Back pain can be one of the most arduous, incapacitating conditions to befall a person. Modern medicine has undoubtedly produced means of managing this pain, largely in the form of potent painkillers and drugs. However, there are emerging serious concerns surrounding painkiller use. Most of them carry side effects that can range from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and escalate all the way up to long-term heart damage and a compromised immune system. Then there is the potential for serious addiction, as evidenced by the growing opioid crisis in this country.
Before you turn to painkillers there are some exercises, medical specialists, and preventative measures you can try that may soothe or mitigate back pain:
Mitigating back pain in your life may require an appraisal of your environment to ensure that you are not passively hurting or damaging your back without even realizing it. One prime area for consideration is the bedroom. Specifically, your bed and the condition of all its parts. If your mattress sags in certain areas, the very act of sleeping can be unnaturally bending your back and spine out of place. This can cause undue amounts of pain to creep into your life and renew itself every night. Ideally, your mattress should be providing uniform support across your entire body. If the bed is too soft that you sink right into it, it can cause unnatural posture when you finally settle into it. If the mattress is too firm it can apply pressure to your nerves and pressure points, as well as cause misalignment in your back. As with many things, you are looking for a balance between the two extremes.
Another thing to watch out for is your posture throughout your daily routine. This is especially of concern if you have a somewhat typical office job. There is a tendency at these jobs to sit hunched in front of a computer for hours at a time. If you are assuming a poor posture for extended periods during work, this constant strain on your back can easily add up. Being mindful of assuming proper posture and occasionally getting up to move around can go a very long way in reducing oncoming pain throughout your workday. It may also be worth making sure that your office equipment and furniture are in good enough repair and appropriately sized to easily allow you to sit comfortably and properly for hours if need be. There may be limits to how much you can affect the environment around you but being able to make arrangements favorable to your back can go a long way in relieving or preventing back pain from occurring further.
Stretches and Exercise
It will likely surprise no one that your back can be easily affected by external sources. But if you take measures to do certain exercises and strengthen your core, you can significantly push back the pain from within. The “core” refers to all of the muscles of your midsection, which includes the front back and sides of that region. The specific muscle groups in question include your obliques, lower lats, erector spinae, and traverse abdominis. These muscles act as stabilizers for your entire body and when maintained can better manage pain to your back. Keeping a healthy degree of flexibility can also allow you to handle and relieve tension to your spine and neck. Stretching regularly can provide your muscles with the necessary flexibility to more efficiently manage and heal back pain. The exercise required for all of this does not need you to live at the gym, either. Consult a medical professional or physical trainer for advice on how best to incorporate some simple exercises into your weekly routine.
A chiropractic medical professional may be able to provide the treatment and advice you need to manage your back pain without painkillers. Because they are specially trained to treat the back and spine, chiropractors are uniquely qualified to examine and diagnose illness in your back. Chiropractic adjustments tend to be non-invasive and gentle on the nerves and muscles, reducing or even doing away with the need for more intensive treatments and surgeries. Regular chiropractic adjustments have been demonstrated to maintain proper alignment of the spine, as well as increase and restore movement for many patients. This, in turn, keeps the body active which leads to natural function and circulation which can stave off the pain that settles in due to immobilization and atrophy.
In some cases, your chiropractor may be able to recommend specialized equipment or braces that can assist with specific instances of back pain. As with any other medical professional, any treatment or apparatus prescribed should be utilized closely adhering to the chiropractor’s advice. If you want to address back pain in your life directly, a chiropractic consultation will almost certainly be instructive.
Painkillers may be the solution to your unique back pain situation. It is an important conversation you will need to have with a qualified healthcare professional. But there is considerable mounting evidence that for many, painkillers may pose more harm than good. Learning to ease and manage your back pain without painkillers may very well be worth your time and interest.