Back pain is a very common complaint. For many people, it leads to days off work, missing out on social activities, and an inability to keep up with one's family responsibilities. Back pain is often a long-term condition, so it is important to know how to manage it to keep the pain at bay. These four top tips can help.
1. Stay Active
When your back hurts, your instinctive response might be to crawl into bed and stay there until you feel better. However, prolonged periods of inactivity can make back pain worse.
Try to stay as active as possible, choosing activities that do not put too much strain on your back. Walking, swimming and even pilates are all good choices to gently stretch and strengthen your back muscles, whereas running and weightlifting might be too much of a strain.
2. Ask for Adjustments at Work
Sitting in the same position all day can cause back muscles to become stiff and painful, even in people who do not have an underlying medical condition. If you regularly suffer from back pain, ask your workplace to provide you with an adjustable desk which allows you to switch between a sitting and a standing position. While you are sitting, ensure that your workstation promotes good posture. Finally, remember to take regular breaks from your desk throughout the day to stretch, walk around, and let the muscles in your back relax.
3. Change Your Mattress
Many people assume that a soft mattress is best for a sore back, but, in fact, a harder mattress often leads to better outcomes. Softer mattresses allow parts of your body to sink into them, which can lead to an unnatural pattern of stress across the back. If you are not sure what kind of mattress is best for your back, ask your doctor or physiotherapist for advice.
4. Keep Up With Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is an excellent tool to help people who suffer from back pain to recover. However, many people only see a physiotherapist while their back pain is acute. As soon as they feel better, they stop attending appointments and no longer do the exercises that their physiotherapist prescribed.
If you want to make a lasting recovery from back pain, it is important to continue with physiotherapy. The exercises that your physiotherapist prescribes help to strengthen the muscles in the back so they are better able to support the spine. To prevent back pain from reoccurring, you need to keep doing these exercises even when your back feels better.