By Rae Steinbach
Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability and missed work. Up to 80% of adults will experience back pain in their lifetime, and 20-50% experience an episode of back pain in any given year. While back pain can affect people of all ages, it is more common for older adults.
Some back pain may be the result of injury, and simply getting physical therapy information could help you learn to alleviate the pain. But for many people, it is simply the accumulation of the stress and strain you put on your back over time. If you are suffering with back pain, you do not need to let it take over your life. By following some simple tips, you can ease your back pain and live a more comfortable life.
Take Pain Relievers
A variety of different medications can help you manage your back pain better. By taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, you can control the inflammation and gain some level of relief from the pain. Both of these medicines are commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve inflammation and pain, and they can both be purchased as over the counter medicines.
You can take ibuprofen or naproxen on an as-needed basis to relieve pain, but most people will see better results if they continue taking the medicine for a few days. When it comes to back pain, it is recommended that you take either of these medicines 2-3 times a day for a week to ten days.
Physical activity is important for your health in a number of different ways, but it can also help you manage your back pain. The more physically active you are, the better you will be able to deal with the physical stresses of everyday life. Additionally, it should help when it comes to getting over episodes of back pain.
Use an Ice Pack
If you are experiencing back pain, applying an ice pack can be one of the best treatments. Ice can reduce the inflammation that is causing your back pain and help you heal quicker. Just get an ice pack and apply it to the area for about 20 minutes, and then remove it for 20 minutes. You can repeat this cycle as many times as you need to help you relieve the pain.
Heat can also be good for an aching back. The application of heat can increase circulation and loosen up tight muscles. You can apply heat by relaxing in a warm bath or by using a heating pad for a few minutes. You just want to be careful to not fall asleep with the heating pad in the bed.
Try Physical Therapy
Talk to your doctor about exercises that can help with back pain. Your doctor should be able to prescribe an exercise regimen that will strengthen your core. If you are experiencing significant back pain problems, they may even be able to refer you to a physical therapy professional.
If you have injured your back or feel like you are experiencing a particularly intense episode of back pain, rest can be one of the best remedies. Rest your back, try some gentle stretching, and gradually work your way back into your normal activities. If you have been on bed rest for more than 48 hours with little improvement, you may need to contact your doctor.
Most people will be able to effectively manage their back pain with these tips. However, some issues are more severe than others. If your pain is severe and persistent, you may need to schedule an appointment with a back pain specialist.
About the Author:
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).