Most people will experience at least one bout of back pain in their lifetime. For many people back pain is triggered by an injury or by taking part in overly strenuous activity, like lifting weights that are too heavy. For others, a back injury is simply caused by their daily lifestyle.
With back pain, it is essential that it is treated as soon as possible, and not just left to get worse. Back pain can be treated in many ways, such as through keeping active, doing daily strengthening exercises and through physical therapy sessions.
To help relieve back pain for good, have a read of our 12 treatment suggestions below:
Don’t stay in bed
People who suffer from lower back pain can end up being in more pain if they spend too long in bed. Studies show that staying active is much more beneficial for lower back pain than spending too much time resting in bed.
Try to avoid any more than three days of bed rest, attempt to get out of bed and get moving as quickly as you can.
Try to keep as active as possible. Regularly Exercising can be one of the best medicines for back pain. Obviously, don’t overdo it. Gentle exercise like walking or swimming can be incredibly helpful for treating back pain.
Whilst it is important to keep active, make sure to stay away from any strenuous activities, like carrying heavy loads and gardening.
Many types of back pain are caused by bad posture. Whilst you may have hurt you back bending to lift something, the problems may have started years before. The majority of people have poor posture and don’t even realise it, which puts unnecessary strain on the back, making it more prone to problems.
Simply leaning over the worktop cutting vegetables can increase the pressure on your spine, if you don’t lean correctly. It is important that you improve your posture and learn to bend and lean properly. Making sure your back has the right amount of curve to it, will reduce the pressure on the nerves, preventing back pain and further injuries.
See a specialist
Seeing a specialist is essential for learning how to properly manage chronic back pain. Seeing a specialist will allow you to understand the exact things you need to do to improve your injury and reduce your pain.
What treatment you need will depend on your particular injury. If you suffer from coccydynia (pain or injury in the coccyx), there are chiropractic treatments for coccydynia that can reduce discomfort. Some back pain sufferers need to do more strengthening exercises, whilst others will benefit from stretching.
Strengthen your core muscles
The majority of people who suffer from chronic back pain can benefit from strengthening their core muscles.
Core muscles, aka abdominal muscles, need to be strong otherwise other areas of the body have to work harder, such as the back. Strengthening your abdominal muscles will help to reduce any strain the lower areas of your back are under.
Become more flexible
If your muscles are tight, this can cause pain. So, it is important to increase your flexibility to reduce tension and tightness in the muscles.
To increase your flexibility, you could take part in a beginner’s yoga class. Just make sure to take it easy and not overdo it.
Don’t keep a back brace on
Back braces should not regularly be worn; they are only intended for wear when lifting heavy objects or when taking part in strenuous activities. A back brace should only be worn for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Wearing a back brace may do you more harm than good, as it can cause your muscles to weaken, reducing the strength of your core. So, be careful of over wearing your back brace.
Use hot and cold packs
Heating pads and ice packs are excellent natural pain relievers. It is a good idea to use ice for the first day or two after an injury as this will help to reduce the amount of swelling. After a couple of days, it is then fine to swap to a heat pack instead.
Some back pain sufferers like to combine heat and ice treatments to help manage their pain, whilst others prefer to stick to just one or the other.
Getting enough sleep is vital for healing your injury, but sleeping at a bad angle can make it worse. So, it is essential that you sleep on a good quality mattress and in the best position for your injury.
If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help your posture and protect your back. If you prefer to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees, keeping your spine as straight as possible. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can cause the neck to twist and put additional pressure on the spine and injury.
It might sound odd, but smoking can have negative effects on your back as well as your lungs.
Studies have shown that smokers are at a higher risk of back problems than non-smokers. This could be because smoking damages your bones and nicotine causes the amount of blood delivered to the tissues and muscles to decrease. A decrease in blood to the tissues and muscles could make smokers more prone to injuries.
Speak to a therapist
Some studies show that people who suffer from back pain are more prone to anxiety and depression. So it is important to book an appointment to discuss it properly. If you suffer from depression you will be less motivated to keep active, which will only cause more problems with you back.
Take time out to relax. Studies suggest that taking time out to enjoy meditational activities that calm the mind, can actually help the back.
A relaxed mind deals with pain better, so the pain levels you feel won’t seem as difficult to cope with. Exercises like yoga and Pilates are excellent for helping you to relax.