Back pain is so common that almost everyone can have it at some point in their lives. However, it doesn’t mean that you should let back pain become part of your life. You can choose to be free-from back pain if you want to. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage back pain. Some do well with acute back pain, while others are more effective with chronic back pain.
Acute Back Pain
Keep Yourself Physically Active
We are meant to move, and that includes our spine. Whilst most people think moving around makes back pain worse, it actually makes you feel better. Keep doing your daily activities. Make the beds, go to work, walk your dog. Once you’re feeling better, go for regular aerobic exercises such as swimming, bicycling, and walking. Doing these can keep you and your back more mobile. Remember not to overdo it though.
Use Painkillers (But Ask Your Doctor First)
Paracetamol is often one of the first medications recommended for back pain, although some people find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, more effective. A stronger painkiller, such as codeine, is another option and in some cases, taken in addition to paracetamol. Painkillers can have side effects though, and not every one of them is suitable for every person. It is better to ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice about the most appropriate type of medication for you.
Try Hot and Cold Treatments
Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain whilst heat therapy can ease muscle tension. It can also help reduce muscle spasms, relax tense muscles, and relieve pain. Cold therapy can be done using cold packs, ice cubes, iced towels/compresses, or take a cool bath. Heat therapy can be done by using hot compress, dry or moist heating pad, or hydrotherapy (hot bath). If you’re unsure whether heat or cold would be better, observe which makes you feel better when you apply it. If you feel better, then it’s working.
Relax and Stay Positive
Studies have shown that simply thinking or talking about a stressful situation can dramatically increase tension in back muscles. Try some relaxation exercises to ease your mind, reduce stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles, and improve your sense of well being. Doing such exercises can award you with long-term changes in your body to fight the harmful effects of stress.
Change Your Sleeping Position
Certain sleeping positions can cause additional pressure on your neck, shoulders, hips, and lower back, which can lead to pain. However, there are also sleeping positions that can ease the strain on your painful back. There’s no one-size-fits-all position to ease back pain, but you can try various ways to get it under control so that you can sleep more comfortably. What’s important is that you’ve got to be comfortable on bed.
Modify Your Lifestyle
There are some unhealthy factors that can exacerbate your back pain such as lack of exercise, poor posture, being overweight, and stress. Avoid these by practicing more healthy lifestyle such as exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and eating healthy. Make regular exercise on top of your list because it will help improve your posture and increase muscle support on the spine. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
Chronic Back Pain
Attend Exercise Classes
Exercise classes are a group of classes supervised by a qualified instructor. You can benefit from these by learning some exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture, as well as learning aerobic and stretching exercises.
Combining an exercise programme with a course of manual therapy, especially when the pain is persistent can help improve your back pain. A physiotherapist can help you with manual therapy. Physios can do it with a gentle massage, mobilistation, or manipulation. It improves flexibility on a stiff back. Physiotherapists are also qualified to advise you on the type of exercises that will be most effective at dealing with your type of back pain.
So there you have it. Try these and see which will work for you. Otherwise get help from a Perth physiotherapist. Call us today at 9444 8729!