Do you suffer with a bad back?  Then you need to know how to relieve chronic back pain fast. Below are some steps you can take.   

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that lasts for 12 weeks or more.  A 2010 study ranked it in third place as one of the most burdensome conditions in the U.S. About 20 percent of people who initially have acute low back pain still have persistent symptoms a year later.

There are different causes for the condition and men and women both suffer with chronic back pain. Below are 8 ways to treat your back pain and improve the quality of your life. Studies show you’ll probably need to use more than one type of treatment.

 

8 Ways to Relieve Chronic Back Pain

1. Take Pain Medication

There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. If these don’t work, you may need prescription-strength NSAIDs or opioid medications.  Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications to avoid overdosing on certain ingredients.

Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

 

2. Don’t Take To Your Bed

Studies show that bed rest alone can make back pain worse and can cause complications such as blood clots in the legs, decreased muscle tone, and depression.

Rest for a day or two, and then slowly start moving again. It’s been found that people who continue their activities following the onset of low back pain have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week.

 

3. Ice and Heat to Ease Back Pain

Applying an ice pack is useful following injury as it helps reduce inflammation, heat and swelling.

Applying heat can ease pain and reduce inflammation by:

  • Stimulating blood flow, bringing healing nutrients and oxygen to the affected area.
  • Inhibiting pain signals being sent to the brain.

Heat can come in many forms. Try several to find what works best for you. Take a hot bath/shower, use a heat pad, hot water bottle, or heat wrap to provide continuous, low-level healing warmth to your lower back.

 

4. Release Your Endorphins

Endorphins can be as effective as manufactured pain medication, and without the side effects.

Endorphins are hormones made naturally in your body. When released in your bloodstream, they help block pain signals to your brain. They also help with anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all associated with chronic back pain and can in fact make the pain worse.

You can help release endorphins in your body by:

Exercising

  • Activities like walking and swimming have been found to be effective in relieving back pain.
  • Strengthening exercises help maintain and build muscle strength, and improve your coordination and muscle balance.
  • Begin stretching exercises as soon as possible, but avoid movements that aggravate the pain.
  • Stretch your hamstrings as tight hamstrings contribute to lower back pain. Do hamstring stretching carefully, at least twice per day.

Massage therapy

A 2001 study of people with chronic back pain found that massage relieved pain, and improved functioning and sleep.

Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain.

Meditation

It’s difficult to relax when you’re in pain. Worrying about your condition can make things worse. Meditation has been found to be effective in relieving stress and anxiety, and easing pain. Many meditations guides are available on YouTube.

 

5. Get Enough Sleep

Back pain makes sleeping difficult. Nearly two-thirds of people with chronic back pain suffer from some type of sleep disorder. To help get good sleep:

  • Make sure your mattress is comfortable
  • Try lying on your side with a pillow between your knees. This will keep your spine in a neutral position and reduce strain on your back. If you sleep on your back, slide a pillow under your knees.

 

6. Maintain a good Posture

Slouching and poor posture can make back pain worse. Sit upright, with your shoulders relaxed and your body supported against the back of your chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Using a back brace temporary can help with your posture.

  

7. Nerve Stimulation for Back Pain

Research is being conducted on some treatments that stimulate nerves to reduce chronic back pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), involves mild electric pulses being delivered to the nerves to block incoming pain signals.

Early studies of TENS suggested that it raised endorphins levels. However, recent studies have produced mixed results on its effectiveness for providing relief from low back pain.

 

8. See a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists teach you how to sit, stand, and move so that your spine is properly aligned and prevents strain on your back. They can also teach you exercises that strengthen the core muscles in your back. Studies show that back pain decreases and mobility improves when you increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance.

If your symptoms persist or the pain is severe, you should visit your doctor. The steps outlined above are a guide to self-help  treatments. Knowing how to relieve chronic back pain can shorten the time you suffer pain and discomfort, and get you back living your life again.

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