Chronic Back Pain? A Message of Hope
Shanda McNew - PRO PT
It’s no secret that back pain can be an absolute nightmare. Nagging or excruciating pain can have many causes and may worsen day to day - sometimes a little better, sometimes you can hardly move at all. This pain can make you miserable 24/7, preventing your daily tasks and often worsening when you try to take it easy. Despite the pain, you may be wary of surgery or using pain medications. Four out of five Americans experience some degree of back pain on a regular basis. By no means are you alone but how you choose to deal with it makes a significant difference. Here are some ways to manage back pain rather than “just live with it.”
● Stretching exercises can help you increase your mobility, allowing you to do more with less pain.
● Strengthening exercises can give weak muscles the reinforcement they need to hold your back straighter and with less fatigue.
● Keep moving without overdoing it. Keep up your daily activities, change positions often, walk the dog, go to work, etc. While sitting or lying down may feel better initially, inactivity often increases pain in the long run. Physical and aquatic therapy, walking programs, and yoga are great ways to keep moving and lessen pain.
● Electrotherapy, heat, ice, massage, or acupuncture can help chronic inflammation and relax painful muscle spasms when combined with physical therapy regimens.
● Lifestyle modifications to improve posture and ease stress on your back can also help, including how you sleep, how you sit to relax or watch TV, the setup of your computer or workstation, and how you bend and lift.
You have many options to reduce your back pain. Start with a physical therapy evaluation and follow the recommendations - we’ve got your back!