If you suffer from back pain, it can seem like no one understands your particular discomfort. But you are not alone. No one is immune to recurrent backaches, and it is projected that more than 80% of the world’s population will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. Having a sore back doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, or economic status, so everyone benefits from understanding how to relieve suffering from back pain.
This problem can be an expensive irritant or debilitating chronic condition. Back pain causes hundreds of millions of missed work days annually, costing employees and their employers lost wages and productivity. Those with severe back pain may be unable to hold a job at all.
There is good news, however; there are a few treatments for back pain that are known for their effectiveness. If you’re ready to get rid of some of that annoying or crippling back discomfort, try some of these common treatments.
Back Pain Sufferers Take Hope: These Treatments May Help Your Symptoms
If you’ve never experienced major back pain before, you might be surprised at some of the statistics. Research has shown that more and more Americans, more commonly women than in men, are suffering from this condition. At least one in three adults experiences problems performing their daily activities because of pain in their back and millions of people lose out on sleep because of back pain.
Back pain is so damaging to those who live with it that it’s estimated sufferers around the world spend approximately 50 billion dollars a year to relieve it. From medicine to surgeries, many individuals have tried it all and for whom certain treatments for back pain are often their last hope.
Before you go to extreme methods to get rid of your symptoms, try some of these ways to overcome your back pain problems.
- Light exercise – Back pain is often caused by long periods of inactivity, so people who work in sedentary positions commonly experience mild to moderate symptoms. Light exercise helps prevent this by reducing stiffness in the ligaments and tendons in the back. If you are used to light exercise, those same connective fibers are less likely to tear when you try more strenuous activities.
- Stretch daily – Stress, inactivity, and tension exacerbate back pain. Experts suggest that those who work from their desks or are generally sedentary should take short periods of rest from work and stretch. Simply leaning forward in your chair carefully and keeping your back neutral while you stretch one leg and then the other, lets your back get the movement it needs to prevent stiffening up.
- Hot and cold packs – Ice is great if you injured your back. During the first 48 hours after an injury, ice can reduce and prevent swelling. After the first 48 hours, if the pain is ongoing, check in with your doctor and switch to moist heat.
- Change sleeping positions – How you sleep plays a huge part in your body’s alignment and your potential for back pain. You may think you’re resting well, but if your body isn’t getting the support it needs, it’s still under stress. Your spine has natural curves and contours, and your mattress and sleeping position need to align with them.
If you’re a back sleeper, try putting pillows under your knees to reduce stress on your hips. Stomach sleepers commonly have the most back pain because of the way their head and neck twist during sleep. Side sleepers rest in the recommended position, but using pillows between your knees might help if you sleep on your side and still have back pain.
If it’s not your sleeping position that’s causing your back pain, it could be your mattress. If it doesn’t provide enough support or is too firm, it can cause significant health problems, including back pain.
- Check with a specialist – Lots of back pain sufferers deal with their symptoms because they don’t want to be on a strong pain medication that may interfere with their daily routines. But you don’t have to “just deal with” your back pain. There are many natural ways to help reduce your symptoms, like massage therapy and chiropractic care.
If you’ve tried these recommended therapies and still have back pain, you may want to make an appointment with an orthopedist to see if there is something more serious happening.
You Don’t Have to Live with Back Aches and Discomfort
Even though back pain is quite common, it’s also treatable. If you can find the cause of your particular back pain, you may be able to find a method to treat it, too. Asking friends for their suggestions of what worked for them, talking to your doctor, replacing your mattress, or seeing a specialist may save you lots of missed work and reduce your suffering in the future.