How to deal with and avoid back pain
Chances are that at some point you’ve had some form of back pain, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. Whatever causes it, it can be one of the most crippling and hard to get rid of injuries.
Different types of back pain
Back pain can come in many different forms, from sharp stabbing pains to aches tension or stiffness. Unless you’re actively involved in sports, cause from trauma or jolts is rare. Most back pain is caused by bad posture, bending awkwardly or by lifting heavy objects – commonly not from serious conditions and it should get better within 12 weeks.
Backache is most common in the lower back, but it can occur anywhere along your spine, even your neck or hips.
What to do if you injure your back
Up until fairly recently, doctors suggested rest for back pain, but now experts agree that the best thing to do is to keep mobile and active. Painkillers can be used to deal with the pain and ice / heat packs on the affected area will help to relieve pain.
Make sure you keep moving your spine. It can feel painful and difficult to do but if you keep gently moving (don’t do too much otherwise you risk re-injury) you will make sure your back does not become stiff after recovery. Once you are feeling better, keep doing your daily activities to get your back accustomed to everyday life. Swimming is a great way to reintroduce when you are feeling well enough to do so.
If after 6 weeks there has been no improvement, or you are in an incredible amount of pain then visit your GP to make sure you have not caused a serious injury. They will be able to advise on any medical treatments needed, such as manual therapy by a physiotherapist.
How to avoid back pain
Bad posture is one of the biggest causes of back pain, so if you work in an office environment, make sure you avoid causing harm to your back. Sit up straight and supported in your chair instead of slumping forwards when typing and get up every 20 minutes or so to stretch and move your back the other way. You can also move your desk around and design it in a way to avoid having to lean too far.
Exercise and muscle strengthening can also help avoid injury in the future. Working the muscles that support your lower back will make it stronger and avoid straining or injuring it in the future. Regular gentle exercise is great ways to keep your back supple.
Back pain is an easy thing to deal with and you shouldn’t just have to live with it – if you are suffering
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