4 Tips for Adults Managing Back Pain
Back pain may be common but this doesn’t mean it’s not debilitating. In fact, back pain is one of the most frequent reasons why people take off work and see their doctor. Most people experience back pain at least once in their lives, but some live with it every day. Without proper treatment, this pain can wreak havoc on a person’s life, causing them to quit their job and stop doing the things they love.
The key to treating back pain is to understand why it’s happening in the first place. Back pain usually stems from mechanical issues, soft-tissue injuries or pulled muscles and ligaments. When you know what’s causing the pain, you can treat the injury and prevent it from happening again. Typically, back pain responds well to over-the-counter pain relievers, light physical activity and home treatment.
Below are four tips to help you manage your back pain.
1. Follow the correct posture when sitting, standing or doing activities.
Poor posture is a common reason why back pain happens and lingers. Protect your back from injury by following the proper posture. Here are some tips.
- Avoid slouching to keep your spine straight.
- When lifting, bend and straighten from the knees and not your waist.
- Move your hips when twisting from side to side.
- When sitting, keep your feet planted on the floor.
- Choose chairs that provide adequate support.
- Avoid hunching over or reaching far in front to use your keyboard.
2. Stretch your muscles.
Bed rest can make back pain worse. Be sure to stay active and continue your normal routine as much as you can tolerate. Stretching is one of the best ways to keep the muscles relaxed and relieve chronic back pain. In fact, by strengthening these muscles, you can prevent back injuries in the future.
Good back pain treatment exercises include:
- Lying flat on your back and pulling your knees to your chest.
- Lying flat on your back and engaging your abdominal muscles as you lower your back to the floor.
- Lying on your stomach and lifting your chest and/or legs off the floor.
These are just a few examples of the things you can do. You can find additional lower back stretches here.
3. Wear the right shoes.
People often don’t realize just how important the correct footwear is. Make sure you purchase good shoes that improve stability and support good posture. While wearing unsupportive shoes like flip flops shouldn’t cause back pain after one day, prolonged use of them can. When doing activities or walking for long periods, give special attention to what’s on your feet.
4. Try alternative treatments.
It’s not safe to take over-the-counter pain relievers for an extended period of time. If you find yourself relying on them, it’s time to switch to alternative pain management. For example, massage therapy relieves tension and lengthens shortened back muscles. Lumbar epidural steroid injections help decrease inflammation along the nerve roots. Or you can try heat, ultrasound or electrical stimulation techniques to reduce pain in the soft tissues.
If you have been struggling with back pain, contact Jersey Rehab today. We have four convenient locations, dedicated back pain specialists and alternative therapies that help treat and manage chronic back pain.