Tips to Manage Back Pain
If you are suffering from back pain, it can be re-assuring to know that there are lots of things that you can do to help yourself – and care for your back and thus avoiding problems later on and feeling better throughout your day.
If the pain you are experiencing only occurs after certain activities or particular positions it can be worth examining what is going on during that activity. Sometimes by taking simple measures we can improve things – like taking greater care – for example, being conscious of not sitting for too long in any one position, or avoiding lifting when we know that this can make the problem worse. There may also be more subtle things, such as the way we hold ourselves, how well balanced we are and what our posture is like which can also have a big impact on our level of comfort.
Here are some steps that you can apply straight away if you are experiencing pain
- Avoid activities where possible that may agitate the condition, such as sports, lifting heavy objects or twisting motion. You often can reduce the swelling (inflamation) considerably in taking these precautions.
- Apply heat or ice to the affected area. It is best to begin with using ice for the first 72 hours and then use heat
- Rest your back – this can include lying flat on your back on a mat with the knees elevated and a support for your head and neck such as a firm pillow or book.
So if you already have back pain, practice the above and try and include a rest period a couple of times a day for around twenty minutes. This can help alleviate excessive tension as well as taking the pressure of the discs.
Other things you might be helpful:
- Avoid (where possible) standing for long periods. In situations such as work where you need to stand for long periods, try to vary the way you stand slightly – putting one foot forward and shift the weight between the two, or alternatively rest each foot on a nearby step or stool.
- Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes or restrictive clothing
- Consider using back support when driving or sitting for longer periods
- Examine your furniture – such as your office chair and see if it has a reasonably straight back, and is a comfortable height for you to reach your desk and still have your feet on the floor.If you sit at a desk – make sure that your computer screen is at an appropriate height – i.e. at eye level ideally so that you are not having to strain unnecessarily to see the screen.
Pause for breaks! Stress and fatigue can both contribute to back pain, so apart from giving your back a rest and having a move around, having a break can help you renew your energy and focus.
The main thing is to put the focus back on yourself and what you are doing, before you start relying on pain killers which will make you unaware of what is really going on, so you cannot tell when you are doing something which may be making it worse. Keep an eye on our site for further articles as well as visual tips such as videos and diagrams that we are going to be adding to our site in the near future.
If you would like to benefit from our free services – such as a free spine check and consultation – please do get in touch