If you are currently in pain:
- Don’t Lie Down
Even though is seems natural and normal to want to lie down and rest for a while, fight that urge! Experts believe that you should do some light movements and some gentle stretching to help your sore back feel better more quickly.
- Apply Compress of Ice Packs And Heat
Ever get confused if you're supposed to use ice or heat with a sore back? Well, the best bet is to use both! Ice and heat are a great way to deal with pain. In fact, doctors recommend cold therapy during the first 48 hours, especially if there is swelling. After this initial period, they recommend switching to warm compresses.
- Gently Stretch
Sometimes all a sore back needs is a little stretching. Stretching the soft tissues in your back and shoulders can actually help you deal with your back pain. But, it is important to visit a professional who can provide direction on which stretches are best. Doing this on your own could lead to further injury.
- Take Some Pain Relievers
While some pain may go away with the therapies noted above, some may be so great that you will need help. So take some pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, that will help you to relieve back pain. Limit your intake over pain relievers and only take them when needed.
- Visit a Professional
Although minor injuries can go without a visit to the doctor, there are times when you have to visit a specialist to deal with such problems. If you notice that the pain doesn’t decrease after rest and medication, and you start feeling tingling, weakness or fever, this may be a symptom of more serious problems.
Contact us for an appointment.
If you happen to be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic back pain, some lifestyle adjustments could also help reduce the frequency and severity of back pain episodes.
Tips to help further reduce back pain:
- Be Well-Balanced
Too much sitting, standing, walking, and even lying is bad for your back. To combat these common causes of back pain, be sure to take periodic breaks from any activity. For example, after you have been sitting for an hour, go for a little walk, or stand while talking on the phone. If you are on your feet all the time, sit down and rest your legs for a few minutes.
- Stand Still
Watch your posture, especially if you have been standing for a long time. Have one foot a little ahead of the other and your knees bent. This reduces the pressure in the lower back and helps to engage and strengthen your core muscles.
- Sit Properly
Because we tend to spend so much time in front of our computers, many develop less-than-ideal sitting positions. Perhaps you sit with one leg tucked under your other knee, or maybe you criss-cross your legs... Improper seating can cause major back problems. Your best bet is to sit upright and keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Reduce The Burden On The Shoulders
Many women keep too many things in their bags: laptop, tablet, several mobile phones, planner, a whole slew of cosmetics, snacks for the kids, etc. Believe it or not, it is not necessary to carry all of these items all of the time. When is the last time you weighed your purse? You might be surprised to learn the average woman's purse weighs upwards of 11-12 pounds. And wearing a heavy burden on the shoulders creates a risk of great pain in the upper back. Consider simplifying your purse and only carrying your true daily "must have" items.
- Wear a Backpack
If you determine that in fact all of your purse contents are "must have" items, then a backpack is your best solution. The beauty of backpacks (and yes, there are stylish options available) is that the weight is properly distributed on both shoulders and it’s pushed on the upper part of your back where the muscles are stronger than the shoulders. If you absolutely can't live with a backpack, then a diagonal strap purse (messenger bag style) is a great alternative.
- Watch Your Weight
It's no secret...gaining more pounds, especially in the waist, can cause pain in a way that it will stretch the lower part of your back and it will move your center of gravity. Even losing as few as 10-15 pounds can make a big difference with managing your back pain.
Exercise is one of the best preventative measures when it comes to back pain. Regular exercise keeps your back muscles in good shape and it helps prevent injuries from simple movements like pushing or lifting.
- Reach, Lift And Move Things Appropriately
Reaching, lifting and moving heavy objects without proper posture can injure your back. So, if you have to reach for an object, be sure to use a chair or a ladder instead of stretching. And, when moving heavy objects, push instead of pull. Finally, if you must carry something, hold it close to your body, with your knees bent, and squat instead of bending your waist down, before you put it on the ground.
- Limit Wearing High Heels
High heels look gorgeous on your legs, but they affect your center of gravity and stretch your back. They also make painful bumps on your feet and misshape your toes. But, if you have to wear heels, at least don’t wear high ones, and if you must wear high ones, don’t wear them all day. Your feet and your back will thank you.
- Give Up Smoking
Did you know smokers are more likely to experience problems with their back? The cause of this is because nicotine reduces the amount of blood flow to the spine.
- Get Some Sleep
Sleeping on your back is the best position for avoiding pain. If you want to sleep on the side, place a pillow between the knees to relax the muscles. Read more about sleep positions.
- Slow Down
A lot of pain in the body doesn’t come only from physical injuries. It sometimes happens because we are moving quickly and we strain too much. In this case, rest and your back (and the other parts of your body) will be grateful.