According to a study conducted by researchers from Georgetown University, about 65 million Americans have reported episodes of back pain recently. The same study also found that 8 percent of all adults experience chronic or persistent back pain or discomfort, which then limits their day-to-day activities. Back pain is also considered the sixth most expensive physical health condition in the United States.
If you are someone who suffers from chronic back pain, there’s no reason you need to endure it and let it get worse before you do something about it. Chronic back pain affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, and you need to find ways to alleviate it if you want to live your life to the fullest. Here are some tips to help you deal with your back pain once and for all.
Find the root cause
This may go without saying, but every remedy you try to alleviate your back pain will only be a band-aid solution unless you find the main cause of the pain. Visit your primary care provider so that you can undergo the necessary tests to ensure that it’s nothing serious. Once you and your doctor get to the bottom of why your back has been hurting, make sure to follow their advice to the letter so that you can finally get rid of your pain or discomfort.
Make sure all your furniture is ergonomic
An ergonomic design is developed for maximum efficiency and comfort. It usually refers to the office environment, but it can also apply to other areas of the house, like your living room and even the bedroom. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that every piece of furniture in your home is designed to protect your back, comfort, and health:
- Start with your office, especially if that’s where you spend the majority of your day. Follow the most ergonomic way to set up your monitor, desk, mouse, keyboard, and chair.
- Check if your bed and mattress are serving your needs as someone who battles back pain constantly. When choosing a mattress, make sure it keeps your spine perfectly aligned, that it’s medium-firm—which is the safest option you can go for when in doubt, and that the positioning of your pillows matters.
- As for your living room, here are some things you can do: Choose furniture pieces with feet support, think about how you place the living room gadgets and that they are right for your height, keep your screen at eye level, and be mindful of the space you leave in between furniture.
Learn some breathing exercises
Before you start your day, take the time to do some breathing exercises and even to meditate, if that’s something that makes you feel good. One rule you need to remember about your body is that it tenses up every time it feels pain. Breathing deeply and visualizing that breath is going to help distract you from the area that hurts. Proper breathing techniques will also help you relax.
Challenge yourself to exercise
With your doctor’s blessing and permission, consider moving your body without pushing it to its limits. You might be thinking you need to take it easy on your body because of your back pain, but this route might be misguided because physical activity might be able to help you as long as you’re not pushing the boundaries of what your body can handle. Consult with your physical therapist or doctor about the best type of exercise you can do at this stage of your back pain.
Cut back on unhealthy habits
If you have a smoking habit, or if you tend to default to drinking alcoholic drinks and other substances to help relieve your pain, you are doing yourself a lot of harm instead of long-term help. You cannot solve one negative with another negative, which is why vices are never the answer to any form of pain, whether physical, emotional, or mental. Cut back on smoking or quit cold turkey, and limit your alcohol intake to occasional drinking with friends or a glass of wine during dinner. One way to know that you’re truly healing is when you reach out for something healthy every time you feel like doing something self-destructive.
At the end of the day, your primary care provider is the best person to give you practical advice on what to do. So visit your doctor, listen to their advice, and give your body the care and attention it needs. You deserve to heal and to live a life free of chronic pain. Good luck!