Managing Your Chronic Back Pain
Nearly everyone experiences back pain at some point in his or her life. Whether it’s from daily activities, recreation or an accident, the chances that you will see a doctor to treat back pain are pretty high.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Americans spend at least $50 billion per year treating low back pain – an extremely high amount of money. Many people can get the pain to go away within a few days, but others are left with a condition called chronic back pain. If acute back pain is left untreated, it can result in a chronic condition that needs more extensive treatment.
When we say chronic pain, we mean a pain that’s lasts for more than three months and gets worse as time goes on. When a pain has been diagnosed as chronic, its cause is harder to identify.
Men and women are equally affected by back pain. The NIH said that individuals most likely to be diagnosed with chronic back pain are between the ages of 30 and 50. Although back pain is considered part of the aging process, it can also be the result of a sedentary lifestyle. Disc disease and spinal degeneration can further increase your risk of experiencing and developing chronic back pain.
Tips for managing chronic back pain
Physicians use pain management to treat chronic back pain for a variety of reasons:
- To identify the source of the pain
- As an alternative to surgery
- To determine the areas that need to be addressed with surgery
- To rehabilitate a patient after surgery
- For patients who have already had surgery but need assistance coping with residual or recalcitrant pain
One way you can help manage your back pain is by staying hydrated. The Mayo Clinic said that drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration and lessen the symptoms of chronic back pain.
Another way to decrease the intensity of chronic back pain is by eating easy-to-digest foods. Try incorporating leafy greens, asparagus, soy products, low-sugar fruits like cranberries and cherries and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation that increases your level of pain. Stay away from foods like dairy, chocolate, high-fat red meat, wheat products and processed foods as they can increase inflammation in your back.
Bad posture is a key reason why many people develop chronic back pain. You can manage your pain by using correct posture while watching television, sitting on the computer or at work. Try to avoid the C-slump, or when you sit with a rounded back and head in front of your spine. Remember to keep your head up, stand tall and straighten your spine in order to avoid putting strain on your back and neck muscles. While this is easier said than done, you will quickly find that your back pain can be minimized when you have good posture.
These tips are great for helping to manage your chronic back pain. If you want more information on how to managing back pain, visit us at Total Family Wellness!