. Treatment for back pain often includes medication, interventional pain management, physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture, massage, or surgery.
If you suffer from back pain, there are a number of things you can do to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
1. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to prevent and relieve back pain. It strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, and helps keep bones healthy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week. If you’re just starting out, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or biking are good options.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts extra strain on your back muscles and spine, which can lead to pain. Losing even a few pounds can help reduce stress on your back and make it feel better.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking decreases blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to disc degeneration and other problems that cause back pain. In addition, smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop osteoporosis, which makes bones weaker and more susceptible to fractures. So, if you smoke, quitting is important for both your overall health and your back health.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes With Good Arch Support
Shoes that don’t fit well or provide proper support can put a strain on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips, which in turn affects your lower back. Look for shoes with good arch support that cushion your steps while still being lightweight, so they don’t add too much strain on your joints as you walk.
5. Practice Good Posture
Slouching puts unnecessary pressure on spinal discs, ligaments, and tendons, potentially leading to herniated discs or other injuries that cause chronic back pain over time. To avoid this problem, practice good posture by keeping your shoulders straight and pulling in your stomach when sitting down. Stand up straight with your head level and looking forward when lifting heavy objects, bend your knees and not your back to take some of the pressure off the spine.
6. Sleep on a Comfortable Mattress
A mattress that’s too soft will sink your hips and shoulders, while one that’s too firm will put a strain on your joints, thereby exacerbating existing muscle aches and possibly causing new issues to develop. A mattress is an investment, and sleep is very important to overall health. Therefore, choose a mattress that is perfect for you, taking into consideration your unique needs.
Back Pain Treatment in St. Peters, O’Fallon & Wentzville, MO
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic doctors and pain management specialists can offer you a range of treatment options for back pain relief. We regularly treat patients with back pain from work-related injuries, sports-related injuries, and much more. Our treatment plans are individualized and comprehensive for greater effectiveness and lasting relief.