Tens of millions of Americans report experiencing back pain every year, with as many as 8% of adults experiencing chronic back pain. Back pain can place limitations on your day to day activities as it hinders your comfort. Almost every movement you make involves the use of your back, and it can be difficult to find a comfortable position to rest in.
If you’re dealing with back pain, you have a few things to consider. The cause of your back pain as well as its expected duration should play an important role in the way you choose to treat that pain.
Is Your Back Pain the Result of a Disease or a Severe Injury?
If your back pain is the result of a disease like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, or a severe injury like a car accident or fractures, you need to work with your health care provider to come up with a long term solution and treatment plan.
You may need blood work and medical imaging tests like an X-ray to determine the extent of your injury or progression of your disease. Physical therapy, a tailored exercise program, or spinal manipulation may be called for in order to help temporarily relieve your symptoms.
First and foremost, follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor may find that many solutions like changing the way you sleep, optimizing your workspace, stress reduction, and utilizing massage therapy can become valuable aspects of your long term pain management solution.
Just make sure your doctor gives you the green light before you make any major changes to your habits or lifestyle.
Should I Use Medication for My Back Pain?
A lot of factors will affect whether or not the use of medication is a valuable option for management of your lower back pain. Acute and chronic pain have different treatment protocols.
Most medications and supplements for pain, both over-the-counter and prescription varieties, are not designed to be used long term. They may not be helpful for people who have frequent or recurring back pain, as their side effects may cause harm.
If your back pain is likely temporary, you can use over the counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for a few days, taking care to follow the directions on the packaging.
These medications can provide general relief from discomfort, but they don’t resolve the source of the pain or target the affected muscles, discs, nerves, and joints. They’re best when used as a small part of a more comprehensive plan to alleviate and prevent low back pain.
Work on Your Posture
Poor posture can contribute to back pain. Sitting posture and standing posture are equally important. Walking hunched over, slouching, or leaning over your desk forces your body to work against its natural mechanics.
You may feel pain and muscle tension in your back, shoulders, spinal cord, and neck when you heavily utilize poor posture.
Posture is necessary for keeping your bones aligned and preventing muscle fatigue. It can also help to prevent premature wear and tear on joints that can contribute to conditions like osteoarthritis.
Remember to keep your shoulders straight and to allow the curvature of your lower back to rest naturally, whether you’re sitting or standing.
Exercise like strength training or aerobic activity can also help strengthen your back muscles in order to better support your spine. A physical therapist may be able to guide you through an appropriate exercise program.
Change the Way You Sleep
When you sleep, your spine should remain properly aligned to prevent muscle spasms and pain. If it isn’t, you’re keeping your body in an unnatural position for eight hours every night. This often leads to muscle soreness and achy joints upon waking.
Back sleepers can benefit from placing a pillow under their knees. Side sleepers can keep a pillow between their knees, and stomach sleepers will benefit from a pillow under their hips. The small amount of soft support provided by a pillow is often sufficient enough to reduce the potential for back pain.
Many people with back pain find that a medium support mattress is optimal. Very firm mattresses often cause counterpressure that increases the sensation of discomfort. Mattresses that are too soft don’t provide support.
Switch Up Your Desk
Any desk configuration that requires you to hunch over or look down isn’t a feasible desk position. Computers, especially laptops, have a tendency to sit below eye level.
In order to type and read the screen, you need to maintain an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period of time. If your work day is 8 hours, you’re spending a significant portion of your life actively working against your body’s natural alignment.
There are stands for laptops designed to optimize their height. These stands are usually adjustable, and they’re intended to place your laptop at eye-level.
Many people find useful workarounds with other office objects, such as binders or reams of paper, to lift their laptop up to a comfortable position. If you don’t currently have a stand, you can improvise one until you have a chance to pick one up.
Choosing a proper desk chair is also important. It’s worth investing in an office chair that provides sufficient back support, especially if you spend a lot of time at your desk. There are posture support devices you can purchase for your current chair, but they can’t optimize seat width or back height.
Try Massage Therapy
Massage therapy can be immensely helpful for people experiencing back pain, whether the pain is chronic or temporary. Massage promotes the release of endorphins and supports better circulation.
Accumulated fluid leads to swelling, and massage can encourage your body to flush it away from the affected muscles. Improved circulation draws in freshly oxygenated blood, full of the vitamins, proteins, and minerals your body needs to repair or support muscles and joints.
A weekly massage session can ease your pain, promote better sleep, and encourage your body to heal. In some circumstances, insurance may cover massage therapy if a doctor deems it medically necessary. Many doctors support their patients’ decision to use massage therapy and will gladly prescribe it.
Use Hempvana Muscle Pain Relief Cream
Most solutions work to relieve pain in the long term. While making lifestyle changes and adopting practices to support the health of your back is of the utmost importance, it won’t provide you relief at the moment. It’s difficult to contemplate the idea of changing your whole bed and your whole desk when your aching back is nagging at you.
Topical pain relief creams can ease aches nearly instantly. Hempvana Maximum Strength Pain Relief Cream can begin to temporarily help relieve back pain within minutes. Hempvana has your back – literally.
The moment you realize your back is starting to ache, apply the cream. If you’re having a tough time reaching the spot, ask someone to help you apply the cream to the sore areas of your back.
Apply the cream with light massaging motions to promote absorption. Avoid showering for about 30 minutes to assure the cream has enough time to fully penetrate the skin.
Our cream utilizes trolamine salicylate, which is very similar to aspirin and can help promote numbness in the affected area. We formulated our cream at 10% trolamine salicylate, which is the maximum allowed for an over the counter product.
When you apply Hempvana Maximum Strength Pain Relief Cream directly to your achy back, the ingredients begin to penetrate and temporarily relieve pain from muscle soreness, pain in tendons or disks, strains, and sprains.