Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the U.S. Currently, around half of working Americans experience some degree of back pain every year. It could be the result of weight gain that puts a strain on the spine, an injury, poor posture or a number of conditions.
In most cases, back pain will improve on its own in a matter of a few days. However, chronic back pain that lasts for months or years can be extremely debilitating. The spine is a major support structure for the entire body. Virtually every movement the body makes involves the spine in some way. That means pain is a constant problem that can significantly lower quality of life.
Dealing with back pain can also affect a person professionally. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) notes that back pain is the leading cause of missed work. It can also make some job occupations impossible to perform. Not to mention the distraction from chronic pain can hinder productivity.
There are also financial repercussions to dealing with chronic back pain beyond missed work. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that $50 billion is spent every year on back pain.
Simple Ways to Reduce Back Pain Symptoms
Treating back pain largely depends on the type of pain that’s experienced and the cause. There are also steps that you can take outside of the doctor’s office to reduce back pain symptoms.
Use a Lift Chair in Place of a Recliner
One of the more serious issues connected to back pain is sleep disturbance. Sitting and sleeping in lift chairs is one of the newest ways to keep back pain to a minimum and reduce other side effects caused by the pain. A lift chair looks similar to a recliner, however, it moves in more ways. Most notably, a lift chair can raise up in the back to help a person strain less while getting up out of the chair. Some lift chairs also have massage and heat features for further relief.
Get a Hot Stone Massage
There are lots of ways to injure your back, but there are also just as many ways to relieve the pain. It’s even possible to relieve back pain in five minutes or less. One of those fast-acting pain relievers is hot stone massage. It blends both heat therapy and manual manipulation to relax muscles and ease the pain. Massage therapy is particularly beneficial for lower back pain.
Try Yoga Poses
New research suggests that some yoga poses can help reduce back pain. You should stick to simple poses that stretch the back without straining it. A few poses to try include downward facing dog, seated forward fold and the seated spinal twist.
Take OTC Pain Relievers and Relax
Over-the-counter pain relievers are typically safe to take to relieve mild to moderate back pain. However, it’s equally important that you rest and avoid activities that put a strain on the back. Too often people take OTC pain relievers but then go about their normal activities once the discomfort goes away. This can put you at risk for doing more damage and experiencing more pain when the medication wears off. Instead, it’s best to simply relax for a few days and avoid strenuous activity to give your body time to recover.
Go on Daily Walks
Ironically, avoiding all physical activity can make back pain worse. Researchers for the National Institute of Health (NIH) state that studies indicate people who remain active are able to better manage their back pain. One of the most highly recommended activities is walking. This low-impact form of exercise can be done anywhere and there’s minimal risk of injury. Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes a day.
If you are experiencing chronic back pain or experience sudden severe back pain, it’s time to schedule a doctor’s appointment. A pain specialist can identify the cause of the pain and additional treatment options that are only offered through a medical professional.
Article Submitted By Community Writer