Finding Relief For Back Pain
Back pain is an incredibly common condition that many people suffer from daily. In fact, 16 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic back pain, with 65 million adults reporting recent incidents of back pain.
With this many adults suffering from chronic back pain, there has to be a solution. Luckily, there are ways you can relax your back muscles to provide relief for both short and long term.
In the article, we will be going over the common causes of back pain along with simple ways you can reduce chronic back pain to help you feel more comfortable in your daily life.
Common Causes of Back Pain
With chronic back pain being an issue that so many Americans struggle with daily, there are naturally many causes that can contribute to this type of pain.
Here are a few common causes of back pain that many experience:
Millions of adults in the United States suffer from arthritis which ultimately results in chronic inflammation in the body. This type of inflammation in the back can cause stiffness and swelling which contributes to back pain.
Not having proper posture can put unnecessary pressure on your back leading to back pain over time. This is especially true for those that may find themselves hunched over a computer for 40 plus hours each week.
Heavy lifting or a sports injury can lead to a pulled muscle or sore back. With proper treatment, this type of pain can subside; however, it can also lead to over worked muscles resulting in muscle spasms.
Inflammation around the spine can be a result of injury, excess pressure, or arthritis and can lead to lingering soreness if the issue is not properly treated.
Here are some easy ways to help reduce and manage back pain:
Incorporating stretching into your daily routine can help stretch out and loosen the muscles of your back and prepare them for the day.
Knee to chest
The knee to chest stretch works by lengthening out your lower back to reduce back pain and pressure on the spine. To perform this stretch, start by laying flat on your back. Bring one knee up to your chest, gently clasping your hands right below the knee joint with the opposite leg stretched out flat. Pull until you feel a slight stretch, then hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch knees. Repeat 2 to 4 times on each side.
A classic yoga pose that many are familiar with, child's pose is an excellent gentle stretch to relieve back pain. To perform this stretch, start by kneeling on the floor, with your toes together and your knees hip width apart or together. Lower your torso between your legs and extend your arms straight out above your head, gently placing them palms down on the floor. Rest in this pose taking deep breaths for as long as you are comfortable.
You can also try a different variation of this pose by extending your arms back down by your side with your palms facing down.
2. Heating Pads
If you have tried stretching but you are wanting a little more treatment, opting for a moist heating pad for your back pain is a great option. Moist heat has been found to penetrate the skin deeper and more effectively than dry heat. It provides a higher level of relief by relaxing the muscles and increasing blood circulation to the area, effectively reducing muscle spasms as well as reducing pain.
The best and easiest option for applying moist heat for back pain, is through use of a moist heating pad. Simple to use, a moist heating pad pulls moisture from the air and retains it within the fabric lining of the pad. Most are electric and have convenient, automatic built in time settings. You can use a moist heating pad in increments of 20 minutes up to 1 hour.
3. Cold Therapy Unit
Ideal for those recovering from back injury or surgery, cold therapy is becoming an increasingly more popular way to treat back pain. It is especially beneficial when used intermittently with heat therapy.
While an ice pack or cold pack can be a great way to apply cold therapy, a cold therapy unit will provide a more comfortable and effective treatment. Many cold therapy units have back-specific pads that are easily applied and affixed to the body, allowing full use of hands and arms during treatment.
A cold therapy unit works by circulating ice cold water through a cooler and into a pad to deliver targeted cold therapy to various areas of the body. This type of treatment works to reduce pain as well as swelling and inflammation in the treatment area.
A great treatment for addressing back pain is to alternate between hot and cold therapy. Try applying heat for 15 to 20 minutes, rest for 20 minutes, and then follow up by using cold therapy for 10 to 15 minutes. You can rotate through the process a few time throughout the day.
4. Lumbar Traction
A Lumbar or Spinal Traction device works by essentially manipulating and stretching the spine to relieve pressure on the vertebrae to ultimately reduce pain and discomfort. Typically performed by a physical therapist, lumbar traction therapy can be done manually by hand or with a lumbar traction device.
There are a variety of different types of lumbar traction devices such as over the door traction, pneumatic pump traction, or motorized traction devices. While some of these should only be performed with your physical therapy, over the door or pneumatic pump traction devices can be conveniently used in the comfort of your own home.
5. TENS Therapy
A TENS electrotherapy device works by producing a gentle stimulation of electrical pulses through pads placed over the treatment area. This stimulation helps the body to produce endorphins to relieve discomfort resulting from chronic aches and pains you might be experiencing.
6. Back Brace
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, due to injury a back brace may be just what you need to provide relief. Back braces come in many different profiles and can provide compression in combination with stabilization to help relieve back pain.
As with most medical treatments, we always recommend consulting a physical therapy or other medical professional before performing and type of at-home treatment. Once you find the specific treatment for back pain that works for you, you can begin to feel relief from your chronic pain and get back to your day-to-day activities.
Source Ortho is dedicated to helping our customers feel their very best. We offer a wide variety of traction devices for individuals and professionals. Our knowledgeable customer service team will be happy to help you understand the differences between the different types of cold therapy units, heating pads, and traction devices to help you find the best solution to fit your needs.