According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), as many as one-half of all working Americans have some sort of back pain symptoms. This is the most common reasons why workers do not show up for work. People desperately need back pain relief and they want it quickly.
It is also the second most common reason why an American visit a doctor’s office.
As much as 80% of Americans will experience some sort of back pain within their lifetimes.
Back pain will cost you a pretty penny. Americans like you contribute to the $50 billion to combat back pain.
Before diving into some ways to get back pain relief, let’s take a look at some of the causes of back pain.
The back, if you haven’t noticed, is complex. It is made up of muscles, ligaments, joints and a structure of bones.
Back pain can lead to strained muscles or ligaments, irate joints, and rupture disks which cause discomfort.
Different types of movements can cause back pain and they don’t necessarily have to be sports related.
For example, picking up something off the ground can cause back pain. The slightest turn or movement can put a spasm in your back.
Other back pain can be complicated by poor posture, psychological stress, arthritis, and obesity.
Now let’s take a look at what you can do to get some back pain relief.
No matter your age, there is no excuse not to be active. There are many exercises that you can do as you get older.
It is important that you make sure you don't do any activities that your chiropractor wouldn't approve of. Meaning make sure you are doing your activities in a safe and proper manner.
Be constantly pushing yourself and not limiting yourself. It might be painful, it might hurt, but at the end of the day, you are doing this for yourself.
This is why it is recommended that you avoid prolonged bed rest and inactivity.
If you are working in an office, it is important to stand up from your desk and do a few stretches or walk around every once in awhile. This will help prevent muscle imbalances and stabilize your spine.
Staying active can help you lose weight or maintain your weight. Extra weight could put more stress on your body which would eventually lead to back pain.
What is the ideal mattress that the ACA recommends? It is recommended that you find a mattress with a medium firmness.
This is because it minimizes the curve in your spine.
This includes if your mattress is old. Even if you have a medium firmness mattress, how long have you had it for? If it is more than 6-8 years old, it might be time to think about purchasing a new mattress.
This can decrease back pain by up to 63% by buying a new mattress.
Find one that you feel comfortable with and make sure you pay close attention to the mattress itself. Don’t get sucked into all the add-ons, they will not help you get a better sleep.
See if companies offer a trial to sleep on the mattress for a week or longer. If the mattress does not work, see if it’s exchangeable.
Posture is important when it comes to helping relieve stress from your back. One of the most important things is that you balance your weight on both feet.
Good posture will put less strain on ligaments and support muscles during weight bearing activities and movement.
Along with keeping good posture while standing, it is important to wear comfortable Posturepedic supported shoes.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your posture.
Sitting down - When you are sitting down, make sure you keep both your feet on the floor (or foot rest) at all times. Do not cross your legs as your ankles should be in front of your knees.
Your knee should be below or level with your hips. Don’t forget to relax your shoulders and avoid sitting down for too long.
If you do not smoke, just skip to the next back pain relief tip.
The problem with smoking is that it can impair blood flow. This can result in nutrient and oxygen deprivation to the spinal tissues.
If you ever needed a reason to quit smoking and have back pain, now it might be the time.
Researchers have found that over a period of time, smoking history has a direct correlation with the development of lumbar spondylosis, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
American Society of Anesthesiologists has noted that clinical evidence shows that people who smoke are at higher risk of chronic pain disorders and developing back pain.
Ice always works when your back is in pain as it works by temporarily blocking pain signals. It helps by reducing swelling and using an ice pack can help relieve pain for up to 20 minutes.
If you do not have an ice pack that you can use, an alternative would be anything in the freezer. Just like how you see on TV shows and in movies, a bag of frozen corn or peas can do the trick.
An ice pack should be used within the first 48 hours and after extensive physical activity or exercise.
After the 48 hour period, switching to heat will stimulate blood flow and will give you back pain relief. A quick way of doing this is by dipping a towel in warm water (the hotter the better) and wring it out.
Next, lie down on your back and place the towel on the painful areas. Make sure you are comfortable when you are on your back and place towels or pillows where needed to stay comfortable.
Once you are in a comfortable position, cover the towel with plastic wrap and set a heating pad to medium on top of the plastic.
Leave this on for 20 minutes and repeat 3-4 times a day as necessary.
This solution is one that your doctor might prescribe if your pain is severe.
Ibuprofen such as Motrin or Advil can help with the pain or by taking a naproxen such as Aleve could be taken.
If lower back pain is occurring, an acetaminophen (Tylenol) might work a little better than an Ibuprofen.
If that doesn’t help, your doctor can prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called Celebrex, to help give you back pain relief.
Celebrexis a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to reduce inflammation, which is often caused by back pain, arthritis and neck pain. It is also used in the treatment of hereditary polyps in the colon the treatment of hereditary polyps in the colon.
The active ingredient in Celebrex is celecoxib and is a COX-2 inhibitor class of drugs.
Celebrex is a capsule, thus so, it cannot be cut in half.
If you experience any one of these side effects, speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Some of the side effects include
- Sore throat
- Inability to sleep
- Mild skin rash
- Stuffy or running nose
- Dizziness, headache, nervousness
- Up step stomach, bloating, gas, diarrhea
The side effects listed above are not a complete list of side effects.