With an estimated 80 percent of adults experiencing some kind of back pain sometime in their lives, knowing ways to relieve that pain allows us to be one step closer to living a happy, pain-free life. If you do have back pain, here are some ways you may be able to find relief.
For most people, the first line of defense to overcome back pain is taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to reduce the pain that is caused by inflammation. Generic medications like Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen call can be effective when it comes to reducing back pain. Likewise, natural anti-inflammatories like Turmeric also have proven effective to reduce the swelling and inflammation that causes pain.
Using Hot and Cold Temperature
It’s common to use ice or heat packs to soothe painful areas. Ice packs can reduce inflammation and promote a numbing effect. Heat can work to relax tense muscles and ease spasms. As a rule, ice is most effective during the first 24 hours of experiencing pain or injury. A low warm heat may be used after that to reduce inflammation and soothe tense muscles. Be sure not to ice too long or turn the heat up to high. Comfort is the key to healing.
Stretching and Exercise
A healthy core promotes a heathy back. Working your abdominals in fact is a great way to ensure your entire musculoskeletal system is supported and strong. Exercises like yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, and cycling all work to strengthen back and core muscles. Plus, exercise keeps your blood flowing and brings air into the lungs, promoting a healthier you.
If you wake up sore, it could be that you aren’t sleeping well. In bed, work hard to find that “sweet spot,” one that supports your back and allows for a good night’s sleep. Tricks like lying on your side with a pillow between your legs can help align the spine, resulting in less morning pain. Consider too investing in a good mattress; one that is soft enough to allow for peaceful sleep but supportive enough to not strain your back.
Pay Attention to your Posture and Movements
How you sit, stand, and walk all affect your back. Focus on keeping aligned and ensure your workspace is ergonomically correct for you. Tiny movements and gestures can also trigger back pain. Don’t hold sneezes in; learn to lift properly using your legs and not your back; ensure any technique and equipment you use during sporting activities are safe, fit you properly and are to game standard.
Heavy backpacks, Baby Björns and purses all can cause back pain when they are too heavy or carried too long. Look for ways to distribute the weight and seek creative ways, like wheely bags or cross-carry purses to alleviate strain on the back. If you carry equipment at work, work with an Occupational Health specialist to seek out reasonable accommodations to reduce the stress on your back.
The more weight you carry, the more strain on your back, as well as every joint (and muscle) in your body. Losing even a few pounds will relieve strain and pressure on your back and will certainly relieve pain.
When Home Care Isn’t Enough
You can treat and relieve back pain from your home only to a certain extent. When pain becomes chronic or unbearable, it’s time to see an orthopedist. At Advanced Bone & Joint in St. Peters and O’Fallon, Missouri, our world-class orthopedists and pain management specialists are experts at diagnosing and treating your pain and injuries. When it comes to back pain, we treat all spine-related issues with treatments ranging from regenerative medicine and physical therapy to weight management, pain injections and surgical procedures. Our goal is to provide you with a personalized treatment program aimed at getting you back to a healthy and active lifestyle. If you believe your pains requires immediate attention, call us at today (636) 224-4192 or use our contact form online.