Back pains are uncomfortable; they can ruin your day (and mood) very quickly, leaving you longing for the comfort of your bed. And even then, relief may not be forthcoming. Most of us have experienced this at one point in our lives.
Getting rid of back pain is important for a good, productive day and for your overall health. In this article, we will share some tips for getting rid of back pain.
The different types of back pain
Back pain manifests itself in many ways and due to various causes.
Upper-back – Pain in the upper-back/lower-neck is mostly caused by an uncomfortable sleep setting, incorrect (slouched) sitting posture, sitting stationary on an office chair for extended periods of time, and so on.
Lower-back – Lower-back pain is far more common and can also be far worse. It is often caused by improper sitting postures without adequate lumbar support, lifting heavy weights, over-exertion, and so on. It can also be caused by medical conditions such as myalgia, ruptured disks, arthritis, and so on.
Back pain can originate from muscular injury, bone weakness, disc dislocation, ligament strain and nerve pinching. Therefore, it is important to understand the cause of your back pain before you take remedial action. For instance, exercising for stretching muscles is perfectly fine if your back pain is caused by myalgia or pulled muscles. But it can do more harm than good if you have a dislocated disc. Always consult with a physician before you start treating your pain.
In this article, we will share some basic and ‘safe’ tips for you to apply if you are suffering from back pain.
Taking care of your back pain
Depending on the type of back pain you have, there are some suggested remedies and tips you can apply to help relieve the pain. The first thing you should do for back pain (and indeed any kind of chronic pain borne out of physical activity) is to make some lifestyle changes before moving on to therapy or medication.
1. Reduce physical stress on your body
The vast majority ofcases that report back pain stem from physical activity or stress. Playing sports, lifting heavy weights, driving for long periods of time – basically anything that can put physical stress on the body. If your routine involves doing any of these tasks on a daily basis, it is advisable to reduce such activities. Take a break for few days or reduce the number of hours you work.
A lot of people with desk jobs at offices complain of back pain. This is because of sitting on a chair all day, lack of proper lumbar support and incorrect sitting posture to name a few causes. If you sit at a desk all day, make sure you maintain an upright posture at all times. Take 10-15 minute breaks every so often and give your body muscles a chance to relax and stretch.
Getting a healthy dose of exercise daily can not only help build muscle strength and overall endurance, it also relaxes the body and keeps it active preventing you from feeling lethargic. You don’t need an extensive, soul-crunching workout routine; Some light exercise or yoga can help you stay in shape.
Make use of fitness apps such as Injurymap to maintain a workout routine. Injurymap helps you reduce muscle pain through exercise and creates a custom workout plan based on your particular needs. It also suggests when you might need to see a physician.
3. Getting ahead on your sleep
Often, back pain can be attributed to a lack of sleep, or not sleeping well. Make sure your bedding is comfortable, but not too hard or too soft. Also make sure your sleeping posture is proper; sleeping face-down can arch your spine and cause your back to hurt.
Get ahead on your sleep cycles. Sleeping for long hours is not the answer. You have to make sure you complete your sleep cycles. You might sometimes wake up after 10 hours of sleep feeling groggy, whereas 7 or 8 hours of sleep might make you feel fully refreshed and rejuvenated. It all has to do with how effectively you manage your sleep cycles.
4. Hot and cold water
Sometimes, all you need is a good hot shower or bubble bath with Epsom salts to take away muscles stress from the day. If your muscles get exhausted or tense during the day, hot water can relax out the muscles in your body. It also dilates blood vessels, making more blood flow around which takes away pain.
Hot water, however, is not advisable in case of injury or swelling. In such cases, you need to apply cold water or preferably ice against the sore area to help reduce swelling and inflammation, thus reducing muscular pain.
Off-the counter medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol can provide instant relief against back pain. However, always consult with your doctor before taking any medication, for it can adversely effect other medical conditions you might have.
6. See a chiropractor
For chronic back pain (pain that does not go away), it is recommended to go see a chiropractor. Not only will you get a professional diagnosis on back-related ailments (if any), you can also get chiropractic adjustments to sort out muscle and bone-related dislocations and sprains.
A chiropractor will also help adjust your daily routine and suggest a course of medication if necessary.
Live a pain-free life!
Taking care of your body is key to living a happy and successful life. Most of us take our health for granted yet fail to realize how much of an impact an unfit body can have on our daily life. Short of having a crippling disorder or disability, even something as nominal as a slight headache or backpain can impact productivity and have adverse, long-lasting emotional consequences.
Take care of your body the way you take care of your car, because at the end of the day, the human body is a high-maintenance machine. If will give you the best performance only when you keep it in good shape. Stay healthy, and good luck!