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6 Ways to Ease Your Back Pain

By Lisa Brooke

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At some point in their lives, 80 percent of adults experience one form of lower back pain or another. Then there are those who also experience neck pain or upper back pain. If you are having any type of aforementioned pain, here are a few lifestyle change tips that will improve your back health and relieve the pain.

Have a Good Night’s Sleep

People with chronic back pain usually experience sleep disturbances, and the lack quality sleep actually makes the inflammation and the pain even worse. To get a good night’s sleep, consider investing in a good quality mattress and also experiment with different sleeping positions. Add an extra pillow under your body to help keep the spine its natural curve.

If you sleep on your back, put the pillow under both knees. For the stomach sleeper, try placing the pillow under your pelvis. For those who sleep on their side, a pillow between the knees might help.

Stay Away from the Screen

It should come as no surprise but slouching in front of the computer screen, television or video game console doesn’t do your back any good. Spinal problems may start from an early age as research studies indicate that playing video games over a long period of time each day places children at risk of having back pain.

Make a conscious effort to limit the time you and your kids spend on gaming. Practice good posture during game play and always take regular breaks. The most effective change you can introduce is by replacing some of the screen time for physical activities.

Get Physical

When people are experiencing back pain, most would rather rest until the pain subsides. However, too much rest may actually make some types of back pain worse and even decrease muscle strength. Light stretching and strengthening of the muscles may actually help eliminate or reduce certain types of back pain.

Start out with some gentle stretches and experiment to see if you can move without increased pain. Take a slow, easy walk and pick up your pace once you feel ready. In order to avoid aggravating your back condition it is important that you also consult with your doctor about your current physical fitness routine and any changes you may be considering to introduce.

Reduce Strain

If stress is the cause of your lower back pain, it is easy to be caught up in the pain cycle. As you go through this cycle, you are more likely to refrain from any physical activity due to the fear of injury or pain. In response, your muscles become deconditioned, thus increasing your pain. The pain easily amplifies to such an extent that it leads to even less physical activity.

Just like when you hire professionals to do jobs you are not familiar with like accounting, pool maintenance services, waste stream management services or moving companies, it is important that you do not self-diagnose. Your pain could be caused by a serious medical condition, so have a qualified physician treat you. To confirm whether your back pain is related to stress, the doctor will typically ask for your medical history as well as carry out a physical examination.

Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen can provide short-term pain relief. The most common NSAIDs include naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin. However, you should be aware of the possible side effects of NSAIDs, which include liver and stomach problems. Always talk to your doctor if you do not find relief while taking the recommended dosages.

Herbal Therapies and Supplements

Do you prefer natural methods of managing back pain? You may consider using herbal therapies like homeopathic medicines Bryonia and Arnica. Supplements that could help include glucosamine sulfate, calcium and magnesium, and topical treatments like creams and gels that will not interfere with medications or supplements.

Published on Jul 13, 2017

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