Affecting up to 31 million Americans at any given time, back pain is an all-too-common experienced by men and women of all ages. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), it’s also the leading cause for missed work and the second most common reason for doctor’s visits. But back pain doesn’t have to dictate to your life. Whether it’s minor or severe, there are several steps you can take to relieve the pain and discomfort originating from your back.
While both hot and cold compresses can relieve back pain – at least temporarily – it’s recommended that you use a cold compress. Using a hot compresses will increase blood flow to the affected region, promoting inflammation and possibly making the condition worse. A cold compress, however, will have the opposite effect by reducing blood flow and inflammation.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Need another reason to shed those unwanted pounds? Being overweight can stress your back muscles and vertebrae, causing chronic pain. Once you’ve dropped down to a healthy weight, the pain will usually begin to subside.
Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, may also relieve your back pain. NSAIDs work to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of back pain. With that said, NSAIDs should only be used as a temporary solution due to their potentially harmful side effects involving the stomach and liver. Talk to your healthcare practitioner to learn more about the use of NSAIDs in the treatment of back pain.
Are you guilty of slouching in your desk chair when working at the office? While it may seem harmless enough, this can take a toll on your back, bending the spine in unnatural ways. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers some helpful office ergonomics tips on its website, some of which include the following:
• Sit straight with both of your feet planted on the floor.
• Your eyes should be fixed to the top of your computer monitor.
• Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed.
• Your wrists should rest on a slide-out keyword tray just a couple inches under the monitor.
• Your lower back (lumbar) should be supported.
• Take regular breaks to stand up and stretch.
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation
Last but not least, consider seeking the assistance of a professional chiropractor to help treat your back pain. Spinal manipulation therapy (also known as a chiropractic adjustment) involves the manual manipulation of abnormal vertebrae to relieve pain, restore range of motion, and improve functionality. A professional chiropractor can perform adjustments to target the root cause of your back pain, offering relief of a wide range of adverse symptoms while promoting a healthy musculoskeletal system.