Back pain can arise from many medical conditions. It can also be attributable to lifestyle factors including habits, posture, and weight.
Whatever the source, back pain is a serious problem. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce back pain on your own. Through certain techniques, it becomes possible to manage the pain and improve your quality of life while you seek a long-term treatment.
1) Get More Exercise
Exercise improves back pain issues in two ways. First, it can strengthen the muscles of the back that are responsible for maintaining the natural balance between your muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Second, it can reduce the amount of weight your body carries.
Many people discover back pain, particularly in the lower back, from problems in their hips. If you are exploring exercise as a method of pain relief for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with low-impact exercise like walking or swimming – rather than high-impact running.
2) Meditate and Breathe Deep
In some cases, back pain is directly related to anxiety. Without realizing it, you may carry too much muscle tension in your back, neck, and shoulders. Taking 10 deep breaths is one way to quickly release muscle tension. You could notice a difference immediately.
Many people swear by meditation as a long-term method of pain relief. Meditation used for this purpose combines deep breathing with visualization. For example, you might imagine a relaxing scene that will help your back muscles become more pliant as you breathe in and out.
3) Use Heat Therapy or Cryotherapy
Pain caused by inflammation anywhere in the body generally responds well to cold therapy – also called cryotherapy. When you apply cold to an injury, it causes the nearby blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow and helping to control swelling.
On the other hand, pain caused by direct injury or other factors often benefit from heat therapy. Heat has the opposite effect, helping to enhance blood flow to a particular area. Done right, this can accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
4) Massage Therapy or Chiropractic
Massage therapy is a powerful way to improve pain by releasing deep muscle tension. A trained massage therapist is able to address muscle tension that would be difficult or impossible for you to influence on your own. It is relaxing, improves blood flow, and helps with sleep.
Chiropractic is a form of manual therapeutic manipulation that can control pain by ensuring the bones of the back are in the proper alignment and relationship. In some cases, it is potent enough that a patient will feel an immediate difference in their level of pain.
Stretching is an essential part of managing back pain, especially for those who are sedentary or work in an office environment. In addition to standing up straight and stretching your arms over your head, a variety of more sophisticated stretches can help you.
Try the knee to chest stretch. Lie down on your back with toes pointed upward. Then, slowly bend your knee and pull your leg up as high as you can toward your chest. Hold this position for 20 seconds; repeat with the other leg – performing three sets on each side.
If you are experiencing back pain, contact Complete Neurological Care to book an appointment today to learn more about your customized back pain treatment options.