Millions of Americans experience back trouble every year, ranging from minor discomfort to debilitating pain.
In fact, an estimated 80 percent of adults worldwide will have some level of back pain in their lives, leading to lost work time and disability.
Although surgery is an option to treat back pain, it is not usually the first choice for most people. Often, the issue can be addressed at home with exercises, therapy and over-the-counter medication. If you are living with back pain, these options could help ease your discomfort.
Strengthen your back
Try some simple back stretches and exercises to keep your back strong and limber. These exercises can easily be done at home in just a few minutes and without any equipment. Set aside some time throughout your day to do a few stretches so your back will remain loose.
“Finding the right treatment for back pain is critical in order for you to be able to continue doing the things you love,” says Robert Gerken, administrator at Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “However, it is important to consult with your doctor before you try something new, or you may end up making the pain worse with the wrong kind of exercise.”
Take it easy
If your back has a tendency to get hurt, do yourself a favor and be easy on your back. Avoid activities that could cause injury, like sports with sudden twisting movements. Take care when lifting heavy objects to avoid injury. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees, and lift slowly without sudden movements.
Obesity can put an incredible strain on your body, especially on your bones and joints. Being overweight can increase the likelihood of having back trouble. Obesity can cause degeneration of discs in the spine, as well as wear and tear on the joints, which can lead to lower-back pain. Researchers have found that people who are obese have more success in treating back pain if they lose weight.
Try physical therapy
Persistent back pain could benefit from physical therapy. Whether the pain is from an injury or an unknown source, a physical therapist can work with you to find the right treatment. A therapist can help determine what movements cause pain and what exercises and pain relief options could resolve the issue.
Persistent back pain can take over your life and get in the way of doing the things you love. Try these options to strengthen your back and manage discomfort.
A version of this article was published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission.