Every year the more than 31 million Americans suffering from back pain spend at least $50 billion dollars trying to control their pain. If you suffer from back pain, the following essential tips will provide you with the information you need to deal with back pain. From controlling the pain to changes you can make in your daily routine, you have plenty of options to choose from.
Over the counter pain medications, including NSAIDS, that relieve pain resulting from inflammation may be taken. Analgesics, such as Acetaminophen, may also be helpful in treating mild back pain.
In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe narcotic pain medications to relieve severe, acute pain. However, they make cause unpleasant side effects and they have the potential for abuse.
Muscle relaxants, such as Baclofen, can be prescribed if the pain is resulting from muscle spasms or is causing significant limitations in your range of motion.
In some instances, prescription antidepressants may be ordered. This is because they contain serotonin, a naturally produced neurotransmitter that has been shown to play an important role in the control of pain within the brain.
Other Treatment Options
Apply ice packs to your back in 20 minute intervals. This reduces inflammation and slows down the nerve impulses that cause the back to spasm.
Utilize heat therapy, such as the use of a heating pad or taking a hot shower or bath. This stimulates blood flow and slows down pain messages being transported to the brain.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Insufficient sleep has been shown to intensify back pain.
Consider mindful meditation. A study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that the perception of pain is significantly reduced after three 20 minute meditation sessions, completed over three days.
Acupuncture, an ancient form of Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of thin metallic needles into areas of the body. In certain combinations, it stimulates the central nervous system resulting in decreased pain.
Take up yoga. However, if you are suffering from sciatica or have a slipped disc in your back, avoid doing any deep forward bends because they can worsen your condition.
Incorporate back friendly exercises into your physical fitness routine. This includes swimming, biking, and walking.
If you are overweight, lose weight. Excess weight puts increased pressure on your spinal discs and muscles causing pain.
Stand and sit straight up. Slouching and poor posture put excess pressure on your back causing lower back pain.
Avoid sitting for extended periods of time. Every thirty minutes, get up and walk around, if possible. When you are sitting, make certain to choose a chair with adequate lumbar support. In addition, if you must sit for extended periods of time, use a stool to bring your knees above your hips.
Consider using a lumbar support pillow when driving, especially if you frequently drive long distances.
Do not stand upright for extended periods of time. If you will be standing for a long time, place a low footstool in front of you. Alternate placing each foot on it for a few minutes at a time. This takes pressure off your back.
Learn the appropriate way to lift things. This requires bending at the knees instead of using your back. Squat down next to the object and hold it close to your chest while maintaining a straight back and using your leg muscles to slowly stand up.
Do not twist or bend your back.
Request assistance when moving heavy objects.
Trade in your soft mattress for one that is firm.
Do not sleep on your stomach. Instead, sleep on your back or on your side while placing a pillow under the lower part of your legs.
Stop wearing high heeled shoes. Opt for flats instead.
If you smoke, it is time to stop. Smoking causes disc in the spine to degenerate. In some cases, smokers have been known to injure or re-injure their back during fits of strong coughing.
If you currently suffer from back pain, you have plenty of options available to make your pain more manageable or alleviate it completely. There is no reason to continue suffering from back pain!