Do you feel like there’s a knife in your back due to stabbing pains in your spine? Is it hard to sit or stand and you can’t seem to find a comfortable way to get to sleep? Back pain is one of the most common complaints that doctors hear about.
Sometimes you know the reason for the back pain. You’ve strained your back by lifting something heavy, you’ve an injury due to playing sports, an auto accident or maybe even a work related injury. Other times you have no idea what you did or didn’t do to ignite the pain.
When the back muscles are overused or wrongly used, you can feel pain for a few days. However, it then recovered and you might notice an improvement. If the back pain doesn’t go away after a few days with rest and over the counter pain relievers, then you need to seek medical help. You may have a more serious problem that can result in chronic pain.
Improper lifting can cause back pain
Back pain may also be a warning sign that you need to change your ways. Don’t bend over and pick up your child or a heavy object without first bending your knees, and then lifting. Improper lifting is a leading cause of back pain and disc damage.
Mind your posture
Your body may also be trying to tell you to sit up straight. You need to stop slouching in your desk chair at work. Choose to sit in a chair with a firm, straight back. Stay away from over-stuffed chairs or sofas that you sink into.
Another message from back pain is that your mattress is too soft or too hard to promote comfortable sleep.
If the mattress is too hard, you can add a down-filled or egg crate-cushioned top to the mattress. A too soft mattress probably needs to be replaced if it doesn’t support your back well.
High heels can cause aching back
Women need to trade heels for flats or at least wear lower heels. Those stiletto heels that are all the fad are practically a business builder for neurosurgeons. When you consider how much damage long term wear will do to some women, you’ll know why.
Driving for too long
In your car, set your seat straight and move slightly closer to the steering wheel. Bent your knees to reduce the strain on your back muscles when you drive. This is especially helpful if you regularly drive long distances. If you’re driving a lot during the day, pull over to a safe location and get out to stretch.
Standing for too long
If you have to stand for long periods to do the ironing, place a short stool beside you. Alternately place one foot and then the other on the stool. Keep your back straight. This is one way to reduce the negative impact of standing.
When you’re sitting at your desk, get up frequently for stretch and movement breaks. Walking is a fantastic exercise for back problems. It’s much safer than running. At least one foot is in contact with the ground. And there’s also no strain on the knees from pounding the pavement that occurs with running.
When back pain strikes, you need to limit strenuous activities and get extra rest. You might try an ice pack or heating pad, depending on which provides the most pain relief.
Back pain makes you rethink how you do things and find ways to adapt that both reduces pain and prevents further damage.