How to Ease the Discomfort of Chronic Back Pain
Back pain can change your entire life by limiting your daily activities and preventing you from enjoying the things you used to do. If you are experiencing chronic back pain, it’s important to contact an experienced spine doctor to determine the specific cause of your pain, as well as how to treat it. But you can also help yourself by trying some of the tips below:
Release endorphins to help block pain signals from registering with the brain. Not only will the endorphins help to ease pain, but they also help alleviate anxiety, stress and depression – conditions that are sometimes associated with chronic back pain. Some of the ways to release endorphins include aerobic exercise, deep breathing, laughing/smiling, and massage therapy.
Get plenty of restorative sleep to help your body heal. Since pain is the number one cause of insomnia among medical conditions, this might be easier said than done. And, not getting enough sleep can actually make back pain worse. To break the cycle of pain and insomnia, you’ll need to treat both issues. Some of the ways to address insomnia include cutting back on caffeine, getting the right amount of exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques.
Use hot and cold therapy to ease back pain. Regularly applying cold and/or hot packs can help reduce lower back pain and encourage the healing process. For example, cold therapy reduces inflammation and acts as a local anesthetic by slowing nerve impulses. Heat application stimulates blood flow to bring nutrients to the affected area, helping it to heal. Heat also inhibits pain messages being sent to the brain.
Keep moving to help your back stay healthy, but consult your spine specialist before starting a new exercise routine. Movement keeps your back healthy, strong and flexible, which can reduce the chances of further injury and recurring pain. Fitness activities allow discs to exchange fluids; this exchange is how the disc receives nutrition. Healthy, “well-nourished” discs swell with water and squeeze it out, just like a sponge in water. The sponge action helps deliver nutrients throughout the disc. Also, exercise keeps the connective fibers of tendons and ligaments flexible, therefore reducing stiffness. In addition, keeping these fibers flexible can reduce tearing under stress, which can happen if you don’t exercise regularly.
Before trying any of the tips above, be sure to ask Dr. Sharma about the best treatment for your particular situation. Together, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to ease your back pain and speed the healing process.