According to WebMD, 80 percent of Americans will experience a back problem during their lifetime. If you’ve been struggling with back pain and are looking for some help, here are a few suggestions you can try to help your back find some relief.
Many people, when they are experiencing back pain, think they should rest and avoid activities, but the more they rest the weaker their back muscles become. Keep exercising and stay as active as possible. If you are in too much pain to even do basic things like walking, then you should see a spine specialist as soon as possible.
After a back injury, you might want to put yourself on bed rest but studies have shown that people with short-term low-back pain who rest feel more pain and have a harder time during the day than the people who choose to stay up and keep going.
Just because you shouldn’t rest all day long doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make sure to get a good night’s sleep. If your back pain is making it difficult to sleep, try changing positions. Sleep on your side and place a pillow in between your legs to help keep your spine in a neutral position.
The way you carry yourself throughout the day can have a drastic effect on your back. Try to keep your shoulders squared over your hips and your head. This will provide a natural curve to your back instead of a hunchback.
Lower back pain can often be linked to a weak core. Take the time to strengthen your core so it can support all of the weight that you carry up top.
If yoga isn’t your thing, that’s fine, just find some way to stretch out your back and increase your flexibility. This goes hand in hand with strengthening your core.
“Braces are helpful for strenuous activities, like heavy lifting, but only keep them on for 15 minutes at a time,” says D. Scott Davis, an orthopedic physical therapist and associate professor at West Virginia University. Wearing a brace all day long instead of just in increments can cause your back muscles to weaken and become dependent on the extra support.
Ice or Heat
Ice or heat, whichever you prefer, is a wonderful way to help your back muscles loosen up and will help to reduce any possible swelling that you may have.
If you tend to be a busy person with lots of stress in your life, take the time to relax and unwind. Many people hold their stress in their shoulders, back, and neck. A bit of deep breathing and possibly a massage could do miracles for your back pain.
Shoes give you the support you need to make it through the day. If your shoes fit incorrectly they could throw off your balance, causing your knees, hips, and back to try to compensate for it. Try changing shoes for a few days and see if that helps relieve some of your back pain.
Having a desk job and sitting all day can hurt you in more ways than one. If your back is bothering you, try changing out your chair or getting some added support for your chair. Move your mouse and keyboard close enough to you that you aren’t having to reach unnecessarily to work your computer.
Back pain is not something to mess around with. If you’ve been dealing with pain in your back for a few days schedule an appointment with a specialist, like the ones at Walker Spine and Sports Specialists. The sooner you visit with the doctor the quicker you can know what the actual problem. Plus, you can get it taken care of before it gets worse.