If you are one of the 16 million adults in the United States suffering from chronic back pain, you are likely aware of the misery that it brings. The lack of sleep, work absences, mobility deficits, and depression must have been all-too-familiar realities to you.
There are just as many things that you shouldn’t do as there are that you should do when dealing with chronic back pain. Learning what these things are can help you effectively manage or, in some cases, even conquer your back pain.
Let’s discuss some of the dos and don’ts of dealing with chronic back pain and where you can get high-quality treatment for it in Austin, Texas.
Do consult a pain specialist.
While there are low-cost and convenient self-management options available for chronic back pain, it is imperative that you consult a doctor, specifically a pain specialist, first.
Chronic back pain is an indication of an underlying medical issue, such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, epidural abscess (pus in the spinal cord), and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). Consulting a pain specialist can make all the difference in preventing the onset or progression of any underlying medical condition.
Your pain specialist can make a thorough evaluation of your chronic back pain and create an appropriate treatment plan to address it. Apart from prescribing the standard pain medications, your pain specialist may recommend various treatment options, such as stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which are both effective at providing long-term pain relief.
Do stay active.
If you have chronic back pain, one of the most important things you can do is to stay active in your daily life. Avoid doing vigorous exercises when your back is hurting, but keep moving, even if it is uncomfortable. This is especially helpful when the cause of your back pain is arthritis. Even low-intensity exercises can boost the circulation of the lubricating fluid in your joints, and this is what they exactly need to stay healthy and limber.
Do maintain a healthy weight.
An unhealthy weight brings on a bevy of health problems, among which is chronic back pain. Your spine bears the brunt of your excess body weight, all the more so when you have it around your midsection. The excess weight pulls your pelvis forward and strains your back, thereby causing pain.
Maintaining a healthy weight is, therefore, crucial, and you can achieve it by making proper food choices, exercising, and kicking unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Do use proper body mechanics.
Back problems are chiefly caused by poor body mechanics. Slouching or excessive straightening can cause your backbone to press down unevenly on your cartilage discs and gradually damage them.
An easy way to maintain good posture is to keep your back straight without tensing up. Keep a neutral back position whenever you sit or stand, especially if you need to do so for long periods.
When lifting objects, use your legs, instead of your back. Most of the force should come from your legs because they are better equipped to handle lifting forces. Your back should act as a stabilizer, not the prime mover.
Don’t sit for long periods of time.
Just because your job involves prolonged sitting and hunching over your computer doesn’t mean you have to ruin your back in exchange. There are steps you can take to limit the damage done to your back. These include getting up and stretching every 30 to 60 minutes, using a standing desk, and walking on your breaks.
Don’t lift weights overhead or on your shoulders.
Doing shoulder presses and lifting weights over your head can stress your spine and strain your spinal discs. Therefore, you shouldn’t do them when you have back pain. You also need to avoid doing exercises that involve resting weight on your shoulders, such as weighted squats,
Top-Notch Back Pain Treatment in Austin, TX
At Balcones Pain Specialists, we have board-certified interventional pain management specialists who will work closely with you to identify the exact cause of your back pain and create an effective course of treatment that is most suitable to your condition.
Call our office at (512) 834-4141 or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with one of our pain specialists. We’re looking forward to helping you get “back” in action!