Back pain is a common problem for people around the planet. It has been estimated that more than 1.5 billion people experience chronic pain, chronic back pain and pain caused by other things, around the globe. In the United States, as many a quarter of all people suffer from chronic back pain. Only 37% seeks out medical help for it. This is too bad because about 60% of people who suffer from this kind of pain say that it has a negative impact on their day-to-day lives. There are some things you can do to deal with chronic back pain:
- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can do a lot of bad things for your health. For people who suffer from chronic back pain, sciatica nerve pain, or any pain that comes from inflammation, it can be hard to get the right amount of sleep. Moreover, the quality of sleep you get may suffer when you have an injury that causes this kind of pain. It may help to get pillows to put between your legs (if you sleep on your side), under your pelvis, if you sleep on your stomach, and under your knees, if you sleep on your back. This can make a real difference in the quality and quantity of sleep that you get.
- Get to a healthy weight. If you need to lose some pounds, and many people in the United States do, you will do your back and your other weight-bearing joints like your knees a huge favor. Losing even ten pounds can make a difference in how your back feels. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can do wonders for back pain and any kind of nerve pain. If you are having issues losing weight, you should talk to your doctor, a personal trainer, or a professional nutrition expert.
- Make exercise a part of your life. When you start a new work out routine to deal with chronic back pain, you need to start out slow. One thing about back injuries is that activity to strengthen the muscles in your core can make a huge difference in how it feels and how the pain impacts your life. Simple and easy stretches combined with low impact cardio activity can get you started on a routine to help your back feel better.
- Try yoga. Yoga helps people with back injuries keep chronic back pain at bay for a long time. Doing yoga has a lot of health benefits from doing yoga on a regular basis. There are a number of kinds of yoga but all focus on increasing your mindfulness and improving your health. New research shows that doing yoga regularly can lower the amount of chronic back pain. This research was published in the Clinical Journal of Pain.
- Try physical therapy. A good physical therapist can help train you to do exercises to help you strengthen those important core muscles. They can work with you to get a workout routine that will help and not harm your already hurting back. If you are not sure where to start with a workout routine,
taking some time to see a physical therapist can get you started in the right direction.
- You can take anti-inflammatory medications. There are some over the counter drugs that you can take. They include naproxen sodium, sold under the brand name Aleve, and ibuprofen sold commercially as Advil. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any stomach problems as all of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory(NSAID) drugs can cause issues with your stomach. There are also prescription strength NSAIDs that can be prescribed by your doctor.
- While you are thinking about medications, there are topical options that may help. That are some creams and gels that have substances such as lidocaine, which is a powerful topical anesthetic. It is also good for sunburns. These can be good for chronic back pain and they do not have the same number of side effects or dangerous interactions with other medications you take.
Every year, many people injure their backs. For many, the result can be chronic back pain. The good news is that there are things you can do to feel better.