Back pain is a common problem that interferes with a our work and personal lives. While often associated with obesity, chronic back pain is not due to one single reason most of the time. According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic back pain may be due to degenerative processes of the spine axis, various trauma, occupational position, and congenital malformations.
Types of Back Pain
Back Pain from Traumatic Injury
With regard to trauma, back pain might be due to a singular event like sudden spinal cord compression from a car crash. I went through something like this when I was just 19 years old and perfectly healthy. And I’ve had back pain ever since, despite undergoing medical interventions. In such cases, I suggest we seek personal injury lawyers who provide the highest level of expertise and work to prove whether or not our particular accident did result in medical complications that cause our chronic pain.
Age-Related Back Pain
Putting trauma aside, age-related back pain is a condition that many people have — myself included. And it is quite well documented in the medical literature that identifies degenerative changes to the discs and joints. Spinal stenosis occurs when the discs deteriorate to such an extent that the spinal cord passage may become narrower since there is no buffer. This can lead to arthritis in the facet joints, i.e. lumbar spine.
I deal with all of these conditions. And I am happy to share that I’ve found a few simple treatments that provide relief. Before I share them, let us first understand the “why” behind our pain.
Why We Hurt
Nerves are the systems that make us feel pain. These nerves are very thin and sensitive to pressure. And they shoot constant pain signals to the brain if they are trapped or squashed by inflamed muscles, spinal stenosis, herniated or ruptured discs. The National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke detail additional causes of back pain in their fact sheet.
So relief from back pain will come when we decompress whatever is trapping these nerves. According to Medical News Today, simple back stretches are usually a great way to do this wherever we are and gain some pain relief.
It’s best to work with a physical therapist or degreed and certified trainer. That’s because we want stretches that will help rather than cause further pain or injury. I’ve worked with both physical therapists and certified trainers at my gym who were excellent. My physical therapist started me with stretches in the pool (aquatherapy) before moving to stretching exercises on the floor or table.
Chronic Back Pain Relief
Here are some ways that may relieve our back pain so it no longer is a normal part of life. We often can treat back pain with simple treatments and some patience. However, we should speak to a doctor, such as an orthopedic surgeon, about unusual, persistent, or severe back pain.
Muscle Relaxing Stretches
If you’re feeling pain in your lower back, first check how tight your hip is. If you feel it’s stiff or when you move it the pain increases, then your lumbar spine might be feeling in a bad way because of tight hamstrings or pelvis. I have this problem in my left hip, and my certified trainer gave me stretches to loosen it: Laying down cross legged hip stretches and open book stretches and the Brettzel stretch are brilliant for improving my range of motion and flexibility. It takes consistency to achieve the greatest relief for chronic lower back pain. So I try to do these stretches as soon as I get out of bed in the morning.
I’ve found, too, that yoga poses like cat-cow and restorative yoga provide excellent stretches. And I can find a yoga class most anywhere that I travel. Read: Try Restorative Yoga, a Gentle Beginner Exercise!
Practice Proper Posture
Modern day lifestyles include a lot of sitting down. Focussing on typing and looking at a screen, our shoulders begin to round and our spine begins to hump. This goes against the natural S-curve of our spine. And it straightens the lower back and puts more pressure on weaker muscles. The tightness in our internal oblique muscle can trap and pinch nerves causing chronic pain. Therefore practicing proper posture along with doing low back and hip stretches can alleviate the discomfort. I use an inexpensive posture trainer to help me maintain a proper posture.
Proper comfort and alignment of the back is essential for sleep quality and avoiding back pain in the morning. The key is to use a pillow supportive enough to keep the back and neck in a straight line. My latest find in my quest for pillows that relieve pain are organic chemical-free buckwheat pillows that are handmade in Arizona! I love the supportive millet hulls pillow and my significant other loves the more firm support of the buckwheat hulls pillow. We each notice a significant reduction in headaches, neck pain and back pain upon waking in the morning.
Bottom Line on Back Pain Relief
Chronic pain usually comes from some kind of nerve damage, joint pain, degeneration, or muscle structure. Most of the time the nerves are involved as they are the highways of our body that transmit pain to our brains. One of the worst pains of this nature is back pain.
All the nerves in our body attach to the spinal column. And we may feel tremendous pain if this mass of nerves is pinched or damaged in some way. However since our back is very flexible, the healing options are very varied giving all of us a chance to get back to full strength.
Chronic back pain doesn’t have to remain chronic according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and implementing these simple treatments can help to make that a reality.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life