Back Pain is now the number 1 cause of job disability around the world. About one in 10 people suffer from lower back pain. As your back gets older, occasional aches can turn into chronic, perhaps disabling, pain. Here are some suggestions aimed at making sure that doesn't happen.
- Don't baby your aching back. Cutting back on activity because of temporary pain can lead to muscle weakness, which can make things worse.
- Keep up a regular program of "core" exercises because those middle-of-the-body muscles are the ones that support your lower spine.
- Stay limber, because tight muscles can increase pain.
- Watch your posture. Focus on standing upright, and don't slouch when you sit.
- Get enough sleep. Poor sleep alters brain chemistry, and you are more prone to developing a chronic pain state.
- Stay positive and relax. The spine's close relationship to the brain means that maintaining a good emotional state can have physical benefits. For example, stress-relieving deep-breathing exercises can lessen the pain of a sudden backache.
Besides lost productivity and years of life, the biggest problem with chronic back pain is how to treat it. There are standard pain killers, minimally invasive procedures, and even surgery in severe cases. Some people prefer acupuncture or even more intensive medication like opioids–which raises addiction concerns. Being sedentary is thought to be one of the causes of back pain, so one the most effective treatments turns out to be exercise.
There is no magic bullet to prevent the onset of lower back pain, especially if it’s brought on by age, but there are ways to keep the changes at bay. For more information on the non-narcotic treatment of chronic back pain, contact Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.