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Tips to Lessen Back Pain (Part 1)

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 4, 2017 at 11:58 pm

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Back pain plagues millions upon millions of Americans, and can significantly impact quality of life. Even though many may worry their constant pain is there to stay, there are plenty of little lifestyle tweaks and tips you can apply to help get some relief. Let’s take a look at our pain tips:

  1. Check your posture – we’re all guilty of hunching over the laptop or slouching on the couch too often, but all this poor posture can really catch up on an already bad back. It is so important to train yourself to sit up tall, and walk with your shoulders back and straight. This will help realign those muscles in a healthier manner.
  2. Go, physio! The right physiotherapist can really change your life. If you’re used to constant back pain and just thought it would have to be background noise for the rest of your life, a good therapist can help you change that. Physiotherapists who specialize in back pain have some great tips and stretches specialized just for your body to help ease your pain.
  3. Ice, heat, baby – It may help to make extreme temps work for you. Those with long-term arthritic back pain may benefit more from using a heating pad (electronic ones are great), whereas those suffering from more acute or inflammatory back pain may benefit more from ice. Alternating between ice and heat can help as well.
  4. Get topical – Speaking of temperature, there are some wonderful creams out there that alternate between cold and hot sensations that may help take the edge off back pain. Topical NSAID cream can also be very beneficial.
  5. Try TENS – What do you mean, TENS? Tens of thousands? Nope. We’re talking portable transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machines. TENS machines work by sending pulsing electrical stimulation into the nerves, which are thought to interrupt or help redirect the trajectory of the pain sensation that was sent from the brain.
  6. Non-opiate prescriptions – For most people, it isn’t a great idea to start down the road of narcotic pain pills for a chronic back issue as they can be addictive, can lose their effect over time and can cause many unwanted side effects. However, there are plenty of other medication options out there such as NSAIDs, corticosteroid injections or even antidepressants such as amitriptyline (they can work for pain as well).
  7. Stay (gently!) active – even though it may seem counterintuitive when you just feel like constantly resting a bad back, it may be doing you no favors to lie around. You have to practice caution when exercising with a bad back, as many activities can further strain it. Walking, stretching and swimming are all good choices for activities that may help strengthen a weak back instead of further hurt it.

Stay tuned for the rest of our tips next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

 

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