Living with back pain is no fun. You know this if you are among the millions who suffer from it. But did you know that you have options above and beyond medication? It’s true. Depending on what is causing your back pain, you may be able to find relief without taking NSAIDs or pain blockers.
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The first thing to do is see your doctor, according to the Lone Star pain management clinic in Weatherford, Texas. Some types of back pain are caused by issues that have to be dealt with professionally. For example, a slipped disc requires proper medical intervention. If the cause of your back pain does not require professional intervention, you might consider these four tips:
1. Lose Weight
Unfortunately, excess weight presents itself mostly in the midsection. Every pound you put on puts more stress on your spinal column. Muscles in your back have to work harder to keep the spinal column straight. This can cause an ongoing cycle that results in chronic back pain.
What is the solution? Lose weight. Every pound you lose reduces the stress on the spinal column. Losing weight also requires less work from the back muscles. You will find you move more freely, and you are less likely to injure your back by lifting, jumping, etc.
2. Exercise Daily
Back pain can be a sign that your muscles are not strong enough to support your weight. You can engage in certain exercises designed to strengthen the back. And while you’re at it, strengthen the abdomen as well. Both sets of muscles work together to help you maintain good posture.
Another benefit of exercise is that it releases endorphins. These are brain chemicals that, among other things, fight pain and produce feelings of pleasure. A daily dose of endorphins can go a long way toward making your back feel better even as you work to strengthen your muscles through daily exercise.
3. Improve Your Posture
Some people suffer chronic back pain due to their posture. And believe it or not, it is both sitting and standing posture. When you’re standing, make a concerted effort to stand up straight with your shoulders back and your chest out. This better aligns the spine to support your weight. It’s tough to do, but if you can master the practice of standing up straight, you’re less likely to experience back pain normally caused by slouching forward.
When you are sitting, it is best to have your knees positioned just slightly lower than your hips. If they are too low, they may cause you to lean forward and slouch. Putting something under your feet can solve that problem. When working on a computer, make sure the screen is at eye level, otherwise you are more likely to bend forward to read it.
4. Change How You Work
Finally, you might be able to alleviate some of your back pain by changing how you work. In other words, change how you do some of your daily tasks. Maybe your job requires constant turning and moving back and forth. Rather than merely twisting your upper body, rotate your entire body with your feet. Fewer twists and turns are ultimately better for your back.
If you frequently lift heavy objects, remember the basic principle of lifting with your knees. Do not bend over at the waist to lift. Instead, squat down and use your legs to lift from the floor, keeping your back straight.
Sometimes chronic back pain requires professional intervention; other times it does not. After seeing your doctor, you might try one of the four tips listed here to alleviate your chronic back pain.