Dealing With Back Pain
Whether you’ve been dealing with back pain for some time or you recently experienced an injury, there is a lot you can do to minimize the pain you experience now and prevent issues with your back in the future. Back pain is fairly common and can be discouraging. By following these tips and self-care techniques you can begin to heal your back pain today!
1. For acute pain following an injury, apply ice to the area for the first 24-48 hours for 20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation. Avoid heat for the first few days.
2. Talk to your Doctor to determine if you are experiencing muscle tension, a herniated disc, or other back issues. If necessary, ask for a prescription for a Physical Therapist.
3. Keep moving! Our spines are meant to flex, twist, and extend - resting for extended periods following pain or an injury can make matters worse. Going for a light walk or swim are great options.
4. Flexibility and core training can really help release tension and prevent injury down the road! The muscles in the back, pelvis, hips and core should be limber and strong. Try these stretches daily: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/five-back-pain-stretches. Try these core exercises every few days: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/core-strength-for-back-pain or: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/lower-back-pain-10/slideshow-exercises
5. Be mindful of your posture while working, sitting, lifting and standing. Maintain proper body mechanics and avoid slouching and bending forward while twisting. Instead turn and face what you are bending towards. Click here for more information about posture: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/stand-up-to-back-pain
6. Set up your desk ergonomically so that both feet are on the floor and you don’t have to hunch forward to reach your key pad. Get a lumbar support pillow for your desk that you can also use in your car. Click here for more information about desk ergonomics: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/
7. Buy supportive shoes and avoid high heels. Unsupportive shoes can contribute to an unstable posture and can increase the pressure on your lower spine.
8. Watch your weight. Along with strengthening your core muscles, losing excess body fat will only work to help your spine and limit strain.
9. Use an anti-inflammatory, over the counter medication, such as ibuprofen, if pain and inflammation persists. Contact your doctor if the pain does not improve.