Don’t Just Live with Back Pain, Take Action
June 19, 2018 07:31 PM
Have you ever felt pain in your back? 80% of the population has experienced back pain at least once in their lifetime. Why is this so common? Back pain doesn’t occur after a single mistreatment of the spine, but rather after repeated incidents and years of bad habits. Unfortunately, this means it won’t go away after a single day of rest or stretching. It’s important to create healthy habits with your spine in mind, including a strong focus on your posture and stretching at different intervals throughout the day.
Daily Stretching to Form Good Habits
There are a multitude of stretches which you can incorporate into your life to help ease back pain and reduce the stress placed on your spine. Such stretches include pelvic tilting, piriformis stretching, cat-camel, and bird-dog. Having proper posture is a tale as old as time, but focusing on your posture while sitting at your desk, driving, or even when getting in and out of bed can make a big difference in the long run. To see step-by-step videos of proper form and technique, as well as additional stretches you can do daily, check out our physical therapy library!
Do you find yourself still in pain after incorporating these stretches into your daily routine? What are your options? Make an appointment with a specialist who will evaluate your situation and create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. It’s important to listen to your doctor and pay close attention to the course of action they provide. The most common recommendations doctors will give you is to stretch throughout the day, alternate ice and heat, take medication to reduce swelling, keep moving, and remember that this pain isn’t dangerous, but is part of the healing process.
Listen to your Doctor and Trust the Process
The stark reality most doctors face, and biggest hindrance to your own recovery, is that doctors say one thing, but you hear something completely different. Your doctor reiterates the importance of stretching, but you already did that with little results. But are you being honest with yourself? Did you stretch as often as you should have, complete all the recommended stretches, and focus on perfect form? Merely stretching on your lunch break is not what your doctor means by stretching throughout the day. While that is a good first step, it is more important that you get up every couple of hours, move around, and stretch properly.
In most cases, your doctor will tell you that your pain is not dangerous, but you might be skeptical. It is important to note that there is a difference between good pain and bad pain. Muscle soreness is nothing to worry about, but shows that your muscles are adapting and growing stronger. On the other hand, if your pain occurs in the joint and shoots from one area to another, then you should stop and consult a doctor. Ask your doctor ahead of time about this difference so you can clearly identify if your pain is good or bad and ease your fears.
Doctors will also often incorporate pain medication into your treatment plan, and it is important that you are mindful of what it is and what it is not. Pain medication is a helpful tool to shrink swelling, which will lessen symptoms over time; it is not a quick-fix to remove all pain, but simply one step in a multi-tiered recovery process.
As hard as your doctor works to make sure you understand the steps to decrease your back pain, it will be next to impossible for you to retain every piece of advice, but having the steps written down can help eliminate this problem. Not only that, some stretches will not be feasible for you to complete at work, and if you find that to be your case, ask your doctor to simplify stretching in a way which is practical for your lifestyle. The road to recovery should be a streamlined process between yourself and your doctor with both listening to, and understanding, the other.
Spectrum spine specialists are trained to assess your unique situation and will create a course of treatment specific to your needs and lifestyle. They want to ease your pain just as much as you do, and will work hard to make sure you feel better as soon as possible. Make an appointment with a specialist at one of our 11 locations by calling 855-96-SPINE.