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Regular stretching combined with the right exercise techniques and lifestyle choices can be very helpful to your back pain.
Be sure to take Goodpaths quiz to create a custom back pain program. After you answer a few short questions, we can build you an integrative treatment plan that is specifically designed for you.
We analyze your medical history, lifestyle choices, age, and other factors before building a personalized kit delivered right to your doorstep.
Don’t Rest An Achy Back
Doctors used to prescribe bed rest for back pain. But now we know that lying still is one of the worst things you can do. It can make back pain worse and lead to other complications. Don’t rest for more than a day or two. It’s important to get up and slowly start moving again. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try swimming, walking, or yoga.
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
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Acupuncture And Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine has been growing in popularity in the US since the 1970s, helping many people when medical doctors have said theres nothing they can do. It can include not only acupuncture, but also herbs, food therapy, practices like qigong, and bodywork methods like cupping and gua sha.
Many people recognize that the system can be very effective for pain, but most dont understand how or why it works. Part of the answer lies in its holistic view of a person and its detailed understanding of the mind-body connection.
For instance, practitioners often diagnose issues in the Shen by observing specific physical signs on the tongue and in the way the pulse feels.
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
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The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Stress can be normal, especially that it is already part of our daily lives. When you experience stress, a part of your brain, specifically the hypothalamus reacts, allowing the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones are the same hormones that make you sense the fight or flight response of your body.
When you are threatened, stressed, or having an intense emotion, you will feel that your heart is beating fast, as your heart rate increases. Your breath also becomes faster, your muscles start to shake, and for some, it leads to uncontrollable shedding of tears.
Chronic stress can affect your body, both in terms of your physical health and mental health. If left untreated or unmanaged, it may result in consistent irritability, anxiety disorder, depression or major depressive disorder, insomnia, headache, back pain, shoulder pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, and nausea and vomiting.
For some, stress is diverted to overeating, substance abuse , as well as social withdrawal. It can even lead to certain illnesses and serious health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, heartburn or acid reflux, erectile dysfunction for males, and irregular, heavier, or more painful menstruation for females.
Remedies To Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast
We all want to know the best way to relieve lower back pain fast. At best, backache can be frustrating, perhaps draining. At its worst, this kind of discomfort can be utterly debilitating. If you have ever awakened with a terrible backache, you may have also learned how quickly such an ailment can derail your day, your week, or even several months or years.
Fortunately, there are remedies to combat that ache. From exercising to getting better sleep to reducing your stress levels, you can choose from a variety of strategies. The next time you have a backache , consider the following methods of back pain relief. Remember to discuss at-home back pain remedies with your doctor before you make use of them.
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Relieving Your Back Pain
When you are suffering from an ache or struggling to get lower back pain relief, it may seem difficult to take a proactive approach to the matter. However, alleviating such aches may be largely within your control. If you make some simple changes in habit and lifestyle, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. At North Texas Medical Center, we take great pride in helping our community achieve better health. If you are suffering from backache, call us at , or contact us online today.
Improve Your Posture To Reduce Back Pain
Most of us spend a good part of our day sitting down, which may be more harmful than you realize. You can minimize the impact by maintaining good posture. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lined up neatly, like a stack of perfectly aligned blocks. You should keep your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so youre not leaning forward or slumping. This is part of proper office ergonomics.
Many apps and devices exist that can help you enhance your posture. If you work at a computer all day, try the software and app Posture Man Pat. This free app interacts with the webcam on your screen, tracking where your face is relative to your screen. If your posture starts to droop and curve, the app will alert you.
If you are looking to get really tech-savvy, try the Lumo Lift Posture Coach. This wearable device has a sensor that will vibrate when you change your posture from what the posture coach is calibrated to.
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What Structures Make Up The Back
The lower backwhere most back pain occursincludes the five vertebrae in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.
Other regions of vertebrate are cervical , thoracic , and sacral and coccygeal segments.
Exercise For Stress And Lower Back Pain
Does anyone really like to exercise? Sure, there are some who do but not everyone is like this. Most people see exercise as a chore to be dreaded. Whats your view? Would you rather spend your free time stretched out in your favorite chair in front of the television or movie screen?
There are innumerable benefits to regular physical activity regardless of your physical situation. Exercise increases blood circulation and the blood is what brings nutrition and oxygen to every cell in the body.
The digestive system, skin, bones, and major organs all benefit in this way from increased blood circulation. Because the heart and lungs work harder when exercised they become stronger. That means you become less likely to suffer from asthma, shortness of breath, heart disease, and similar conditions.
Regular exercise also helps to keep your weight under control and there are many benefits to being at a healthy weight as well. Guess what? Exercise also helps with stress and lower back pain.
Regular exercise can help you prevent lower back stress pain in the first place. How so?
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Maintain Correct Posture During Activities
To protect your lower back from injury, its important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activitiesespecially if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions. Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine erect. When lifting, bend and straighten from the knees, not the waist. And be sure to move your hips when twisting from side to side.
Sleep On A Quality Mattress
Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.
If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:
- A history of cancer or a recent infection
- A recent fall or other accident
- Extreme fatigue
- Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
- Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.
Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.
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The Connection Between Stress Excess Weight And Lower Back Pain
The first connection has to do with your weight. Excess body weight means more stress and strain on the back. Why? Because your back needs to work harder to move that weight around and to keep the body steady and upright.
If you carry around a few extra pounds, your posture may suffer quite a bit. Excessive weight pulls you forward, and this too keeps the lower back muscles tense and painful.
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Exercising keeps your back muscles loose and relaxed. When you walk or cycle or do any low-impact exercise along those lines, the back muscles are worked and forced to loosen up. This makes them more relaxed and less likely to be pulled or cramped.
Lower back muscles also become much stronger when exercised, just as other muscles in the body do as well. When the back muscles are stronger theyre more resistant to stress, pulls, tears, and overuse. Regular exercise is good for the back muscles and can help to alleviate lower back stress pain.
Take It Slow When Getting Up
Taking it slow when you get out of bed can be beneficial. You may want to use your arms to sit up slowly before moving your legs off the side of the bed. Once you plant your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart, you can stand up slowly, using your leg strength instead of your back to help you up.
After carefully standing, you can further relieve tension by reaching your arms up above your head and stretching slowly from side to side.
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Relaxation Techniques For Natural Pain Relief
Relaxation exercises calm your mind, lower the amount of stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles, and elevate your sense of well-being. Using them regularly can lead to long-term changes in your body to counteract the harmful effects of stress.
Don’t get stressed trying to pick the “right” relaxation technique for natural pain relief. Choose whatever relaxes you, like music, prayer, gardening, going for a walk, or talking with a friend on the phone. Here are some other techniques you might try:
What Causes Stress Related Pain
The real reason for stress back pain may vary for different people. Some may be financially overburdened, while others may be working long hours or doing frequent overtime to meet professional and personal targets. Stress can also pile up with other underlying health care issues, such as the inability to handle emotions during the death of a loved one or feeling stuck in a bad marriage.
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
Treat It With Hot And Cold
.According to research, heat and cold play an essential part in reducing back pain. Applying an ice pack to the back area that hurts will reduce inflammation and ease the pain. The ice pack may also reduce excruciating back pain by creating a numbing effect.
There are heating bottles and pads available to relieve severe back pain by relaxing stiff and painful muscles. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the manual and test the temperature before applying it to the affected area, but avoid getting burnt.
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Can Stress Cause Back Pain
The short answer is yes, stress can lead to back pain. It all depends on your natural response to stress. While some people manifest stress in their minds, running through different problems and potential solutions, others manifest it physically. This physical reaction may be unnoticeable to the individual and the people around them, but it is significant enough to eventually cause pain.
When stress manifests physically, it causes us to tighten our muscles, particularly the muscles around our shoulders and down our spine. It is the tension of these lower back muscles that causes us to experience pain, and is known as Tension Myositis Syndrome.
The biggest issue with Tension Myositis Syndrome`is that it can easily start off a cyclical pattern of pain. Those who are stressed will feel sore, which affects their mood and makes them less active. This not only impacts their social life, as the reduced movement also causes their muscles to weaken and tighten up further, leading to more pain. Additionally, the worry of the pain can cause people to become even more stressed, which then results in more pain.
Laughing And Support Groups
While many believe that laughter is the best medicine, studies have already proven that laughing promotes many physical and mental health benefits. For instance, it can boost your immune system, can make your brain and muscles relax, can slow down the production of stress hormones, and can help the production of endorphins.
Plus, your support group may also provide their strategies in coping with such disturbing symptoms. Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what you are going through. They can provide or recommend therapy or medical intervention for your well-being.
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Why Does My Back Hurt
There are a number of reasons, some of which may not be glaringly obvious, why you are experiencing back pain. Trauma or direct injury to the area can certainly result in acute or chronic pain, but oftentimes the cause of your back pain can be traced to something else. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle spasms
- Herniated disc
Seemingly harmless activities like repetitive lifting or repetitive motions such as swinging a golf club often put a strain on your muscles and ligaments and result in back pain. Chronic or degenerative conditions, such as those listed above, can also be culprits of back pain. However, if none of these things apply to you, your back pain may be the result of something else.