Whether it’s caused by injury, lifestyle or genetics, millions of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives — as much as 80 percent of adults according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Luckily, there are options for back pain management that you can leverage for relief from debilitating back pain. It won’t bring a 10 down to a 1 on the pain scale, but it can provide some relief so that you can get through the day and on with your life instead of being stopped in your tracks whenever your back pain flares up.
- Step Away From All Those Screens
While most people may blame their sore backs on something other than their screen usage, the amount of time that the average person spends glued to a screen today can be disastrous for your back. That’s because people rarely have good posture when they’re using their phones, tablets and laptops on couches, beds and everywhere else. Furthermore, long stretches of watching TV or playing video games can exacerbate back pain issues, which is why back pain is on the rise in children.
- Revisit Your Computer Ergonomics
Whether you work at the office or at home, your desk ergonomics have a lot to say about how your back feels at the end of the day. The good news is that you have many options for back pain management when it comes to how your desk is set up, though you might need to take a look at your monitor, your desk, your chair and your peripherals. Ideally, your monitor should be at eye level and at least 20 inches from your face. Your chair should also have armrests and allow you to sit comfortably with your feet on the ground and your wrists parallel to the floor while you work.
- Drop Those Excess Pounds
Another great option for back pain management is to drop excess weight from your body. When you’re overweight, excess amounts of fat can put an additional burden on your body, stressing your back and other joints in your body. To reduce the burden on your back, it might be as simple as eating less and exercising more, but we all know that’s easier said than done. To help you get started, try incorporating more good practices into your normal routine, such as trying your hand at a new sport or bringing a healthy lunch to work instead of always eating out.
- Increase Your Low-Impact Exercise
This lower back pain treatment option is similar to our last, but it’s for people that are having a hard time getting started with more activity because of their back pain. If your back pain makes it hard to run, jump, lift weights or engage in more rigorous forms of exercise, you may want to consider low-impact exercise such as swimming, walking briskly, yoga, biking, rowing and other similar activities. Since you’re not throwing all your weight around with each action, you may be able to get a real workout in despite your back pain. Over time, that can help reduce the pain you feel and help build up strength and flexibility in your back.
- Get Better Sleep
Coming in at number five on our list of options for back pain management is to get better sleep. That doesn’t mean more sleep or heavier sleep, though it could help if your sleep quality is poor, but what you really want to do is focus on how you sleep. Instead of sleeping on your back or your stomach, it’s best to sleep on your side in a relaxed fetal position with your knees slightly bent. If you find that it’s difficult to spend the night in this position, try placing a pillow between your legs to prevent one leg from sliding over, as well as another pillow under your neck to keep your spine in alignment.
- Try Natural Remedies Instead of Pain Pills
While over-the-counter pain pills can help reduce chronic back pain, treatment via pills isn’t really doing anything to address why your back hurts. Instead of pain pills that can leave you feeling groggy and out of it, natural remedies can help reduce the inflammation associated with back pain, which can be a big win if back pain is keeping you from the activities and exercise that you want to engage in. For a simple and natural remedy, try boiling ginger root in hot water for a soothing and anti-inflammatory cup of tea, or try some capsaicin or CBD in your favorite cream or salve.
You May Need Professional Help
If all that fails and you’re still suffering from back pain, you may need the one lower back pain treatment that works for serious back pain: surgery. But back pain surgery doesn’t have to be a complicated inpatient surgery. Our minimally invasive procedures can have you out and doing the things you love to do sooner than you think, and we’re also open to exploring non-surgical treatment options with all of our patients. Book a consultation today to get started.Are you ready to talk to your surgeon about your options?