Back pain disorders are a serious issue for working people in America, with half of us experiencing back pain symptoms in any given year. Experts say that about 80% of us will have some kind of back problem during our life, and, after upper-respiratory infections, it’s the thing most likely to drive us to seek a doctor’s help. Back pain, whether it comes from spinal disorders, injury, repetitive motion issues, or just stress, can be debilitating. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, here are some things you should consider doing.
Call a Chiropractor
One of the most effective methods of dealing with chronic back pain is getting the advice of a spinal disorder expert. Chiropractors are skilled at discovering the underlying cause of back pain and helping you get real relief. A recent survey of adults in America found that 81% are convinced that a skilled chiropractor can give some help or even a great deal of help for pain in the neck and back.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Most of us need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but the majority of American adults aren’t getting that sleep. If that’s you, your mattress could be to blame. Not only does a bad mattress keep you from sleeping well, but it could also be exacerbating your back pain. If you’ve had a mattress for more than five years, it’s probably time to start keeping a close eye on it. Nearly all mattresses need to be replaced at about nine or ten years in.
Relax With Some Yoga
Yoga has proven to be amazing effective for people with chronic pain. An Annals of Internal Medicine study recently followed 313 people suffering from chronic pain in the lower back. The study found that those who took a yoga class once a week were far more mobile than those who had only the standard medical care.
Lose Some Weight
Carrying too much weight is hard on your back and even losing just a few pounds can make an enormous difference to those overworked muscles. Consider getting help from a dietician or other medical professional if you’re having trouble losing weight.
Take up Swimming
Swimming is gentle exercise for muscles and joints, allowing them to stretch without being strained in the same way as other types of exercise can sometimes cause. Combine some gentle swimming with some warm water therapy and you could get some real relief and rehabilitation for your back pain.
Look to Your Posture
How do you stand? How do you walk? How do you sit at your desk? If you’re constantly slumped over a computer, consider getting a different chair or desk setup to allow you to face your computer more naturally and avoid bending your neck down. If you can, get a desk that can be adjusted so you can both stand and sit at it. Speaking of standing, take a look at your shoes. If you’re spending a lot of time standing or walking in a worn out pair, this can lead to back pain if the soles get worn out. Replace the shoes, or at least replace the inserts.
Check Your Bags
If you’re carrying an over-the-shoulder bag, this could be putting a lot of stress on your back, particularly if you’re carrying a lot of stuff in there. If you have to carry a lot of things, consider a wheeling bag or even a backpack that will re-distribute the weight more evenly. Whenever possible, carry less.
There’s a lot of things you can do to make your back pain less of a pain. See a chiropractor to get some direction, take up some gentle exercise, lose some weight, and get rid of the old shoes and the big bags, and you’ll be on your way to a more comfortable life.