Five Ways To Cope With Back Pain | South Lake Tahoe
About 70 to 80 percent of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their life. Often, you can treat back pain at home and make it go away within days or weeks. Help advance the healing process with these tactics.
1. Adjust your posture.
Sagging or sagging affects your alignment, flexibility, and joint movement.
Sit in a chair with a low back or a straight back chair with a cushion behind your lower back. This maintains the natural curve of your spine. Keep your knees level with your hips and your thighs parallel to the floor. Your elbows should be close to your body and your wrists in a comfortable, neutral position.
Stand upright with your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned. Keep your head straight and tuck your stomach in to keep your back straight. Wear comfortable shoes with low heels. Break up standing or sitting by walking and stretching frequently.
Sleep on your side on a firm mattress with a comfortable pillow. Bend the knees slightly and, if necessary, place a pillow between them.
2. Tinker with the temperature.
Ice or heat can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Use ice soon after your back pain starts or after exercising. From 48 hours after the onset of pain, try to relax your muscles with heat. Take a hot shower or a bath with Epsom salt. Apply compresses, such as a warm washcloth, hot water bottle, or heating pad, to the painful area.
3. Relieve stress.
Daily stressors can tighten muscles and increase agony. Balance worries with hobbies or relax outdoors with family or a friend. Try daily meditation and develop good sleep habits. If you continually feel overwhelmed or anxious, seek help from your doctor or mental health care provider.
It may take one to two days of rest after the back pain sets in. But if you relax too long, the muscles can weaken, which can hamper recovery.
Keep your back muscles strong by walking for at least a few minutes every hour. Yoga, tai chi, and stretching can also provide relief. Consult your primary care provider, spine specialist, or physiotherapist to find out the best exercises for you.
5. Experiment with alternatives.
While over-the-counter medications, such as anti-inflammatories, can help, research supports many natural therapies. These include massage, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and acupuncture.
If the pain does not subside or gets worse within two to three weeks, see a doctor. Also make a medical appointment if other symptoms accompany the back pain, such as unexpected weight loss, fever, chills, night sweats, or weakness in the legs or arms.
Dr. Gregory Burkard Jr. is an interventional sports and pain medicine physiatrist for Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Nevada and the Barton Center for Orthopedics and Wellness in South Lake Tahoe, California. To learn more about available orthopedics and physiatry services, call 530.539.6600 or visit BartonOrthopedicsAndWellness.com.