Back pain can take a serious toll on your life. With chronic pain, your day-to-day activities could be limited, and you may find yourself struggling with everything from work to getting a good night’s sleep. Although consulting a pain specialist is an important part of coping with back pain, there are certain lifestyle tweaks you can make to ease your symptoms on your own:
Lose Weight Excess pounds put constant pressure on your spine. That compression can cause excessive wear-and-tear and lead to herniated discs. Losing weight can lighten the burden on your spine considerably. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most powerful pain management tools you have and will make all of your other efforts to reduce back pain more effective.
Get Adequate Sleep Though back pain can compromise your ability to rest peacefully, it’s important to find a way to get the sleep you need. While you’re dreaming, your body is busy soothing inflamed tissues and repairing muscle strains that could be contributing to your back pain. Sleeping on your side on a firm mattress and putting a pillow between your knees may help with your aches. If sleep is still elusive, consult a pain management doctor for help.
Try Heat and Ice Hot and cold therapy can both help alleviate back pain. Generally, ice packs are best at relieving pain caused by inflammation, while heating pads and hot water bottles are better at stopping spasms and cramps. It may take some trial-and-error to find the right mixture of hot and cold for your pain. If you’re using heat therapy, use dry heat application methods, such as heating pads, sparingly. This kind of heat can dry out your tissues, which could slow the healing of tissue inflammation and muscle tears. Try to get most of your heat therapy from moist hot water bottles.
At Pain Specialists of Orange County, we can help you devise a non-surgical, effective treatment plan for your back pain. Consult a pain management specialist at one of our Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, and Irvine offices by calling (888) 699-1334.