Back pain rarely goes away for good without the injured party taking at least one step to resolve it, but for some, no matter what they try their back pain simply seems to linger. However, if you buckle down and make a concentrated effort to treat your back pain, we’re confident you’ll be able to achieve some level of pain relief. So today, we’re going to share five ways to improve your spine when your back pain just won’t go away.
Treating Lingering Back Pain
Consider these five tips if your back has been hurting for more than a week.
1. Visit a Doctor/Get a Second Opinion – If your back pain is lingering, consider heading into a spine specialist’s office for a diagnosis. You may think you’re dealing with one problem, but if it turns out something else is causing your pain, your current treatment methods may be exacerbating the problem. If you’ve already gone to your primary care doctor but still feel like your back isn’t getting any better, a spine specialist offers more comprehensive knowledge about all things spine and is a better bet to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan.
2. Rest – Rest is the best option for minor tweaks and strains, but oftentimes people try to power through it, and that can make the problem worse. We understand that you don’t want to miss school or work, but missing one or two days and coming back healthy is better than working a full week in pain and risking a more serious injury. Give your back a solid 48 hours of rest from manual labor.
3. Exercise – It may sound counterintuitive to suggest that you should exercise right after we said you should take it easy and rest, but exercise can do wonders for your aching spine. Exercise helps to strengthen muscles and other spinal structures, and exercise also leads to the release of endorphins in our brain, which can enhance our mood and take our attention off our injured back. If exercises like running or walking are too stressful on your spine, head over to the pool and do some aqua-therapy, as the water helps to bear your weight and acts as a natural resistant.
4. Physical Therapy – If you want to take exercise one step further, consider going to physical therapy for your spine. Physical therapy works by targeting specific areas in your back that are hurting or that need strengthening. Your spine specialist can recommend a physical therapist in your area, or if you’ve already received a diagnosis, you can look online for physical therapy exercises you can do on your own that help your specific condition.
5. Diet Changes – Finally, take a closer look at your diet. Are you getting a good range of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, or are you snacking too much on salts and sweets. Junk food can contribute to the buildup of inflammation in our joints, which can compress structures in our spine and lead to pain. Try to ensure that you are eating a range of foods each and every day, and couple that with plenty of water to remain hydrated.
If you have any questions about your spine pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.