Managing Back Pain

Ways To Manage Back Pain

Back pain is a condition that affects 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. While many people experience acute pain that does not last, others have chronic pain that affects the way they live everyday. Managing back pain requires identifying things that cause pain and performing exercises that loosen stiff muscles.

Managing Back Pain

Stretch Gently

Exercise is a great way to manage pain in the upper or lower back. While strenuous exercise may aggravate the condition, those that place a gentle stretch on muscles can ease pain. Some exercises that are recommended for people with chronic back pain include:

  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Water Aerobics
  • Pilates

People who have chronic pain should avoid motions that increase pain or jar the spine. This includes activities such as:

  • Jogging
  • Snowboarding
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Good Posture Counts

Good posture is a way to avoid pain due to compression of the vertebrae in the spine. Many people who have had poor posture for years end up with back pain later in life. Things that may contribute to this condition include:

  • Fatigue
  • Being Overweight
  • Improper Work Environment
  • Worn Out Mattress
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Conditions Of The Spine Such As Scoliosis

There are ways to improve spinal alignment and reduce disc compression. Many people simply fall into a habit of bending forward as they begin to get tired. The best way to avoid this scenario is to:

  • Take A Break Every 20 Minutes When Working On A Computer Or Sitting
  • Adjust The Car Seat So Knees Are Higher Than The Hips
  • Become A Side Sleeper

Get Rid Of Cigarettes

Recent studies have shown that people who smoke are 3 times as likely to experience pain in the neck, upper or lower back at some point during their lives. This is because the main ingredients in cigarettes is nicotine, which cuts down blood flow to soft tissues in the body.

Use Pain Relievers

There are a variety of pain relieving medications that work well for pain in the back. Some over-the-counter medications include:

  • Naproxen
  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen

Chronic pain may require stronger medications such as:

  • Muscle Relaxers
  • Narcotic Pain Relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Neuromodulating Medicines

These are some ways to manage chronic or persistent pain. However, severe pain may be a sign of a serious condition and should be examined by a doctor. It is important to seek immediate attention if pain in the back is associated with:

  • Overall Weakness That Is Progressive
  • Numbness In The Saddle Area
  • Progressive Leg Weakness
  • Lack Of Bladder Or Bowel Control
  • Fever
  • Intense Stomach Pain