Back pain can be excruciating. It may cause you to withdraw from many activities. It may seem like the way to avoid pain is to just sit around and not engage in things you once enjoyed. But this is not necessary. In fact, it is important to stay active. You do need to avoid movements that distort and pressure your back. But the right activities are essential to finding relief from back pain. And the chair you are “just sitting around in” may be one of the causes of your lower back pain. Here are some tips to help you recognize the causes and the cures of your back pain.
The basic cause of back pain is some stress or pressure that bends your spine out of shape. It may happen quickly, as in an accident or a sports injury. But more often it develops slowly and unnoticed, over time. Our sedentary lifestyle is a bigger culprit than accidents or falls. Sitting for prolonged periods in a chair that does not give your back good support, or sleeping on a poor mattress, are often causes. These are easy to correct.
Another major cause of slow-developing back pain is weak abdominal muscles. These muscles are designed to help carry your weight and keep your spine in line. But when they become slack, they no longer do their job. Weight gain in your midsection means more weight for your back to carry and also tends to pull your spine out of alignment. This is why pregnant women often develop back pain.
The back pain you experience is a message from your body telling you something is wrong and needs correcting. Compression in the spine, over time, causes deterioration in the flexible, cushioning discs made of cartilage. These discs separate the vertebrae. If pressure causes them to slip out of place, their cushioning effect is lost, and pain is the result. The major nerves that run along the spine can become pinched. If the damage is not too severe, getting your spine re-aligned and keeping it that way may solve the problem.
Ask your doctor about physical therapy. It can help you learn how to improve your posture, and do exercises to strengthen crucial muscles and stretch your back to relieve pressure. Keeping up these efforts over time can lessen or even eliminate your lower back pain.
Your doctor can prescribe a strong medication to relieve your back pain for awhile. But in the long run, relief depends on measures such as those described above. You don’t want to become dependent on pain killers, nor on having a chiropractor put your spine back in alignment every week. The long term solution to back pain lies in providing good support for your back, practicing good posture, and doing exercises and stretches to relieve the problem.
Follow these tips and develop an overall program to regain a healthy back and enjoy an active lifestyle. Don’t just resign yourself to back pain for the rest of your life. Many people have overcome this debilitating condition, and you can too.