Back pain is something almost all of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. The causes are various, and the consequences can be immediate and short-termed or, more commonly, develop over time. Back pain can disrupt your functioning on a daily basis, getting in the way of your professional efficiency, as well as negatively affecting your mental health. However, there are ways to fight it and prevent it from happening too often. Follow this five-tip guide for efficient back pain relief.
1. Have Good Posture
Sitting at a desk for at least eight hours a day is definitely not going to help with your back pain problems. What’s more, bad posture while sitting at a computer desk is one of the most common causes for lower back pain. Of course, you can’t simply quit sitting at work, but you can try to sit as little as possible during after-work hours and, when you do, use some kind of back support and keep your hips and knees at a right angle with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Consider Medical Treatment Options
Particularly in cases of persistent and severe pain, regular medical checkups are a must, no matter your age. The causes for pain can vary, ranging from a mysterious injury, through underlying conditions such as arthritis and neuropathy, to damaged nerves or spinal cord. Needless to say, no one enjoys having to undergo medical procedures unless absolutely necessary, but with recent advances in modern medicine, the right approach, and professionals like Australian neurosurgeon Dr. Timothy Steel, it does not have to be an unpleasant experience.
3. Be Active
Being active is more or less beneficial for all aspects of your wellbeing, both physical and psychological. Many people with back pain tend to avoid exercise due to a fear of hurting or intensifying pain, while the actual consequence is the very opposite. Pain increases when your muscles are weak and stiff from inactivity, and hence moderate exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce back pain. Regular exercise, doing sports such as hiking and swimming, or practicing yoga can considerably ease pain and improve back movement.
4. Have a Good Night’s Sleep
A disrupted sleep cycle can have negative effects on almost every sphere of your life, including your physical wellbeing. Among other problems, poor sleepers are prone to severe back and neck pain, and individuals with back pain tend to have trouble sleeping. In order to escape this vicious circle, you need to make sure your bedtime schedule and routine are always on point. Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft but comfortably firm. You can use back support if it makes you more comfortable, or, if you’re sleeping on your side, slightly bend your knees and put a pillow between your legs. Find the position that helps you maintain the normal curve of your spine and stick to it.
5. Lighten Your Load
Sometimes a cause for your back pain can simply be the weight that you’re carrying or lifting on a daily basis. Women are more likely to have this problem – thanks in large part to pregnancy, giving one-hip rides to their babies, and walking around all day with their bizarrely heavy purses. However, men can also be at risk of having bad posture and back pain, especially for physical workers. Try not to lift objects heavier than 30 pounds or make sure your purse or briefcase doesn’t weigh more than 10% of your weight. Switching to a backpack is also a good alternative for those who can’t lighten their load.
Whenever you find yourself in pain or feeling hopeless and frustrated, remember that you’re not alone. There are so many people out there who are coping with the same or similar aches. Note the tips above and eventually, you’ll master some sure-fire ways to effectively ease your back pain and maybe even get rid of it completely.
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