Living with low back pain

Many adults experience some degree of back pain in their lifetime and need to find ways to manage that pain and get on with their lives. Whether you’re looking to ancient remedies, readily available pharmacy solutions or something more, there are many methods available to help you manage chronic back pain.

Some first steps might be obvious from looking at your lifestyle. Are you overweight? Losing even a few pounds could reduce your pain because with every extra pound we carry around we place unnecessary stress on our joints and ligaments. Do you smoke? Smoking has been directly linked to back pain, particularly lower back pain, and stopping could bring you relief. Atherosclerosis, where plaque or other material builds up on the inside of blood vessels, causing decreased blood supply to places like the bones and discs of the spine, is often caused over time by smoking. This eventually leads to degeneration of the spine and the onset of pain.

There are other things you can do around the house to help improve how you’re feeling. Taking an anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, can help. Applying hot and cold packs to the site of the pain throughout the day for 20 minute intervals can also soothe pain. Adding a daily walk to your routine to get your body into an upright, neutral position instead of a stressful sitting one, may take away pain, and the gentle movement is good for your bones and joints.

If you find that none of these methods are effective in reducing your pain, you may want to look at alternatives.

A trained massage therapist can use techniques to stimulate muscles, bones and joints, which in turn, can relieve pain, improve circulation and improve mood. Consider making an appointment with a therapist in your area and be sure to explain to him or her where you are experiencing pain.

Another type of therapist who may help you immensely is a physical therapist. This therapist will use body mechanics to alleviate pain by analyzing and correcting posture, using traction, aquatic therapy and specialized exercises designed to strengthen muscles and increase mobility.

When none of these conservative methods bring you the relief you’re looking for, you may consider contacting your physician to find out whether you are a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure like those offered by Laser Spine Institute. These procedures have a short downtime and can help you find relief quickly so that you can get back to living a healthy, active lifestyle.


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