Robert's Story: Working, Hiking and Kayaking While Living with Chronic Back Pain
How to Beat Backaches
Achy back? Pain relief is only a click away. Keep reading to see what experts say will get you feeling better fast.
Years ago, you were told to rest in bed if your back gave you grief, but now it's clear that just the opposite is true: To speed recovery, it's best to stay active. Keeping your muscles and joints moving minimizes stiffness and boosts circulation to help you feel more comfortable. Try to do light activity like brisk walking or stretching every day—and although minor aches while exercising are normal, make sure to stop if you experience severe pain. If this kind of movement doesn't improve your back pain after two weeks, you may want to make an appointment with a physical therapist to target the muscles that are not functioning properly.
ERIC ROBERTSON, PT, spokesperson, American Physical Therapy Association, and assistant professor of physical therapy, Regis University
Living with chronic back pain may make you fearful of movement. Overcome this with treatments that benefit the body and mind, like . A recent study found just one weekly yoga session provided significant relief of lower back pain and reduced the need for certain pain medications after six weeks. In addition to stretching muscles, you'll learn how to tune in to your breathing, which will help you relax and, in turn, move more freely.
MICHAEL J. SCHNEIDER, DC, PhD, assistant professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
The good news: 90% of back pain cases get better with nonsurgical methods. To relieve pain at home, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug (such as Advil or Aleve). If that doesn't ease the ache after two weeks, your doctor may prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory or oral steroids, which also target inflammation. The third line of attack is to add a prescription pain reliever or muscle relaxant. These can be addictive, so it's best to use them only if the discomfort interferes with your daily activities. Keep in mind that back pain takes a while to heal—as long as 12 weeks. If meds don't help by that point, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Video: Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Binaural Beats Isochronic Tones and Soothing Nature Music
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