Back pain is a common ailment among men and women of all ages. It may trigger due to many different causes such as bending the wrong, lifting heavy objects, developing a degenerative condition (arthritis), sudden jerks, a fall, etc. Regardless of the cause, back pain may be a hard nut to crack. In some cases, the condition may get very severe. Under these conditions, it is important to call a doctor.
For routine mild back pain, listed below are some simple tips to cope with back pain:
1. Ice Pack
In case, you have suffered from an injury, placing an ice pack will be the best option, especially in the first 24 to 48 hours. The pack will decrease inflammation. Most patients feel better with warmth as it covers up the pain and even relaxes muscles. However, doctors say that heat when applied to the affected area actually aggravates the inflammatory routes. Hence, it should be applied only after 48 hours. When using heat or ice on the body, it is important to remove it after 20 minutes. This will give some rest to the skin.
2. Movement is the Key
Spines should move to stay healthy. Hence, it is important to continue with your daily activities, even if you have back pain. Go to work, walk, cook and workout. Walking, bicycling and swimming will keep your back moving.
Sitting all day on your work chair is harmful for your back and overall health. So get up every 20 minutes. Use this time to stretch the other way. Stretch backward. Also stretch your legs. Following a regular stretching routine will help alleviate back pain. Special care should be taken while sleeping. Following the best sleep position for back under the guidance of an expert will help.
4. A No-Hunch Workplace
Make sure your workplace is designed in a fashion that you don’t require hunching forward to see the PC monitor. A desk chair supporting the lower back and facilitating feet stays planted firmly on the floor will help.
5. Watch your posture
Did you know a slump makes it difficult for your back to support body weight? So take care of your posture when bending and lifting heavy objects. Strictly avoid bending over from the waist. The best way is to use knees while bending and straightening.
6. Sacrifice Your Love for Heels
Try and wear low heels as far as possible. Flats will keep the pain in check. On the other hand, high heels tend to create an unstable posture which adds to the pressure on lower spine.
7. Abstain from Smoking
Smoking is injurious to health. Besides affecting lungs, it increases your vulnerability to develop spinal osteoporosis and other issues related to bone. Osteoporosis will give way to spinal compression fractures. As per a recent research, it has been revealed that smokers are more likely to suffer from low back pain than those who don’t smoke.
Your body weight plays a major role in back pain. Excess weight can put strain on your spine which results in pain and discomfort. So follow a strict diet and exercise routine to keep your weight in check. It should be in a healthy balance for your height.
9. Pain Relief Medications
Over-the-counter medications can help you get relief from pain and discomfort. The following anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful in reducing back pain:
- Naproxen Sodium – (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox)
- Ibuprofen – (Nuprin, Advil, Motrin)
- Acetaminophen – (Tylenol, Actamin, Panadol)
It is important to consult a doctor or an experienced pharmacist prior to taking any over-the-counter pain relievers. These may interact with other medications you are taking. Certain medicines should be avoided by individuals with a history of some medical conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, and ulcers.