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Five Practical Tips to Cope with Back Pain

We, as humans, are becoming increasingly lazy and futile as science advances. Compared to our ancestors, we now engage in 40% to 50% fewer physical activities. Because of this, everyday health problems like obesity and back pain are now the biggest medical challenges.
Besides the belly popping out, another major problem that can arise from sitting in front of your desk is the back pain. It is a common medical problem affecting 8 out of 10 persons at some point during their lifetime.

However, sitting for long hours isn't the only cause of back pain. Health experts affirm several other factors behind this problem.

Lumbar region in human skeleton
Image: The Source of Back Pain by Mariana Ruiz Villarreal, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

My Back Pain Story

I endured back pain for almost a year. I initially took a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called ketorolac for two weeks, but it didn't make any meaningful change in my symptoms. The pain was always there, and the drug only provided me with momentary relief.

After taking the medication for a few days, the usual dose was not working anymore. I had two choices: increase my ketorolac dose or try a different pain reliever.

Being let down by ketorolac was sort of a wake-up call for me. I realized that taking painkillers wouldn't help my case in the long run and might even make it worse.

For your information: most pain medications, either narcotic or nonnarcotic, work by binding to receptors in the brain and blocking the effects of special enzymes. Depending on the half-life, these drugs help alleviate pain for a certain duration (e.g. 4 hrs, 6hrs, 8hrs, 12 hrs, etc.). However, they also come up with some serious side effects.

[ALSO READ: Climbing the Pain Ladder: Understanding Pain Medications.]

After becoming aware of the risks of continuing painkillers, I came to a decision that I must quit ketorolac and should try addressing the problem at its root. Here are a few strategies that I used to deal with my back pain. I hope it will also be useful to you.

Stand Proud

Naval Tradition Stand Proud

The way you stand has been identified as one of the important reasons behind the back pain. If it's not the reason in your case, it can still amplify your back pain caused by some other reason. Therefore, when you stand, you should keep your shoulders pushed back with the chest out, so that the back remains straight (like the above image).

Moreover, you also need to adjust the position of your head between the shoulders and keep it straight. if you stand with a posture where your shoulders are in a circle, all the pressure is placed one leg or the shoulder and hip balance is uneven, then you are at a higher risk of either experiencing or amplifying back pain. Therefore, while standing, keep your body straight as if you are proud of it.

Sit Properly

Without any argument, sitting improperly for long hours is the major cause of back pain. Sitting in front of a computer in an improper way takes the force out of the core thus causing back pain. Health experts recommend using a Fit ball of an extended size to be used for the purpose of sitting.

However, experts recommend abstaining from long hour’s use of Fit ball, rather it should be used only for a few hours spent in front of the computer. Like, you can mix it up by sitting half an hour on the ball and the other half hour on the chair. This way you ensure that the core remains strong and the back pain does not occur.

Stretch

The common solution for relief from back pain is to lie down on bed and stay there until the pain goes off. This is a wrong approach, as when you lie with pain, the muscles atrophy, as a result of which the connective muscles and tissues shorten, thus causing more pain instead of relief.

However, the counter measure that is effective for back pain is stretching. When you stretch, you elongate the connective tissues thus faster recovery from the pain. Therefore, when you experience prolonged back pain, then don’t just keep on laying down, rather stretch a little, it surely will help.

Sleep Correctly

Lying on your side with your legs supported is one of the highly appreciated sleep positions by experts. The key benefit with this position is that you're keeping your spine in a neutral, naturally curved position.

Eat Right

The other major factor causing back pain, which is because of its intrinsic value often undermined, is proper nutrition.

You can eat foods rich in protein and vitamin D to make your bones strong, or consume the best natural energy supplements available in the market that may give you vitality to fight all kinds of pain. Thus, don’t take your nutrition lightly, rather eat the best only.

Conclusion

Back pain is a serious and an increasingly growing problem. It is one of the major culprits that can interfere the activities of daily living and can even make a healthy person physically disable.

Thus, nobody wants to be a victim of this apparently simple problem. However, by adjusting the way you sit, stand and sleep, you can fight with your back pain in a better way to keep it away.