5 Tips for Dealing with Back Pain at Home

Physical therapy

If you find that you suffer from back pain, you are in good company. By some estimates as many as 67% of all people in the United States say that back pain has a negative impact on their day to day life. About 40% of all back pain sufferers say they work out to help with their pain. While it is important to get medical help if you suffer a back injury, especially if you have an urgent issue, but there are still things you can do on your own to make it better.

  1. Ice it. When it comes to orthopedic injuries, there is an acronym that is used by doctors. “RICE” stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. There is a reason so many doctors and other medical professionals advice people to use ice and cold packs on their injuries. Cold items can help reduce the inflammation that is happening in your back. This can help the area recover from an injury. Never put the ice or cold pack on your skin directly, always use a wrap or towel. You can keep in in place for up to 20 minutes. If this does not help at all, you should talk to your doctor or do to an urgent care center.
  2. Do not lay around in bed. The advice used to be to get some rest after a back injury but that is not longer what people are told to do. When you get bed rest, you lose a lot of muscle mass and that will lead to more, not less, back pain. The spine, like the rest of the human body, needs to stay moving to stay healthy. This does not mean you should overdo it with your activity level, this may not be the time to take on the Iron Man race but you should get out and take a walk. This will help your back.
  3. Work on your core muscles. When you strengthen the muscles in your core that support your back, you take the pressure off of it and it will help improve your back pain. The only exercise that you may not want to do are crunches because they can irritate your back.
  4. Get up and walk around. Far too many of us spend our days sitting in front of a computer. It has been said that this can be as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. It is also really bad for your back to be hunched over all day. One great habit to start is getting up and walking around every 20 minutes or so. Take a walk, stretch your legs and just move around. There are also some exercises you can do at your desk to help keep your back healthy and happy.
  5. Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes does a lot of damage to your body. One area that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of cigarette smoke is your skeleton. People who smoke are much more likely to develop osteoporosis. That can lead to small fractures in your spine. Weakened bones can cause a number of serious problems that will lead to pain. There are a number of great reasons to quit smoking and this is just another one.

There are times when you shoud seek out an urgent care center or go into see your doctor. If you experience any of the following with your back injury, an urgent care center or emergency room may be the places you should go:

  • If you have weakness in your legs or experience numbness.
  • If you have problems with moving your feet.
  • If you have problems with control over your bladder or bowels.
  • The pain is severe and relentless.

Back pain may not be as inevitable as death and taxes but the vast majority of people in the United States, and around the globe, will suffer from it at some point in their lives. Staying active and keeping your weight at a healthy level can do a lot to help you avoid a back injury or deal with one that you have suffered. None of this is a substitute for going to your doctor for a back problem but these tips can really help.

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