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Simple Ways to Manage Your Back Pain

Simple Ways to Manage Your Back Pain

Back pain is the leading cause of disability throughout the world, and it affects about 65 million Americans every year. The causes range from everyday movements that cause minor aches to serious diseases that lead to disabling conditions.

To find out what’s causing your back pain and whether you need professional treatment, the team of back pain specialists at Nebben Physical Medicine in Clarksville, Tennessee, brings years of experience and multidisciplinary expertise to the table.

In many cases, some simple, at-home strategies can resolve minor back pain. Here are a few we often recommend.

Move more

We know it’s tempting to avoid activity when your back hurts, but that may actually make it worse — in fact, it may be the reason your back hurts in the first place. 

Inactivity weakens your muscles, which puts you at risk for injury while doing the simplest household tasks or getting in and out of your car.

Activities like taking walks and keeping up with your daily errands increase circulation, which promotes healing.

Pay attention to your posture

Do you sit at a desk all day? If so, it may make your back pain worse. Unless you’re constantly conscious of your posture, you’re probably falling into some common bad habits, such as slouching, leaning forward, and bending your neck to look at your keyboard. 

Follow this guide to make sure you’re sitting at the right height and distance from your computer, and you may notice some immediate improvement in your back health.

Stretch your muscles

Tight muscles are painful muscles. To give your back a helping hand, try some gentle stretches first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Carefully pull your knees to your chest to loosen up your lower back muscles and get you ready for the day.

Pilates and yoga are also great ways to stay flexible and out of pain, while also strengthening your muscles to support your back.

Lose weight

If you’re overweight or obese, you’re putting a lot of excess stress on your back. If your core muscles are weak as well, all the responsibility for bending, twisting, and lifting falls on your back, which is why so many overweight people experience back pain.

Losing weight can help you manage back pain related to structural conditions, such as spinal stenosis and herniated discs, and help you resolve backaches that stem from excess stress and muscle strain. 

Don’t smoke

Tobacco smoke is toxic. It’s detrimental to your body in so many ways, not the least of which is its tendency to weaken your vertebrae and rob your discs of essential nutrients and hydration. If you smoke — quit. 

Try cold and hot therapy

Two of the easiest at-home tricks for easing back pain are often the most effective. 

If your back pain stems from inflammation, place a zip-top bag of crushed ice wrapped in a towel (to prevent freezer burn on your skin) or a bag of frozen peas on the painful area for 10-20 minutes 3-4 times a day can reduce swelling and alleviate your pain.

If your back hurts because your muscles are tight, a heating pad can work wonders by promoting circulation and loosening knots.

Take NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®), can keep inflammation and pain under control.

Prop up your back

Often, lower back pain stems from tension that builds up in the area. A good way to release this tension is to prop up your pelvis with a small pillow or rolled towel while lying on your back. This allows your hips to relax and the tension to drain from your lower back.

Get help

While these techniques may bring you temporary relief from minor back pain, when you have a more complicated cause of back pain, you need professional help. At Nebben Physical Medicine, we offer a wide range of treatments depending on the underlying problem. 

From chiropractic care and physical therapy to laser treatments, trigger point therapy, and Acousana® — extracorporeal shockwave therapy — we can help you find lasting relief for all types of back pain. 

To find out which treatment is best for you, schedule a consultation by calling us at 931-313-3843, or book your appointment online today.

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