Whether it’s from toting around a toddler, an old sports injury, a strenuous job, or just a problem that popped up out of nowhere, back pain can put your life on hold as it impacts everything you do. Unfortunately, most people will experience back pain at some point and for many it becomes a chronic condition. However, there are several simple things you can do to ease the pain and take control of your life back.
Take an Active Start in Reducing Chronic Back Pain
When you are in pain exercising seems like the last thing you want to do. However, physical activity will help to stretch and strengthen muscles, and in turn reduce back pain. Gentle stretching routines and yoga will increase flexibility, release myofascial tightness and help to take your mind off the discomfort while reducing the pain. You might not be ready to run a marathon, but taking an easy stroll around the neighborhood or walking the dog every day will pay off in long-term pain relief.
Set Up An Ergonomic Workstation to Help Lower Chronic Back Pain
Long days at the office, hunched over a keyboard and slouching in an uncomfortable chair may be doing damage to your body and increasing your back pain. Set up an ergonomic workstation that allows your body to maintain a natural position and doesn’t require you to stretch and reach for items. Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle and level with your hips. This sitting position provides plenty of support for your back and bottom and puts your spine in natural alignment. To find the correct spot for your monitor, extend your arm straight in front of you. The center of the screen should be where the tip of your middle finger lands. Finding the ideal spot for your computer screen prevents you from craning and straining your neck.
Limit How Much You Wear High Heels to Lower Chronic Back Pain
Many ladies claim to prefer fashion over comfort, but, for back pain sufferers, this may not be an option on a regular basis. High heels put stress on the knee joints, shorten the calf muscles and take the spine out of its proper alignment. Plus, high heels can put undue stress on the discs and even lead to bulging discs. Instead, opt for flat shoes with ample support and save the heels for special occasions.
Neutral Sleep Positions Will Help Lower Back Pain
A good night’s sleep can give your muscles and joints a chance to rest and repair themselves. A firm mattress, rather than a soft pillow-top bed, will provide the support your back needs. Experiment with sleeping positions that allow your back to remain in a neutral position without curving the spine. Sleeping on your back works well, especially when using small pillows under your knees and the curve of the back to provide extra support. Sleeping on your side, with a pillow between your knees, will also alleviate stress and pressure on your back.
Lift with Your Knees to Lower Chronic Back Pain
Incorrectly lifting and carrying heavy loads is one of the most common causes of back pain and injury. Bending at the waist, twisting your back and carrying heavy objects too far from the body can all cause both immediate pain and larger-scale issues down the road. Use safe lifting techniques by placing your feet shoulder-width apart, squatting at the knees, looking straight ahead, keeping your back straight and lifting slowly while keeping the object as close to the body as possible.
Avoid Prolonged Rest
When back pain and soreness set in, a few days in front of the television or in bed seem like a good way to recover. However, long periods of rest can be one of the worst things you can do for a back problem because it can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy. Gentle exercise and regular movement encourage flexibility and keep the muscles in working order. Even a full day of sitting at the office is too long. Be sure to take frequent breaks to move and walk around the office to keep stiffness at bay.
Heat and Cold Therapy for Chronic Back Pain
Applying heat and ice to a painful area is a quick, inexpensive form of pain relief that can be done almost anywhere. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and inflammation. Heat is helpful for relieving cramping and muscle spasms. Moisture, from steamed towels or moist heat packs, allows the heat to penetrate the muscles and adds to the effectiveness. However, heating pads may be more convenient if you are careful to avoid dehydrating the skin.
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device helps many back pain suffers by delivering electrical impulses to the pain site. The impulses, which are delivered though electrodes places on the skin, help to stimulate the nerves and block pain signals. In addition, the stimulation may increase the production of endorphins, which are the same natural pain relievers produced during exercise. Because the unit is small enough to be worn on a belt, a TENS device is a portable and effective treatment for many patients.
Massage and Chiropractic Adjustments to Lower Chronic Back Pain
While there are plenty of things you can do on your own to reduce back pain, sometimes professional help is needed. The two best options, massage and chiropractic care, address two different aspects of the issue. Massage works on the soft tissue to relax tight muscles, improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Chiropractic adjustments increase joint mobility and return the spine to its correct position. Alone, these treatments provide each treat a portion of the issue, but done together they are more effective as they take the entire body into account.
At Advanced Health Chiropractic we take a fresh, innovative approach to health care. We understand that there is no single cause for back pain, and no one treatment that works for everyone. We offer a full range of options, including chiropractic care, massage, nutritional counseling and corrective exercises. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop a treatment plan that works best for you so that you can live pain-free, now and in the future. Post excerpt No matter the cause, back pain can put your life on hold as it impacts everything you do. Fortunatly, there are things you can do to reduce the pain and take control of your life back.