- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Relieve Back Pain With These Tips
Posture and Movement
Many people suffer back pain off and on throughout their lives. I am one of those many. I have suffered with it off and on since I was in my teens. The pain can be debilitating and leave you feeling miserable. Your quality of life will go down as you will find it hard to do everyday tasks. Just sitting can cause pain. There are many pain relievers, over-the-counter as well as prescription, that will help mask the pain, but they will not cure the problem. In my younger days taking pain relievers and rest is how I coped. Over the years in researching and going to chiropractors, I have found there are better ways to help deal with the pain. One of those is to take steps to strengthen your back when you are well to avoid future problems. When feeling pain, you should take it easy but move at regular intervals too, so the muscles do not become too stiff.
The first thing you should think about is posture. If you sit slumped over a computer all day, that will have adverse effects on your back. You must make sure you are sitting upright with your back supported by your chair. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar support are best. Just remember to use that lumbar support. Something I struggle with all the time. Also, keep your computer monitor at eye level, so you do not crouch when trying to see it. I have found that getting up and walking a bit every hour will help keep my back limber. Fitness trackers are great for reminding you to get up and move. When standing or walking, make sure you keep your head up and looking straight ahead. Sleeping is another area where posture comes into play. Sleeping on your side is the best position for your back. Putting a pillow between your legs can help ease pressure on your back. If you must sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. Sleeping on your stomach is never recommended.
Many years ago doctors would recommend bed rest for those with a backache. Nowadays, everyone knows better. Lying in the same position all day can make it worse rather than better. The movement will help to make your back more flexible. When suffering from back pain, make sure your movements are slow and do not do anything that causes pain. You do need to rest, just not in the same position all day.
Back Strengthening Yoga
Core and Back Strengthening and Flexibility
Strengthening your core muscles when you are healthy will help to keep your back strong. Exercises like sit-ups and Pilates can help. Incorporate stretching exercises into your daily routine also. Go easy at first though as some stretching exercises may cause more pain. Your doctor could direct you to the best stretches for your condition. Exercises that increase flexibility will help your back muscles stay elastic. Yoga is good for flexibility as well as strengthening your back muscles. The video above is one of my favorites. Tai chi is another form of exercise that will help your muscles become more flexible. This practice involves slow movements, so you will not overdo it. Go out and enjoy a walk around your neighborhood or local park. Walking is low impact and great for your back. Just be mindful of your posture. Do not look down at your phone while walking. Look up and enjoy the scenery.
Chiropractic can help to keep your back strong and in alignment. Look for a chiropractor that offers a few therapies besides just spinal adjustment. I started with a chiropractor that just made adjustments. My third chiropractor had a bunch of therapies to choose from depending upon my problem, and it made such a difference. These can include a diathermy machine, laser therapy, or a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machines among others. Diathermy machines work wonders on the muscles and joints by creating heat. They make me so warm and comfortable I can drift off to sleep. Cold laser therapy can help speed up healing. TENS machines are used for pain relief. You can buy home versions of TENS machines online. My chiropractor recommends using ice at home on the area of pain and not heat. Ice will reduce swelling and ease the pain. That could be related to just my condition though, so you should consult with your doctor or chiropractor for your case. While you can go to the chiropractor when you have back pain, you should also make it a regular wellness routine to go at least a couple of times a year. Regular adjustments will help keep your spine aligned and less likely to cause pain. I know it can be hard to think about though when you aren’t feeling pain.
Luxuriate in a Bathtub or Have a Massage
If you enjoy a good bath, soaking in lukewarm water with a cup or two of Epsom salts can help soothe those aching muscles. Just make sure the water is not too hot or cold as it could have the opposite effect. Many Epsom salts have fragrance added to aid in relaxation and enjoyment of bath time. Pampering yourself is good for the soul as well. Massage is another luxurious way to ease your back pain. Find a professional or ask your partner to help out. Your chiropractor might have massage therapy as well.
Acupressure Lesson for Back Pain
Acupuncture or Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure are two more natural ways to ease back pain. Some insurances will cover these services so check with yours before making an appointment. Acupuncture uses tiny needles placed at certain points of your body. Many people cannot stand the thought of needles sticking in their bodies, so acupressure might be a better alternative. Hands are used to apply pressure on certain points of the body, rather than needles. Most people can learn acupressure themselves, but it is always best to start with a licensed or certified practitioner. Learn from them or take a course and you will then be able to help yourself next time you feel pain starting. Personally, I have never tried acupuncture, but I have tried the acupressure in this video, and surprisingly it does help to relieve pain.
Back pain is never fun, and most people would do anything to avoid it. The tips presented here will help to alleviate some of the pain when it does appear as well as prevent it from happening in the first place. Watching your posture is a must. Stretching and flexibility exercises should be done regularly, or they will not be of much help. Remember to seek the advice of a doctor if you are in extreme pain as there may be damage that requires different treatment. Above all, when you are in pain go easy and do not force anything.