Chronic back pain is pain that persists for at least three months. The pain can be inconsistent, coming and going over a period of time, which means relief from pain is only short-lived. Chronic back pain can be difficult to treat since it can be challenging to identify the source of the pain.
Back pain that is chronic isn’t always severe. It is common for people to have mild back pain that can cause issues with movement if the pain is not properly treated. If you have chronic back pain, you can monitor your pain and triggers that lead to discomfort. This will help you get a more accurate idea of what is causing your back pain.
If you’re struggling with back pain, finding the source of the pain and a treatment that works for you could require you to consult with a doctor for medical advice. However, here are a few solutions for back pain that you can try in between doctor visits.
Monitor Your Diet
Some foods that you eat often, especially those that contain trans-fats, can an inflammatory response in your body. Sugary foods that are highly processed have been proven to lead to inflammation, which could be the cause of your chronic back pain. Losing some weight and filling your diet with unprocessed foods can reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pressure on your lower back.
Exercise Your Back
Stretching your back and strengthening muscles in the core can be beneficial to those who are suffering from chronic back pain. Exercise is an important way to help maintain body strength and a healthy weight without subjecting yourself to surgery. Stretching exercises after you work out also allow you to stretch your muscles while they are already warm, which can reduce stress on them. You can try using a foam roller for stretches like this or even ask someone at the gym if there’s anything that they recommend.
Change Your Mattress
One of the ways you can relieve chronic back pain is to replace your mattress. There are several mattresses on the market that use memory foam to support your body weight and help to stabilize your back to prevent pain. You can also find a mattress that allows you to adjust the firmness and softness of the mattress for comfortable sleep. If you’re sleeping on a mattress that properly supports your muscles and joints, you’re more likely to wake up with less pain.
Try Physical Therapy
Even though you may think that moving your body more will cause more pain, exercise is actually an effective way to soothe back pain and enhance your mobility. Talk to your physician before starting a workout program if you have chronic pain. Generally, low-impact workouts like swimming can improve back pain since water reduces discomfort and supports your body weight.
Exercising in the gym can also help as long as you’re working with a trainer. In many cases, back pain is worsened by weak core muscles. When you strengthen your core, you can support your back and reduce pain.
Physiotherapist is another treatment you can try for chronic back pain. This type of therapy should be customized to fit your needs. Consult with a professional to find a treatment plan that works for you while addressing any underlying health issues you have.
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness
Chronic back pain affects people emotionally and mentally as well as physically. You may often feel frustrated or irritable when trying to deal with pain, so eliminating the stress and anguish that comes with chronic pain is just as important as dealing with the physical discomfort.
Meditation and yoga are ideal ways to deal with the mental strain that often comes with back pain. Yoga can relieve some of the physical symptoms that come with chronic pain as well. Meditation helps to reframe your thinking so you can focus your concentration on other things instead of the pain.
Consider an Injection-Based Treatment
If you have chronic back pain, you may want to try a simple and quick treatment for relief. Nerve blocks or ablations, as well as epidural steroid injections can help your mobility and ease temporary discomfort. While injections are not long-term solutions, they can provide relief for a few weeks or months.
From a chiropractor who specializes in back pain to acupuncture and low-impact workouts, finding the right treatment for chronic back pain can take time. Be patient with yourself and keep trying different treatments until you find one that works.
Research suggests that acupuncture could be an effective method of treating lower back pain. More research is needed, but it is known that some people experience relief after receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture involves using needles inserted into general points on your body (not just your lower back). Treatment may be performed alone or alongside other therapies. There are many types of acupuncture as well including traditional Chinese medicine, Japanese acupuncture, Russian medical acupuncture and German medical acupuncture among others.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
It’s important to take a break from chores and physical labor so your back muscles will have time to recover. Pay attention to the activities that cause pain and reduce these activities or avoid them altogether. You may have to hire someone to complete complex household tasks that involve lifting heavy objects or ask your supervisor if you can revise your work tasks to reduce pain.
Think About Alternative Treatments
Massage can relieve ongoing back pain as well. Electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture can relieve pressure in your nerves and make a huge difference in the way you feel so you can move better and resume your regular exercise program.
In addition to these treatments, you can also talk to your doctor about taking medication for instant relief from pain. However, keep in mind that medicines often have side effects and may not be as effective over time once you body becomes used to the medicine. Working with your physician, trainer, or a health coach can help you find a tailored solution for your back pain that will work for years to come.