How to Reduce Back Pain
August 29, 2012
1. Limit Bed Rest
It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that people with acute low-back pain who rest have more pain and are less able to perform daily tasks than those who stay active.
2. Keep Exercising
Activity is often the best medicine for back pain.
3. Maintain Good Posture
The pain may have started after a long workout at the gym, but the strain that caused it has probably been building for years.
4. See a Specialist
Developing an individualized exercise plan is essential to managing chronic back pain.
5. Strengthen Your Core
Most people with chronic back pain would benefit from stronger abdominal muscles.
6. Improve Flexibility
Too much tension and tightness can cause back pain.
7. Ditch the Brace
It’s tempting to baby your back muscles. Braces are helpful for strenuous activities, like heavy lifting, but only keep them on for 15 minutes at a time
8. Apply Ice and Heat
Heating pads and cold packs can comfort tender trunks. Most doctors recommend using ice for the first 48 hours after an acute injury -- particularly if there is swelling — and then switching to heat.
9. Sleep the Right Way
The amount of rest you get is important, and so is the position you get it in.
• Back sleepers should put pillows under their knees.
• Side sleepers should place pillows between their knees to keep their spine in a neutral position.
• Stomach sleeping causes the neck and head to twist and can put undue stress on the back.
10. Quit Smoking
Lighting up doesn’t just damage your lungs; it can also hurt your back.