If you are suffering from back pain, you're not alone: the UNC School of Medicine says that back pain is one of the most common causes for missing work and for disability. Because so many people have this issue, the good news is that there are many solutions out there that you can try. Here are four ways to find back pain relief:
While massage therapy used to be a luxury treatment in the past, many medical practitioners are recognizing its benefits and starting to offer partial coverage with insurance. If you talk with your doctor, you may be able to get a referral to make this an affordable option. The great thing about massage therapy is that there are numerous techniques within the discipline, so you can get a fully personalized treatment. For instance, if your back pain is caused by a sports injury, a masseuse can apply deep pressure to break up fascia and scar tissue.
If you have severe back pain and deep pressure isn't an option, a masseuse could opt for cold/hot stone therapy or gentler techniques, like Swedish massage, where they stroke upper muscle layers. Whatever techniques you choose, you'll gain the benefits of increased blood flow, which increases healing, and you'll increase endorphins, which are the "happy" chemicals in your brain.
When you're in pain, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. However, if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you may be able to improve your back pain exponentially by dropping the pounds. Spine-health.com says that extra weight can cause strain to ligaments and muscles in your back since you have to adjust your spine and pelvis to compensate. If you carry a lot of weight around your mid-section, talk with your doctor about an exercise and diet regimen. Losing this weight may be the key to ridding yourself of back pain forever.
Similar to excess weight, the way that you sit can throw your spine and pelvis out of wack. Your body's muscles may tense up due to odd sitting positions. If you sit for a long time at work, it would most likely be in your best interest to invest in ergonomic furniture. Ergonomic chairs should have adjustable headrests and armrests, and they should allow you to adjust the height of the seat so your legs can rest at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Chairs that can swivel are a good option, so you can turn to face what you need without twisting your back in the chair.
Lastly, like massage therapy, sauna therapy can help your back muscles relax by increasing blood flow. This heat can also reduce muscle spasms and stress. The NCBI even has studies that show that infrared sauna therapy can reduce back pain and is a very low-risk treatment option.
Talk with a medical professional like Wayne Isaacson MD for more information on reducing--or even eliminating--your back pain.