Chronic low back pain affects so many people. Here at Back & Body, I see plenty of people with this complaint, so I thought I’d set aside a little space on this blog to advise people about what they can do to ease the pain, with self-care.
Of course, self-care only goes so far. Also, if the pain persists for more than a couple of weeks and doesn’t respond to your self-care efforts, you need to see me or another medical professional to get you re-set and feeling more like yourself.
But in the meantime, here’s what to do for chronic back pain.
Ice and movement
The human body was designed to move and that, of course, includes your spine. Low back pain shouldn’t be your cue to stop moving around. You need to go about your daily business to maintain flexibility and strength.
Do what you usually do. Walk doggie, work and do all the household chores you normally do. Once you have the pain under control, you should augment your activities with an exercise program that includes low impact aerobic exercise like cycling, walking or swimming.
Keep it in perspective. Don’t go crazy. Just work your way up to a sustainable level of physical activity.
The muscles supporting the continuing health of your lower back will need to be strengthened to prevent severe pain from returning. If you have chronic pain, the problem may just be weakness in that area.
While you need a strong core, don’t resort to crunches, which can place undue stress on your cervical spine. Instead, try to develop a planking habit. This exercise strengthens your entire body – especially those crucial, back supporting muscles in the core.
Stretching is another preventative habit you should take up to tame your chronic low back pain. If your work involves sitting for long periods of time, it’s critical that you get up and stretch at regular intervals (every 20 to 30 minutes).
You may also want to add some Yoga to your exercise routine. The stretching involved in Yoga is extremely good for your back and can help you get stronger.
Posture and ergonomics
Your sitting posture is just as important as your standing posture. Be mindful of how you sit and stand. If you’re slouching or slumping, you’re not doing your spine any favors.
Adjust your workstation to promote better spine health, ensuring you’re not craning your head toward a computer screen. If you work in a physical job, a back brace is your friend. Don’t be ashamed to use one. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re smart.
Back & Body Medical
At Back & Body, my chiropractic services are supported by therapies from 3 other medical disciplines – physical therapy, sports medicine and acupuncture. Together, the clinicians here practice multi-disciplinarian care that can address low back pain, when self-care just doesn’t cut it.
What to do for persistent chronic low back pain is to come see us. We invite you to schedule an appointment.