Pain In The Back Is The New Pain In The Neck

A common phrase to describe an annoyance is “Pain in the neck”. The vast majority of American people will at some point complain of back pain so maybe the phrasing should be changed to “pain in the back”.  Whether the pain is the result of an injury, a sudden move, or is chronic in nature back pain can be bothersome and debilitating.

Stay Active

If it hurts don’t do it, right? Not necessarily.  If the pain is muscular in nature resting too long can increase the spasming of the muscles when the person does move.  Most often practitioners advise gentle exercise and stretching to help release the spasming.  This also improves blood flow to the area which can improve healing.  While it is not a good idea to undertake strenuous activity, things like walking, yoga, and Pilates are often beneficial.

See a Health-care Provider Who Specializes in Back Pain

Going to a dentist for a back problem wouldn’t make much sense would it? Neither does seeing a general practice doctor for back pain. The back and spinal column are incredibly complex and seeing a  back pain specialist, a provider who has extensive training and experience can be the difference between a quick recovery and prolonged suffering. Chiropractors, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, and physicians who specialize in back pain treatment are all good places to look.  Different injuries and problems need different care, the right practitioner can help design a treatment plan specific to the problem.

Focus on Core Strengthening and Improving Flexibility

The core muscles of the body are the ones that support us while we go about our lives.  They are the muscles that hold us up while sitting, walking, basically anything.  If these muscles are weak, other muscles most often the ones surrounding the spine have to pick up extra strain, leading to pain and discomfort.  Turning ones-self into a contortionist is not necessary, but learning to distribute weight evenly between hips, feet, and throughout the body can relieve tension and pain.

Good Posture is important

All the times adults told kids to sit up straight and not slouch were actually good advice! Not just nagging. Good posture is a good habit to get into.  It allows the spine to follow its natural curve and reduces the amount of stress that back muscles have to endure.  Slouching may feel good in the short term but long term it puts an undue stress on the back muscles that can manifest itself as back pain and strain.  Over time, this can cause wear on joints and lead to arthritis developing which just means more pain. This means more than just sitting up straight at the computer.

Good posture extends to walking, driving and even sleeping.  Good posture is especially important when exercising or tasks which require heavy lifting.  An added bonus, people with good posture are perceived to be about 10 lbs lighter than slouchy counterparts.

Use Hot and Cold Compresses

If back pain is related to a specific injury apply cold packs to the area for the first 48 hours.  Remember to make sure that skin is protected from extreme cold; no one needs an aching back and frost bite.  After that, heat therapy should be used.  Again, protect the skin, burns can hurt more than aching muscles.

Kick Butt

Recently, researchers have discovered a correlation between smoking cigarettes and increased back pain.  While those who have quit smoking still face an increased risk of back pain compared to those who have never smoked, the risk does decrease after quitting.  This is because nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and decrease the amount of oxygen that muscles receive.

Back pain is not an automatic sentence to suffer for years on end or be dependent on pain medications.  In fact, most often there are simple changes that patients can make to their lives to improve if not eliminate pain.

About the Author:

Melissa Cameron, a freelance writer, loves using the internet to research interesting topics and connecting with experts.  She is currently developing a series of articles about reducing back pain with the help of Chiropractors in Appleton. Melissa resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children.

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