If you’re suffering from back pain, you can take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people miss work or see a doctor.
There are a number of at-home methods for treating common back pain, particularly the type of discomfort that strikes the lower back. Following are seven suggestions most widely recommended by doctors.
1. Relax—But not too Much
Most people experience back pain in their lives, and the discomfort is most often neither long-lasting nor serious. While those with short-term back pain often benefit from taking a break from the daily tasks that can trigger discomfort, studies indicate that prolonged rest can have an adverse effect.
2. Stay Fit
The thought of exercising while you’re suffering from back pain may not seem like much fun, but maintaining low-impact fitness accompanied by stretching can help diminish discomfort and prevent future flare-ups. Focus on exercises that target your core strength and improve flexibility.
3. Points for Posture
Sitting and sleeping with your spine in proper alignment can help reduce back pain and prevent it from recurring. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleeping on your side can help prevent spine curvature that can lead to back pain; it is also important to get sufficient nightly sleep. Sitting in a chair with good lumbar support and in alignment with your work surface can also help ease back pain and prevent chronic discomfort.
4. Hot and Cold
In many cases of common lower back pain, heat pads and cold packs can help reduce the tightness and discomfort. Ice is often recommended for the first 48 hours of pain, particularly if the pain is caused by injury and accompanied by swelling, followed by heat for lingering discomfort.
5. Stress Relief
Stress, both physical and mental, can contribute to back pain. Many people find relief from tension-related back pain with yoga, meditation or therapy. Those with pain caused by repetitive stress should consult with a primary care doctor to discuss their options.
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications designed to provide relief from back pain, depending on the source of discomfort. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are often effective in relieving the symptoms of short-term back pain.
7. See a Physician
Chronic back discomfort or sudden, debilitating back pain should be addressed with your primary care doctor. Prescription drugs, physical therapy or, in rare cases, surgery may be needed depending on your unique circumstances.
If you live in the greater Littleton, Colorado, area and you’re seeking a knowledgeable and compassionate primary care doctor for you and your family, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call 303-703-8583 today.