HOW CHRONIC BACK PAIN CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE…

Suffering from chronic or even just acute back pain can be a very challenging ordeal. Only a fellow back pain sufferer can truly understand just how debilitating and depressing the condition can be.

Your quality of life suffers when you’re in pain all the time. Most people not suffering from this condition just can’t seem to understand the devastating effects of this condition. It often seems like the patient is exaggerating or ‘weak’… when in reality, the pain can last for months or even years.

 

The mental and emotional toll

The first step to coping with this condition is to understand how it can impact your life. Depending on the severity of the pain, besides just medication and physiotherapy, you may also wish to speak to a counselor or a professional. The emotional and mental toll that back pain takes can leave you feeling stressed and depressed. You just might need someone to speak to.

 Everything gets harder

When even a slightest jolt makes you groan in pain, you must come to terms with the fact that your mobility may be limited. You may have to walk slower, move more carefully, and tasks that were a breeze before may be of a Herculean nature now.

Carrying a bag of groceries may leave you in agony. Even simple actions like getting up from a chair or reaching for the TV remote may send spasms of pain shooting up your spine. You must be careful of everything.

When your activities are severely restricted, you may find yourself becoming more dependent on others. This may make you feel like you’re imposing and your sense of self-worth decreases. It’s important that you know that you’re not incapable. It’s just the pain wreaking havoc in your life.

As difficult as it may seem, now more than ever, you need a positive attitude and the grim determination to persevere and beat the pain.

 

Fear

This is nothing to be ashamed of. Almost all adults fear pain. It’s just the extent that varies. You may experience fear and not just of pain but also your general wellbeing. What if things got worse? What if you develop other problems like diabetes or paralysis?

Most of these fears are often unfounded. You can always talk to your doctor about the problem and clarify your doubts.

On the other hand, you may fear going out or engaging in other activities just in case you worsen the pain. The advice here is to use common sense. If the activity is a visit to the beach or a walk by the park, go ahead. The fresh air and change of scenery will do you good.

Fearing everything will just make you stay indoors and your life will become monotonous and sedentary. This will actually worsen the situation. Activity will improve your blood circulation and keep your muscles stronger and reduce your back pain.

 Social life

Your social life may suffer because of your pain. You’d rather stay indoors than go out and have fun. It’s difficult to have fun when you’re in pain. If you’re married or have a partner, intimate relationships will suffer too.

The pain will make the entire activity a chore. You’ll need to be open and speak to your partner about it. Do not withdraw and get angry or disappointed. Experiment with new positions that are easier on your back.

 Your career

The hard truth is that you may have to quit your job if it’s one that has a lot of manual labor. If you work at a desk, your workstation may need to be adapted to suit your condition. If your condition is so bad that even leaving your house to get to work is not a possibility, you may wish to ask your boss if you can work from home. All these situations are possible, and you must be ready for them.

I had to sell my last business after my fourth spinal surgery kept me in hospital for nearly three months. It was a big decision and a new chapter in my life.

At the end of the day, just know that you’re not alone in this. It may seem like a small consolation, but the fact that there are millions of people with chronic back pain doing the best they can to lead ‘normal’ lives should inspire you to stay strong.

Keep finding ways to improve your condition and get better. Even if all it takes is a positive attitude, that itself will reduce your mental stress and make you feel better.

3 GREAT TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR LOW BACK…

Prevention is always better than cure. Even if you have no back pain, it’s always best to take measures to keep it at bay. Back pain, when serious, can be debilitating and make your life a living hell. While certain types of chronic back pain are unavoidable due to genetics or diseases, the acute type of back pain that most people suffer from can be nipped in the bud with the right habits.

It doesn’t matter if your back pain is chronic or acute. The tips below will help you to alleviate the pain and bring relief. In the early or intermediate stages, you may even be able to reverse the problem.

Most people suffer issues in the lower back, and the tips below will be extremely effective for treating lower back problems. It’s important to understand that if your back pain is caused by injury to the cartilage or bone, you’ll require rest. The injured area needs time to heal.

However, during the resting process, your muscles surrounding the joint may weaken due to lack of use. This can lead to persistent back pain too. So, it’s a catch-22 situation. You need to rest, but you also need to strengthen your back muscles. That’s why physiotherapy is very important for back injuries.

Now let’s look at the tips.

1. Strengthen your abs and back

A person with a strong back and abdomen will be much less likely to experience back pain than someone with a weak back. Exercises such as deadlifts, flutter kicks, hanging leg raises, planks, etc. will strengthen your core and your back. Once both of these parts are strong, your back will not be prone to back pain.

2. Proper footwear

Women should avoid wearing high heels for long periods. While they may look good, this comes at a heavy price. The spine experiences abnormal stress when the heels increase the lower spine’s curvature.

You should also note that your footwear should be appropriate for your job. If you walk or stand a lot during your job (e.g. nurse, waitress, etc.) you should wear proper shoes that provide adequate support.

If you have flat feet or a high arch, it’s even more important to get shoes that support your feet well. When there is pronation in the foot, the lower spine and hips are affected. You may wish to use orthotics to help balance out your feet. People with flat feet or high aches may also experience plantar fasciitis, which is another painful condition. So, once again, being prepared will keep pain away.

3.  Focus on your posture

Poor posture is a hard habit to break. You need to be constantly aware of your posture. When standing, keep your back straight with your shoulders pulled back. Slouching can not only cause back pain but also neck pain.

Stand with your back against a wall. Lean your head back and pull your shoulders back a little. You’ll understand what good posture should feel like.

The same applies when you’re seated. Too many people spend hours sitting hunched over a computer typing away. Always check and make sure that you’re sitting upright. Pull your chair close to your desk, and this will help to keep you straight and upright.

Keep these 3 tips in mind daily. Exercise regularly, use proper footwear and maintain good posture. These are the cornerstones to preventing and relieving back pain.

Read More »

A GIDE TO INFRARED THERAPY FOR PAIN…

Infrared therapy for pain is a natural, non-invasive treatment for pain relief for all sorts of problems. Knees, in particular, seem to suffer from inflammation of the joints. Other areas include neck pain from a strain or just fatigue from bad posture. Shoulders are another common site for pain and the infrared light therapy can soon improve the circulation around the shoulder to alleviate the pain.

There are many benefits of Infrared therapy for pain which include that it’s been scientifically proven for over 40 years.

You don’t need to visit a hospital or clinic to relish infrared light therapy.

It’s been demonstrated that infrared boosts your blood flow which helps with circulation.

It’s cost-effective and will save you time and money.

This is excellent for the well-being of your heart and has been proven to decrease the accumulation of plaque and fat in your arteries.

Obviously, it is essential that before using any type of light therapy,  you visit your GP to find the reason for your pain and treat which may also be treated with medication.

There are a number of causes that can demonstrate pain including arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and many more. But, Infrared light therapy is a tested treatment for any condition characterized by pain and inflammation. It improves cellular energy creation, improves blood flow and decreases inflammation.

The point is that the red light dilates the blood vessels and so foster the blood flow. The quantity of infrared rays emitted is based on the size of the particles.

LED technologies for treating arthritis at home, are not merely effective, they’re also very affordable. Saunas are a huge investment, but as soon as they are assembled in your house, they may be used each and every day. There is lots of information about the healing capabilities of Light therapy online and you should research it properly before buying any.

Cordless models offer you more options in regard to use since you don’t have to be near a socket. Another important element is that it must not boost the sensitivity of your skin. The device should have an automated shutdown to avoid an accident but the majority have this anyway.

There isn’t any question that sunlight is essential for health. Infrared light therapy has been shown effective by hundreds of studies all around the planet, it is 100% natural and does not have any known adverse side effects.

 

BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY…

Millions of women around the world experience back pain during pregnancy. Usually, it’s one of two types of back pain. The first type is known as PGP, which is an acronym for pelvic girdle pain. This is pain that arises when the pelvic joints are affected.

The second type of pain is more common and arises because of the extra weight the mother is carrying. When there is a child in the tummy, the extra weight in the front, puts pressure on the spine. It makes the back muscles tight, and posture may be compromised too. The ligaments are strained and the back hurts.

The good news is that after pregnancy, the pain will diminish and disappear. However, there are measures that you can take to reduce pregnancy-related back pain.

As they often say, prevention is better than cure. So, it’s best for women to exercise regularly and focus on back and core exercises such as planks, crunches, deadlifts, squats, etc. This will strengthen their body, so that it can withstand the extra weight in the front during a pregnancy.

Of course, this is prior to pregnancy. If you’re already pregnant, and in pain, just follow the tips below.

Always watch your posture

Bad posture is one of the root causes of back pain. The extra weight in front changes your center of gravity. To compensate for this, you should do pelvic tilts often, so that you ease the pressure on your lower back.

Use the right footwear

Forget the high heels and vanity footwear. Get a pair of shoes that provide good support and cushioning.

Sleep correctly

It may be strange to say, ‘sleep correctly’… but it is true. Place a pillow between your legs when you’re sleeping on your side. This will ease pressure on your back. Another tip you should follow is to place a pillow under your belly. When you’re on your side, your swollen tummy will be weighing you down. A support pillow under the tummy will keep things level and balanced without placing tension on your back muscles.

 Do yoga

Certain yoga moves like the cat/cow pose, tabletop, sumo squat, and wide-legged forward bend will help to stretch your back muscles and ease the tension. Another benefit of yoga is that it will improve your blood circulation, and the breathing techniques will oxygenate your blood better. So, you’ll have nutrient-rich blood circulating better around your sore back, and this will alleviate the pain.

Avoid standing for too long

The longer you stand, the more stress your weight places on your back. It’s good to not be in any one position for too long. You must understand that the belly is straining muscles in your back. So, to prevent any one muscle from being strained, it’s best to not be still in one position for too long.

Learn to bend correctly

Ideally, you should learn how to bend and pick up items correctly when you’re pregnant. Going for maternity classes or doing your own research will help you understand how to work with your body so that you don’t end up in pain.

These 6 tips will help most pregnant women reduce the pain in their backs. Besides the methods above, heat and cold treatments will work too. You could give acupressure or acupuncture a try.

Speak to your doctor first before trying anything new. Once you get the ‘go ahead’, you can do what you need to in order to ease your back pain.

OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION FOR BACK PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

This is a question that millions of back pain sufferers ask all the time. Is there any medication that works? The truth of the matter is that it all depends on the type of back pain that an individual has.

If the back pain is acute due to some injury, over-the-counter medication may be enough to relieve the symptoms while the body heals naturally. However, if you suffer from chronic back pain due to more serious issues such as degenerative disc disease or osteoporosis, the medication will only help to a minimal extent.

Medication is not the be-all and end-all of back pain treatment. You’d do well to lose excess weight, maintain a good posture, avoid sitting for long periods and even try out acupuncture or acupressure to help aid in the healing process.

The medication that you take will help to relieve the pain and discomfort so that you can exercise and improve your condition. Most over-the-counter medication will not only provide temporary pain relief, but will also relax your muscles and reduce swelling and inflammation while altering your perception of pain.

Holistic remedies are great, but when the pain is bad, there’s nothing like painkillers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to bring fast relief. There’s nothing wrong with using these medications.

You’ll need to see what side effects you experience. They can vary from person to person. You may not even have any. You’ll only know when you try.

 

• Acetaminophen

Most over-the-counter types of medication contain paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen. These can be used to treat anything from headaches to fevers to back pain. It works by preventing the body from releasing pain chemicals. In this way the pain signals going to the brain are altered and you feel less pain.

While generally harmless, consuming these in the long run can lead to a toxic buildup within the body, and the liver may be affected.

 

• Opioids

Another type of medication that is used to treat back pain is opioids. Only a doctor can prescribe opioids because they’re much stronger drugs and usually used to treat chronic back pain.

The drugs work by increasing your tolerance to pain and reducing the body’s perception of pain. They’re similar to the acetaminophen, but on a much higher degree.

While opioids are powerful, in some cases, the back pain may be so bad that even though it’s mitigated, you can’t eradicate it. To make matters worse, the body develops a tolerance to opioids over time and they lose their effectiveness.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you use these painkillers as a temporary measure while you go about changing other aspects of your life to make the back pain more manageable. Maintaining a good posture and an ideal weight is far more beneficial to your back in the long run than any opioid or medication could be.

 

• NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs_ are extremely effective for pain treatment. In most cases of back pain, there will be accompanying inflammation of the soft tissues around the area. NSAIDs will reduce the inflammation and bring about much relief.

They’re more powerful than both acetaminophen and opioids. However, they do have side effects like nausea, indigestion, fatigue, etc.

At the end of the day, when it comes to medication for your back pain, it’s best to speak to a qualified doctor, and if possible, get a second opinion too. Use medication as one of several tools to treat your back pain. Don’t rely on it completely. As long as you adopt a multi-pronged approach to treating your back pain, you’ll find relief sooner and may even get rid of the pain totally.