Back injuries can be debilitating. They can lead to a person missing work, taking painkillers and barely walking as the pain intensifies. Statistics suggest that 80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that over 1 million back injuries occur in the workplace annually.
A speedy recovery requires the right treatment plan. Improper care following a back injury can lead to disability. Statistics show that back injuries are the leading cause of disability in the world. And billions of dollars are spent annually to treat back pain.
So, what steps should you follow to increase your risks of a full recovery?
Work with a Professional That Specializes in Back Pain
If you were injured in the workplace, file a workers’ compensation claim and get the treatment you need. “Sometimes, even though you’ve done all the right things – safety training, safe work policies, and incentives – an employee may get hurt on the job,” writes Contractors Mark.
File a claim and seek out a health professional that is:
- Trained in back-related problems
Your back specialist will be the best person to give you advice and a treatment plan to follow. Once you’ve seen a specialist and ensured that you don’t have a slipped disk or fracture, you’ll want to continue with your prescribed treatment plan.
Stay Active and Healthy
If you’re overweight, it’s time to start losing weight and following a healthy lifestyle. Added weight puts excess strain on the back, leading to a host of health problems. Find a diet that you can follow and stick to it.
Staying active is key to long-term pain relief.
A focus on core strength is important, too. A strong stomach has been shown to alleviate back pain. WebMD has a list of good and bad exercises for lower back pain. Good exercises include:
- Partial crunches
- Hamstring stretches
- Wall sits
- Press-up back extensions
Again, speak to a specialist that can offer more guidance on the right exercises to do for your back pain.
Manipulation is Key, Not Medication
The opioid crisis is ongoing, and hundreds of people are overdosing daily. A lot of these addicts didn’t start with marijuana or cocaine – they started on painkillers. Back pain medication can be addictive, so do your best to avoid medications whenever possible.
A general rule of thumb is to focus on manipulation rather than medication.
Osteopathic therapy works to manipulate the back; medications work to mask symptoms. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain that’s difficult to treat, you’ll want to consider spinal injections.
These injections are often used when the pain starts to radiate to the legs or arms, starting at the spine.
Spine-stimulating devices can also be used to offer pain relief through low-voltage electrical currents. The electrical stimulation will provide soothing relief for long-term sufferers and those that have undergone surgery to correct their back-related problems.
Rest, ice your back, and make sure that you see a doctor before trying to treat the pain on your own. Your course of non-professional treatment may do more bad than good for your pain.