How to Manage Chronic Back Pain
Living with chronic back pain usually means it manages your life, not the other way around. It does not have to remain that way.
There are various methods of managing chronic back pain that help you live a normal and comfortable life.
Exercises for Chronic Back Pain
The right exercise regimen, strictly followed, helps immensely when dealing with chronic back pain. Strength training is especially beneficial, and weight lifting is one of the best ways to keep your back in good shape. Such exercises are designed to strengthen back muscles, not to attain a body builder physique.
While it is crucial to strengthen the back, other parts of the body also require strengthening for pain relief, including the legs and abdomen.
A physical therapist will design a custom-tailored strength training program for each patient, measuring progress and increasing the exercise level and difficulty over time.
Various types of exercise machines can make a difference for the patient experiencing chronic back pain when used consistently. Join a gym or purchase the appropriate equipment. Here are some recommendations:
- Elliptical trainers – these machines do not stress the back but do offer good cardiac workouts. Most ellipticals are adjustable, so users can build up their resistance settings.
- Stationary bikes – look for a stationary bike with a backrest if suffering from chronic lower back pain.
- Weight machines – probably the best choice of exercise equipment for a chronic back pain sufferer. Weight machines allow simple weight adjustments without having to bend over, potentially causing pain.
There are also machines back pain patients should avoid at the gym. These include the lying leg press, which puts too much strain on the back, and hip abductor, which can cause back strain. Patients should consult the doctor and/or physical therapist about the best exercise machines and exercises for their conditions.
Along with exercises, leading a healthier lifestyle can help manage chronic back pain. That includes:
- Consuming a healthy diet and losing weight
- Not smoking
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Sleep on a firm mattress
- Use chairs or pillows providing strong lumbar support
- Wear comfortable footwear. Stay away from high heels
- Minimal to no alcohol consumption
Avoid sitting for long periods without a break. Meditation, massage, yoga and acupuncture are complementary therapies that may ease chronic back pain in some patients.
Contact a Skilled Doctor for Treatment Options
If you suffer from chronic back pain, call an experienced doctor today and make an appointment for an examination. Their goals are relieving your pain and restoring your mobility as much as possible.