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Oh My Aching Back!

 

How To Deal With Back Pain

Back pain is a major issue, often leading folks to the doctor’s office or causing them to miss work. It’s also a top reason for disability around the globe. Various factors can trigger back pain, such as muscle weakness, sprains, arthritis, bone fractures, scoliosis, and osteoporosis. This widespread problem highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the different causes of back pain.

I have been dealing with low back pain for several years and figured out some ways to deal with it.  As we get older we can possibly suffer from different ailments. The human body is complex and at some point we are going to start breaking down. Our joints will get stiff from arthritis, our muscles will start to atrophy from inactivity, and our bones will become brittle from the natural aging process. But what about our back? As the spine ages it becomes less flexible which causes a variety of problems like back pain. , neck pain, and disc problems. When the discs and joints start to deteriorate there are several ways that you can ease the discomfort of your back.

 The first way is to be as active as possible by working out at least 3 times a week, doing cardio like running, walking, or swimming (depending on what type of activity you enjoy).

 

Eighty percent of adults in America suffer from chronic back pain. At first I thought my back pain was due to my menstrual cycle, but now that I am going through menopause, I still have back pain. After an X-ray, I was diagnosed with Facet Sclerosis in my lumbar region.

Most days I am ok, but some days my pain is pretty severe.  Anti-inflammatory drugs help, but after my bloodwork, my doctor said I have to decrease the amount of nsaids that I can take.  Frequent use of nsaids can cause damage to the liver. 

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How to Prevent Back Pain?

According to health.gov, doing muscle-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 days a week and avoiding heavy lifting can help or prevent back pain.

 

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Our backs are not designed to carry heavy weights. When we carry an object that’s too heavy, it can cause our backs to curve and strain. This puts pressure on the discs between the vertebrae and compresses them. The more we repeat this process, the weaker our back becomes in absorbing shock and stress.

How to Deal with Back Pain?

Discussing back pain, it’s crucial to know that our core muscles play a key role in supporting the spine. Weakness in these core muscles can often result in back pain. Strengthening them is essential for spinal health and pain prevention.

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The best way to deal with back pain is by strengthening those muscles through exercises. Exercises such as planks and crunches can help strengthen the core muscles and improve posture which will reduce the strain on your back.

 

Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve pain and reduce swelling. These drugs can ease the pain of herniated discs, arthritis, and back injuries.

A more natural approach I use for back pain relief

I’ve been dealing with back pain for years. It’s been frustrating, to say the least! I have tried everything from heating pads to pain relievers. Thankfully, I found a more natural approach that has been helping me. 

Exercise

I work on reducing my back pain by exercising. Fitness instructors I follow explain that strengthening the abdomen, or the core, makes the back stronger too. I prefer exercises suited to my age group to avoid more injuries.

Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillow for back support

I also use a Wedge Pillow that I purchased on Amazon. It helps to elevate my legs and reduces the pressure on my back when I am sitting on the bed. I purchased the 7 inch and it’s big! I wish I got the 6 inch wedge pillow. If I order again, I will definitely purchase the smaller one. 

Bon VIVO II Portable Floor Chair with Back Support
Portable floor chair with back support, back pain

In addition to the Wedge Pillow, I use a Portable Floor Chair with Back Support and a Gel Seat Cushion.

 I also purchased this  on Amazon. The portable floor chair is great when I am sitting on my bed because it supports my back. It’s very sturdy and firm. It is also good to use when I have my grandkids so I can sit in the chair on the floor and be comfortable when we color or make things. The seat is a bit hard, so I purchased the gel seat cushion. It fits the seat perfectly and is very comfortable.

The floor chair with back support is the best option for me. This chair is extremely portable – I can take it from room to room at home or away. I also love that it’s very affordable! I use a the gel seat cushion on my chair when I am sitting for a long length of time.

 

Atmoko heating pad

heating pad on the floor for back pain

This heating pad was great but is no longer available. 

New update

Goodbye Atmoko heating pad and hello to the latest and greatest discovery in my comfort arsenal: the LQCTS Electric Heating Pads for Cramps

Sadly, the old Atmoko model’s out of commission, but fear not, the LQCTS pad’s got everything you’d need and more. Think long cord, think softer-than-a-kitten fabric, think soothing back serenade. Plus, with 6 temperature settings and 4 time settings, it’s like having your very own climate control center. It’s one of those “Take my money, Amazon!” moments. LOL Check out my Youtube video here about this pad.

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Understand Your Back

Our back, the glorious structure that helps us carry heavy loads (like those endless bags of groceries), sometimes gets a bit grumpy. This is where terms like chronic low back pain, spinal stenosis, muscle spasms, and even degenerative disc disease come into play. 

But fret not! If you’ve got back problems, you’ve got company. Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people in the United States visit a health care provider. Now, that’s a club with a lot of members – not one you’d typically aim to join, but hey, you’ll never be short of conversation topics at gatherings!

Recognize the Culprits

Are you wearing high heels for long periods of time? Do you have poor posture while poring over your computer? Or maybe it’s just extra weight causing strain on your back muscles? Identifying the causes of lower back pain can be a first step toward relief.

Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes

  • Good Posture: Let’s ditch that slouch and embrace good posture! It’s not only a good idea; it’s a must.
  • Ice Pack and Heating Pad: Cold therapy for acute low back pain and heat therapy for tight muscles. It’s like the weather for your back!
  • Healthy Diet: Cut those extra cheeseburgers! A healthy weight means a happy spine.
  • Regular Exercise & Aerobic Activity: Gentle stretching and aerobic activity can make those back muscles sing a tune of joy. Remember, keep the high heels in the closet for this one!
  • Enough Sleep & Firm Mattress: Sleeping on a marshmallow won’t cut it. A firm mattress and enough sleep can help the healing process.
  • Avoid Heavy Lifting: Unless you’re a professional wrestler, maybe let’s leave the heavy lifting to the pros.
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When to Seek Professional Help

  • Physical Therapy & Massage Therapy: Sometimes your back needs a professional touch. Enter the physical therapist. They can guide you through physical activity, strength training, and muscle strength exercises tailored to your back’s unique temperament.
  • Medical Conditions & Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or their sophisticated cousin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might help with pain relief. But remember to consult with a healthcare provider for the right treatment options.
  • Other Treatments: In severe pain, your healthcare provider might recommend options like cortisone injections, steroid injections, or even a visit to a spine surgeon. Don’t worry; they usually save the surgeon for last.

Life Beyond Back Pain

Chronic pain, acute back pain, lumbar spine issues, muscle strain, and even disc herniation can feel overwhelming. But with an array of treatment options and lifestyle changes, the road to a quality of life free from back pain is possible. If you ever get lost in the labyrinth, a second opinion from a back specialist can always help guide the way.

So there you have it! The best ways to address your back’s many moods without losing your cool or your sense of humor. Now, let’s get back to daily life, daily activities, and normal activities – but maybe without the high heels this time, eh?

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