Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tips for Easing Back Pain

Approximately 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Thankfully, there are a number of easy-to-incorporate lifestyle changes and treatments that can help prevent or mitigate your back pain. The following is a quick list that will help your back pain and prevent future symptoms.

Standard treatments

The following treatments are widely accepted as being the most effective for back pain management and relief.
  • If currently experiencing back pain, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling that can aggravate back pain.

  • Stay as active as you can. Only take bed rest if explicitly advised by a doctor. Weak, tight or inactive muscles are more susceptible to strains.

  • If you must sit at a computer most of the day, be sure to sit with feet flat on the floor. Depending on the type of back pain you suffer, lumbar supports and footrests may also help in alleviating symptoms. Also, when you sit at a desk for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move around once every hour.

  • Physical therapy can help manage pain through a series of muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.

  • If you must stand for long periods of time, be sure to regularly shift your weight.

  • Don’t sit on a large billfold for extended periods of time.

  • Eat right and exercise. Many instances of back pain are correlated to excess belly fat. That extra weight means more strain on your back muscles. A few lifestyle changes will help reduce your waistline and your back pain symptoms. Focus on strengthening your core and back muscles. Choose lower impact aerobic activities like cycling or swimming.

  • Your mom was right - bend from the knees, not your back when lifting heavy objects.

  • Regular massage can help to release toxins and loosen tight muscles.

  • If back pain persists over a 6 week period, you need to visit your primary care physician to develop a treatment plan.

  • If you experience moving pain traveling down your legs (aka sciatica) or notable weakness in your legs, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • If you experience problems associated with your bowel or bladder function while experiencing back pain, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • Even with herniated disks, very rarely does back pain require surgery. However, if your condition does require surgery, techniques are becoming less evasive and there are a number of effective back braces that will certainly aid in a quick recovery.

Alternative Treatments

There are a few interesting alternative therapies that may enhance your standard treatments.
  • Some alternative health practitioners recommend special anti-inflammatory diets and supplementation. A food allergy test may identify foods that are contributing to muscle inflammation. Supplements such as omega-3-fatty acids are also known to reduce inflammation.

  • If stress is contributing to your symptoms, herbal medications such as St John’s Wart and Kava naturally aid in relaxation.
  • Yoga can aid in flexibility and strength, as well as relax the body and mind.

  • While scientific research is still pending, acupuncture, healing touch and Reiki have been purported to aid in alleviating back pain.

  • Contact your primary care physician to discuss how you can incorporate alternative treatments into your back care regimen.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality braces, please visit mmarmedical.com.

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