Back pain is extremely common amongst American adults, but it is also very preventable. Over 80% of Americans suffer from some level of back pain, whether mild discomfort or debilitating pain that affects day-to-day life. On an annual basis, back pain affects 30 million Americans, a shocking statistic, to say the least. Many people experience back pain out of nowhere and with seemingly no rhyme or reason. There are two different classifications of back pain – acute (temporary) and chronic (persistent, long-lasting). Both chronic and acute back pain can have an impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to live comfortably. However, in many cases, making a few small changes will alleviate all signs of back pain. Unfortunately, many people turn to narcotics and over-the-counter drugs in order to manage their pain. While this may be necessary for some, the majority of back pain sufferers could see dramatic, positive changes in their pain by making a few adjustments to their everyday lives.
Figuring out what exactly is causing your back pain isn’t as straightforward as some may think, but there are tons of different actions you can take in order to alleviate the pain or keep it from escalating. The key is to protect your spine, strengthen your core, and relieve pressure to the area that is feeling it the most. Changes could be as simple as making sure you are using a supportive, ergonomic office chair or changing your shoes. Yes, your shoes. With that in mind, let’s look at a few everyday changes you can do to relieve back pain:
- Sleep on your side with a pillow in between your knees – One of the worst things you can do for back pain is sleep on your back. The best position to alleviate pain is on your side with a pillow in between your legs. Make sure you have a supportive mattress and good pillow, too.
- Sit up straight – Millions of Americans work at a computer desk for 8 hours or more every single day, which is just one of the reasons why we have seen an increase in back pain. It is important to sit up straight and maintain good posture, not slouch forward and over your computer. People don’t even realize the damage they are doing to their back and spine by slouching over as they type on their computer or text. Invest in an ergonomic workstation and really try to pay attention to your posture throughout the day. By making a few small changes in this realm, you will be amazed at what a difference it makes.
- Change your shoes – Another culprit of back pain is unsupportive shoes. More and more people are realizing the importance of wearing shoes that are supportive and mold to your foot. Women should consider shoes with less than a one-inch heel, as anything hire can cause damage to your back.
- Practice yoga – Yoga has been proven to help prevent and alleviate back pain in millions of Americans. Not only does it help with flexibility, but it will strengthen your core in order to protect your spine and back. There are tons of different yoga poses you can do specifically for back pain, too. As long as you stick to it, chances are you will see results relatively quickly.
Don’t let back pain ruin your life. By making the changes above, eating right, taking supportive and nourishing vitamins, you will have a much better chance of getting rid of your back pain altogether. If you are living with back pain because of a trauma or injury, you may want to consider physical therapy in conjunction with the above changes. Our Plano pain management clinic offers a wide range of important therapies aimed at addressing back pain and helping you achieve optimal health and wellness. Please contact NeuroSpine Surgical Consultants today for more information on physical therapy and our other services for back pain sufferers.