Whether it’s a dull ache or a sharp jab, any type of back pain can make you immobile.
The condition occurs so often that it ranks as a major reason for missed workdays, job-related injuries, and visits to doctors’ offices. About 80% of men and women report having back pain at some point in their lives.
Back pain can occur from accidents, injuries, or improper lifting. It can also develop as a symptom of illness or disease. Identifying the source of your back pain is key to finding appropriate treatments, achieving relief, and preventing further problems.
Pain management can relieve back pain. Back pain specialist Sameer Syed, MD, MPH, of the Pain Treatment Institute in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Rockwall, or Sherman, Texas, can provide the diagnosis you need to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.
Dr. Syed is double board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology. His success in using innovative treatments such as fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided injections, natural therapies, and medication has helped many patients resume pain-free and active lifestyles.
Dr. Syed and the staff here at the Pain Treatment Institute understand the impact that back pain can have on your life. We recommend that you follow these tips to avoid making your back pain worse.
Movement keeps you flexible and prevents stiffness. Your ligaments and tendons are less likely to tear under stress when they are flexible. Movement that involves targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back, abdomen, and hamstrings can also reduce pain.
You can protect your back with the following activities:
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Stretch your back before exercising or doing another physical activity.
- Combine strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises for best results.
- Swim or ride a stationary bike if you have limited mobility.
- Try gentle exercise formats, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates for stretching.
- Establish a walking routine if you can’t do other types of conditioning.
Practice Good Posture and Body Movements
Improper body mechanics can cause back injuries and irritate existing ones. Movements that cause jolts or strains can position your back awkwardly and result in injury. You can avoid causing additional damage by learning and practicing good body mechanics.
To reduce the risk of irritation and injury, stand up straight, and put your weight on your feet. When lifting, squat down rather than bending over, then straighten your legs and keep the object close to you as you lift it.
Choose seating that supports your back and prevents slumping. Use chairs that swivel and have good lumbar support. Sleep on a medium-firm mattress.
Maintain Good Overall Health
Staying healthy can help you prevent back pain. General physical fitness and good nutrition may help you avoid or minimize the effects of some diseases and conditions that can cause back pain. Monitor chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, which can damage the nerves in your back.
Treat pelvic inflammatory disease and bladder or kidney infections promptly. Both conditions can cause back pain. Get vaccinated for shingles if you are eligible since this illness can cause pain in the nerves near your back.
Establish and maintain a healthy weight to prevent unnecessary strain on your back. Don’t smoke or inhale secondhand smoke, which can increase your risk of disc degeneration.
Get Treatment for Flare-ups
Don’t minimize or try to ignore back pain flare-ups. When new pain occurs or existing pain worsens or changes, seek prompt medical treatment. Undiagnosed back pain may be the sign of an underlying medical condition that requires attention.
You risk making your back pain worse if you avoid treatment. Back pain that is accompanied by the following conditions requires a medical diagnosis:
- Auto accident
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Weakness or numbness