Suffering from back pain can be very distressing and challenging when you are trying to go about your usual daily life. Around one in four Americans state that they have suffered a recent bout of back pain, so it is something that most people can relate to. Back pain can be caused by multiple things, from carrying something heavy, to a condition such as arthritis or other degenerative conditions.
Whether you have seriously injured yourself or suffer from a chronic pain condition, having back pain can be difficult to manage. While it is essential that you seek medical treatment if you are suffering from pain in your back, there are other ways that you can try to manage and improve your back pain. Here is a list of eight ways that you can try to manage back pain and start feeling better again.
Getting enough sleep is essential to both your overall mental and physical health, and many people who suffer with back pain find it difficult to get a good night’s rest. However, not getting enough sleep can make your pain and inflammation worse. Therefore, it is important that you should invest in a good quality mattress and try out different sleeping positions. For those who feel most comfortable when sleeping on their back, you could add an extra pillow under both your knees for extra support. But for stomach sleepers, a pillow under your pelvis is a great way to maintain the natural curve in your back and spine.
Maintain Good Posture
Even though you are in back pain daily, you should try to avoid slumping whenever possible. This can be difficult when you are struggling with severe pain, but not supporting your back through maintaining a good posture can make your back pain worse. If possible, you should avoid lifting heavy objects and remember to bend from the knees, instead of bending over from the waist. You should ask your medical professional for assistance on how your posture should be if you are unsure.
Even though it is often painful to move when you are suffering from back pain, by engaging in physical forms of therapy, you can learn to manage the pain. This can vary from physical activity such as light exercise, or meeting with a physiotherapist to discuss which forms of stretches will help you to manage the pain you are suffering from. This can be particularly helpful if you work in an office job where you are stuck in your desk chair every day.
However, you should also consider spinal decompression therapy as it offers non-surgical motorized traction that can help to gently stretch the spine and alleviate pain. It helps to change the position of your spine which can take the pressure off spinal discs, which can be the main source of back conditions. The overall process of spinal decompression helps to promote movement of water and oxygen around your body which will help towards the overall healing process.
Use Ice and Heat
You should also consider using ice and heat packs on the areas where you suffer from the most pain. You will have to experiment with different temperature packs in order to work out which better soothes the discomfort you are feeling, as most people are different. However, generally colder ice packs work better on targeting inflammation, and warmer heat packs are better used for muscle spasms, cramping, and reducing any tension in painful areas of your back. A hot water bottle is often a good way to manage back pain and provides you with some form of relief.
Visit Your Pharmacy
If you are struggling to deal with the levels of pain that you are suffering with, then you may want to consider visiting your local pharmacist to see what they can offer you in terms of pain medicine. You can often get short-term pain relief over the counter such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. Buying some ibuprofen, such as Advil, can be a great way to temporarily provide some relief to the pain you are in. However, you should check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain relief drugs as they can lead to side effects such as liver problems.
Be Honest with Yourself and Others
It is important that you are upfront and honest about the pain you are suffering from, to both yourself and to those around you. You should communicate with those closest to you and tell them how bad the pain is. You should also expect to slow down a bit while you are suffering from back pain as you won’t be able to do the things you could before your injury. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if you are struggling to do something. Forcing your body any further can make your injury worse.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Often, carrying extra weight can be a contributor to back pain, so it is essential that you try to maintain a healthy weight as best you can. Gaining weight can cause you to suffer from back pain as it is adding pressure on your bones and muscles that aren’t used to it. Research has found that people who have lost significant amounts of weight have found that they have also lost pain that has been bothering them for decades. However, if you are having trouble shifting that extra weight, then you should visit your doctor and ask for information on how to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Many sufferers of back pain use aquatic therapy to ease their discomfort as the water pressure adds extra support to their body while they practice exercises and stretches. Physical therapists often recommend aquatic therapy to alleviate strain on joints.
Suffering from back pain can be distressing and uncomfortable, but by using these helpful tips, you can start to learn the different ways that can help you to manage the discomfort and pain that you are feeling.