The best medicine for back pain

 Back Pain Doctor

As one of the most common medical problems in the United States, back pain affects nearly 80 percent of adults according to the National Institute of Health (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet). It is one of the most common job related disabilities causing pain ranging from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp feeling that can leave a person debilitated. However, back pain is more complicated than other ailments such as a twisted ankle. Generally, when you have pain, it starts to dissipate over time as the injury heals. Strangely, this is not the case with back pain.

According to Harvard Health (https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/babying-your-back-may-delay-healing), back pain is linked to a neurological healing process along with a physical healing process. This means that when an injury triggers back pain, the nervous system adapts to the pain. Due to the role of the nervous system, the injury or problem may still be present, but the pain may dissipate. Interestingly, there are lifestyle changes that you can do to help your nervous system adjust to discomforts more rapidly. It has been found that exercise and movement aids the nervous system in making these adjustments.

What causes back pain?

In most cases, back pain is not caused by one single intense activity such as lifting something heavy. In fact, most people report their back pain being triggered by simple, everyday activities such as reaching for a pen, or sneezing.

The spine naturally degenerates as you age. Back pain is an inevitable result of the aging process. There is no evidence that supports “being careful” will decrease your chances of back pain or slowing down age-related deterioration. Research has also found that back pain is highly correlated with genetics. Despite this fact, research has shown that the best medicine for alleviating and preventing back pain is exercise and movement.

The best treatment for back pain

Exercise and movement seem to provide the appropriate stimulus for the nervous system to normalize pain responses. Research has shown that spinal injuries show faster pain resolve when exercise and movement were a part of the treatment plan compared to decreased movement and rest. Healthcare professionals agree that if you are experiencing back pain caused by normal wear and tear of aging, the best thing for your body and your back is to move. According to the National Institute of Health, here are a few other things that can help treat your back pain.

  • Get out of bed. Though it is tempting to stay in bed when you have back pain, lying down for long periods of time can actually make the pain worse over time. Lack of movement can reduce muscle tone and flexibility, as well as increase your chances of developing blood clots in your legs.
  • Strengthen your muscles. Hitting the gym may not be appropriate when you have a back pain flare up, however there are some simple exercises that you can do to help stretch and strengthen your back muscles. Check with your doctor for appropriate exercises.
  • Hot and cold packs. Hot and cold packs along with anti-inflammatory medications will help alleviate your pain. Keep in mind that these do not cure the problem, but they will make the pain more tolerable.

If you are experiencing back pain, consider a consulting with the chiropractic doctor Shawnee, KS relies on who can help you gradually and safely increase your activity to soothe your nervous system’s response and help you get back to your regular, daily routine.  

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at LifeWorks Integrative Health for their insight into alternative medicine and the importance of movement for back pain.