If you have injured your back or suffer from back pain, you have a lot of company. It has been estimated that nearly 70% of all people in the United States suffer from back pain that is bad enough to impact their day to day lives. Nearly 40% of back pain sufferers say they workout to help alleviate their back pain. Every day, people who suffer from a back injury seek help from an emergency room in hospital or one of the many urgent care locations around the nation. If you are in pain, there are things you can do to alleviate it.
- Look at your posture. While this is not the only problem many people have with their back .bad posture sure does not help back pain any. When you are sitting or standing, you should make an effort to hold your spine straight. Over time, slouching does lead to back pain and problems. When you are sitting at your desk at work, you should make it a point to keep your feet flat on the floor. For extra support for your back, you can place a pillow or roll up a towel and place that between your back and your chair.
- Alternate between heat and cold to help back pain. If your back pain is from an injury, for the first few days, experts at urgent care locations will tell you to use ice packs or cold compresses. You should never apply ice directly to the skin but wrap the pack in a cloth or towel. You can leave it on for periods of 15 to 20 minutes and repeat this throughout the day. The cold can help reduce swelling, which can lessen the pain. After a few days, warm compresses can help relax your muscles and ease the pain that way. Never apply heat directly to your skin or sleep on any kind of heating pad.
- Do not just lay around. If you have a serious, acute back injury, it does not hurt to rest it for a few days. The best doctors will tell you that resting it too long can do more damage as you lose muscle mass when you are laying down. You want to get back to moving around after an injury to keep your muscles in good shape and to prevent the onset of other medical problems. Light activity, such as yoga or other stretching exercises and swimming, can actually make a sore back feel better.
- Seek out a physical therapist. People who report going to a physical therapist or chiropractor before they go to a back surgeon report fewer incidents of having back surgery for their back injury. There are a lot of exercises that you can do to get your back feeling good and keep it that way. The kicker is that you need to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly or you will end up going back to one of the urgent care locations for more help. The key to keeping your back happy with exercise is to get your core muscles as strong as possible. Learning how to get your core in shape is one of the best things you can do for your body.
- Try massage and chiropractic care. If the problem is with your muscles, and many people do store a lot of their stress in their muscles, seeing a good and qualified massage therapist can make a real difference in how your back feels. Another great option for back health and other medical problems is a visit with your local chiropractor. They can make sure your spine is in the proper alignment and also they can help with physical therapy options. More and more people around the world go to chiropractic doctors to help with a host of problems and some of the most popular treatments they offer are for injuries of the neck and spine.
Back injuries can really throw your life into complete chaos. The good news is that there are urgent care locations around the nation that can help when you need them. These are more convenient, take less time and cost less than a trip to your local emergency room.