Just about every American suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. You may think this is just because you’re getting older, as the average person who has back problems is between the age of 30 and 50, but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer with it. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce your back pain and to hopefully ensure that your day is pain free.
#1 – Sleep
Maybe something you’ve been thinking for a while is that the way you sleep and what you sleep on are affecting your back. Well, you’re probably right. In fact, research has found that sleep disturbances are one of the leading problems associated with back pain. This could be due to the position you sleep in and what you’re sleeping on. The National Institute of Health has determined that the best sleeping position is one a firm surface on your side. This helps keep your spine from curving, which could be increasing your back pain. In some cases, people have discovered that sleeping with a pillow between the knees has helped ease back pain and rest more comfortably as well.
#2 – Exercise
Once you have gotten a good night’s sleep, a little exercise, such as stretching can help relieve back pain. Not only will you be improving muscle strength, but you may be stretching out areas that have pinched in certain nerves that lead to back pain. Try lying down flat on your back, or standing and stretching side to side. It is important that you start slowly in case any of these movements increase your pain.
#3 – Weight
One of the leading causes of back pain is being overweight, as the excess weight pulls down on your back at all times, aside from when you’re lying down. You may find that losing a few pounds to get to a healthy weight may just be the cure for your back pain. If you’ve tried to lose weight in the past without success, talk to a nutritionist or physician for some assistance.
#4 – Physician Help
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, you may need to enroll in physical therapy, see a chiropractor or enlist yourself in osteopathy. These techniques offer treatment specialized in treating acknowledge pain. There are several types of physical therapy that can encourage correct posture that aides in relieving back pain. Also, there are procedures performed by a chiropractor that can help to align your body, particularly your back and neck that can reduce back pain.
#5 – Yoga
Yoga is an excellent form of exercise that works in slow movements to align your body naturally. These simply stretches and positions help to unwind muscle tightness, helping you to focus on keeping your body in balance and improving your breathing. All of these events together work to reduce tension, thus relieving back stress and pain.
#6 – Painkillers
For minor, short-term back pain relief, over the counter medications, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) can help to relieve back pain. This includes aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. However, it is important to talk to your physician to determine if there are other ways of reducing your specific back pain condition without the use of medications.
#7 – Natural Medications
There are some natural supplements that have been known to reduce and relieve back pain. For instance, taking 500 mg of glucosamine three times a day or taking two teaspoons of flaxseed oil have offered relief to many. Other natural supplements include magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin C. However, you should talk to your physician to determine which ones, if any, are appropriate for you to take for back relief.
#8 – Ice & Heat Therapy
In general, ice therapy, which is simply placing an ice pack on the irritated area, works best for cases where the muscles are inflamed. This helps to reduce the inflammation and swelling to provide relief. Conversely, there are situations where heat, such as a heating pad or heat wraps, can be beneficial. This type of therapy is most commonly used to relive cramping and muscle spasms. Many physicians recommend that you switch between heat and ice to determine which works best for you.
#9 – Aquatic Therapy
Another method that can help to relieve back pain is aquatic therapy. This term simply means that you exercise in a warm pool. Because you are “floating” your body is free from the stress of weight and helps to strengthen muscles and relax your body. You can also use a whirlpool bath, or warm bath, each of which will help to reduce the tension in your body, particularly your back, relieving you of your back pain.
#10 – Electric Stimulation
Performed by a physical therapist, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) is a machine that sends electrical currents through your skin via electrodes. It is believed that TENS machines work by altering the message of pain to your brain by blocking it. It is also believed that this type of therapy also causes endorphins to be released overriding pain sensations.
No matter which method you opt for, talking with your physician about ways that will work with your specific back pain condition is the best option. Your doctor may be able to pinpoint which type of back pain you are having, what is causing it, and which methods will work the best to relive your back pain.
Do you suffer from back pain?