Chronic back pain sufferers may feel like they’ve tried everything when it comes to treatments: ice and heat, NSAIDs, massage, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, stretching, and muscle relaxers.
However, these are not the only ways to relieve back pain. Here are a few less well-known options that may finally give you the relief you’ve been looking for.
Lighten your load
Avoid carrying heavy purses or even a heavy wallet stuffed in your back pocket, as they could be contributing to your back pain.
The off-kilter angle that results from carrying a heavy bag puts “endless stress on your hips and shoulders,” Healthline says. This can also result in an unbalanced gait and muscle tension and strain.
Lighten your load, so you’re only carrying what you need, and leave the rest at home or in the car. If you must carry a heavy bag, use a backpack, so the weight is balanced. Devoted purse-carriers should switch shoulders frequently and take breaks when pain begins to develop.
Fix your sleep habits
Bad sleep habits lead to a vicious cycle of back pain and sleep disturbances. The position you sleep in can contribute to back pain, which affects your sleep quality, which means you’re tired — and daytime fatigue can also contribute to back pain.
“Certain sleep positions can place extra pressure on the neck, hips, lower back, and more — all of which can cause back pain,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. “Luckily, a pillow can fix this.”
If you’re a back sleeper, the NSF suggests placing a pillow under your knees to help with proper spine alignment. Stomach sleepers should put a pillow under their lower abdomens, and side sleepers should tuck a pillow between their knees for the same effect.
Avoid long-term bed rest
Bed rest was once a common method for treating back pain. However, long-term bed rest can have a harmful effect on the back, prolonging recovery and potentially causing new problems.
“In most cases, you will be expected to start normal, nonstrenuous activity (such as walking) within 24 to 72 hours,” according to WebMD.
Back pain treatments like stretching and physical therapy can also begin sooner when bed rest is short-lived.
Strengthen your abs
Having a strong core is intrinsic to preventing or relieving back pain.
“Because your core supports your spine, strong abdominal muscles take the pressure off your back and help align your spine,” Health.com says.
Exercises like bridge, plank, V-ups and leg raises all target the abdominal area. Just 10 to 15 minutes of core strengthening each day can help give your back the support it needs to reduce or avoid pain.
It may be surprising, but techniques involving mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy can alleviate back pain.
In fact, one study found that chronic back pain sufferers who attended weekly sessions of one of these two therapies for eight weeks had improved back function at six months, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If none of these techniques work, you may have an underlying condition causing back pain. Speak with your health care provider about what options are available to you. Common health problems that can contribute to chronic back pain include bone spurs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
Sonospine offers revolutionary ultrasonic spine surgery as a treatment for patients suffering from these diseases.
Learn more about ultrasonic spine surgery and find out if you’re a candidate at sonospinesurgery.com or call 888-957-7463 to learn more and schedule a consultation.