“Oh, my aching back” – Four Healthy Habits to Prevent or Ease Back Pain
"Oh, my aching back!"
Most of us have uttered those words at one time or another.
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting eight out of ten people at some point during their lives.
Back pain can range from soreness to a sharp pain that spreads from your lower back to your legs and can even radiate down your arms. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain generally lasts for more than three months. It is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor.
Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. The good news is that most back pain is treatable, usually with a mixture of rest, ice packs, medications, and exercise. If that does not work, it might be necessary to try injections, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture or, in the worst cases, surgery.
Here are some ways you can ease back pain and help prevent it from coming "back" again.
It’s important to start slowly and build up your strength gradually, as this will help to avoid further pain and injury. These exercises will help to maintain your back’s health, so you’ll be able to avoid back pain in the future.
Stretching can be performed throughout the day, which will help to maintain your flexibility and mobility. When stretching, you should aim to relax your muscles and feel the stretch. You should be able to hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
Heat therapy can be used to treat pain and stiffness in your back and help reduce swelling. It's recommended you use a range of heat techniques, including hot or cold packs, to help relieve your pain and restore mobility. The heat pack should be placed on your back between your shoulder blades and in the center of your back.
When all else fails, a physiotherapist is the way to go. A physiotherapist will work with you to identify the source of your pain, and then use a combination of exercises, stretches, and light massage to help you recover. If needed they will prescribe you some medication for pain relief.