It’s something that most adults experience at some point throughout their lives: back pain. Back pain can have numerous causes and can emerge at various stages in physical development. Some common causes of back pain include:
● Herniated disks
● Poor posture/ergonomics
● Neck injuries
● Spinal injuries
● Sleeping incorrectly
● Pulled muscle
The list goes on and on. We spend a lot of time sitting and/or standing, and our backs are constantly bearing the brunt of these daily poses. According to City Wide Injury, a personal injury lawyer in Houston, back pain is also a common side effect in car accidents (of all sizes) and slip and fall accidents. If you’re suffering from back pain, here are the top five methods you can use to help lessen the pain and even completely treat it.
1. See a Chiropractor
Chiropractors offer a natural approach to treating back pain. Contact your local chiropractor. Be sure to read through reviews before choosing one. The back is very sensitive and should be handled with the most professional care.
Chiropractors take a holistic approach to treating your back, meaning they take into consideration both mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of the back pain.
When you first visit your chiropractor, they will ask you a series of questions to better understand your medical history as well as to get an idea of your day-to-day. These questions are important to holistic treatment. Then, they will assess your back and make note of things such as posture, spinal alignment, inflammations, etc. Based on this assessment, they will prepare a treatment routine for you to help treat the back pain.
Common chiropractic treatments include:
● Heat and cold
● Massage and soft tissue mobilization
● Therapeutic exercise
● Spinal traction
● Dietary management
● Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
● Interferential current
● Lifestyle changes
2. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is another option that can help you manage and heal your back pain. It is a scientifically backed form of therapy, with proper physical therapy being led and practiced by licensed physical therapists. The most common type of physical therapy is focussed on ill or injured patients, but anyone with chronic back pain can benefit from this form of therapy. It can both help with existing pain and prevent pain from coming about or increasing.
Though physical therapy is a powerful tool, there are some caveats. The results vary wildly from individual to individual, and you may not get the relief you want right away. It is also one of the more physically demanding methods of pain relief, requiring a large amount of dedication and for its various exercises to be done correctly. This is why a properly licensed physical therapist is essential if you go down this route.
3. Stay Active
If you suffer from chronic back pain, it is important to stay active. Paradoxically, those who avoid physical activity often cause short-term painful injuries to heal incorrectly, resulting in more pain in the long run. You should avoid more than 3 days of bed rest.
Getting your body out of a seated position and into a neutral, upright position is super beneficial to a healthier back. This includes simple exercises such as walking or running. If you work long hours at a desk, consider a standing desk to relieve your back.
4. Improve Flexibility
Did you know that too much tension and tightness can cause back pain?
We suggest engaging in daily stretches or participating in yoga to stretch your body out. Flexibility puts an equal load throughout the body from the top down. Toe touches, both seated and standing, are an excellent exercise for beginners that can help to improve the flexibility of your spine.
There are several different yoga poses you can try — and they most likely will feel great on your back. It is important to do these poses correctly so has to not harm your back. Most importantly, listen to your body as you stretch and know your limits.
5. Apply Ice and Heat
Both hot and cold packs can help with back pain, especially when it’s caused by overexertion or a temporary injury. Ice is suggested in the early stages of an injury, especially to combat swelling, while heat is better in later stages when you need to keep your muscles loose. Over-the-counter remedies such as IcyHot are also great for temporary relief from back pain.
Ice and heat help reduce inflammation and is one of the oldest tricks in the book. However, note that this is only temporary relief to what could be something more chronic. This is why exercises, stretches, and even medical help like PT and chiropractors could be more effective in long-term pain relief.