Saturday, August 9, 2014

When it comes to back pain, forethought ahead of time is better than patiently bearing it afterward.  Back pain is not something you should bear patiently. Take measures to alleviate it as soon as it begins.  It will generally not get better by itself.  Back pain is serious not only because it involves your spine but also because it affects your nervous system.  Major nerves run up the spine and connect to the brain.  Major damage to the spine--often through auto accidents or sports injuries--can result in permanent paralysis.  Here are some tips on how to take action against back pain and keep your back healthy.

When back pain begins, ask yourself what has caused it.  The answer may come to you quickly.  For instance, 'It was that 50 pound back of lawn fertilizer I raised yesterday.'  Then try to recall how did you lifted it.  Did you use proper lifting techniques?  Learning and using these techniques is a key to avoiding a "bad back." Once improper lifting has wrenched your back, give it the rest it needs.  Then do stretching exercises to get your back in alignment.  A physical therapist can teach you these.  Yoga also is a source of good, overall muscle toning and balance.  Or a chiropractor can help.  But you want to avoid the habit of relying on someone else to do it for you.  Take responsibility for keeping your back in alignment.

Poor posture, especially sitting in a slumped position at a desk all day, can cause back pain.  Office workers often develop back pain, and wonder why, since they are not doing heavy lifting.  In this situation, you need an ergonomic chair.  At the very least, adjust the chair you have.  Bring a small pillow to provide support in the needed place--the small of your back.  Keep the natural curvature of your back as you sit.  Slumping forward keeps the spine in an unnatural position, stressing and straining its vertabrae and discs. 

Sports injuries are another cause of back pain.  While playing sports can have many benefits, try to choose a sport that does not damage your back. Parents, do you really want your child to play football? In whatever sport, do stretching exercises before and after you play, to help avoid back injury.

Think before you decide to do something that need to stretch your back.  It says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and  it applies here perfectly.  Serious back strain can take a long time to overcome.  Get help in lifting a heavy object.

Relaxing in an soft armchair while watching television is another way people develop back pain.  If the chair does not support your back properly, it will be doing damage, and you will hardly notice it while you are absorbed in the programs you are watching.

NSAIDS are pain relievers that can temporarily relieve back pain after exertion. They are of different types:  acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. You may find that one works better for you than others.  They reduce inflammation and pain.  But you do not want to overuse them and become dependent on them, as they have their own unhealthy side effects, such as damaging the liver.

Regular stretching exercises that tone the muscles and keep them in balance are the best way to avoid serious back pain altogether.  Once you develop back pain, get some help from a physical therapist to learn the right stretching techniques to help you recover.  Keep them up as a preventive measure.

Take a look at the mattress you sleep on. Old and lumpy mattresses that do not give good support are a primary cause of back pain.  Take a look at your couch also.  Something too soft will not support your back. Buy a good quality, firm mattress.  Putting a small pillow under the small of your back may help.  Put a pillow between your knees when lying on your side.

Follow these tips and they will help you avoid serious and prolonged back pain.


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