The Implications of Back Pain and How to Combat it

Almost everyone has had back pain at one time or another. However, some people have long-term issues with back pain, especially those who have had an injury, whether from a car accident, sports mishap or work incident. Many people ignore back pain, especially at first if the symptoms are minor, or they just "learn to live with it."

The problem with leaving it untreated is that it will often get worse and lead to chronic issues, and this can have serious implications. There are numerous things you can do to manage back pain, including getting physical therapy in Edmond West, Oklahoma. The sooner you seek treatment, the better you will feel, not only physically but also emotionally.

The Implications

There are numerous causes of back pain, but regardless of the reason, the pain can become debilitating over time and affect various areas of your life.

Some of the implications include:

  • Limited mobility and chronic pain
  • Poor sleep and overall decrease in health
  • Work absence
  • Mental issues such as depression 
  • Worsening family life
  • Pain medication abuse

Although you may be able to combat back pain on your own, there is a good chance you will need to rely on professionals, such as physical therapy in Edmond North, Oklahoma, to treat the underlying issues.

How to Combat It

Managing and treating back pain often depends on the cause and frequency. Sometimes making lifestyle changes is all that is necessary, while other times treatment from a healthcare professional is the only way to combat it.

Sitting at a desk or in front of a computer all day is a common cause of back pain. Making your workspace ergonomically friendly will help tremendously. Adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the ground or comfortably on a foot rest. Your thighs and forearms should be parallel to the floor, so adjust the height of your desk and computer as needed. It also helps to find a chair that has lumbar support.

No matter if you sit or stand all day, changing positions frequently is important to avoid repetitive injuries. Ideally, take a five-to-10-minute break every hour, or as frequently as possible.

Lifting heavy or awkward objects is also a contributor to back pain. Always bend at the knees and hold the object close to your body. For heavier items, have someone lift it with you.

If you notice that your low back hurts every morning, it may be due to your mattress, pillow, or sleeping position. Try sleeping on your back with a pillow beneath your knees, or lay on your side with a pillow in between your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

If making certain changes does not improve your pain, you may want to consider physical therapy for back pain. PT is a more conservative approach, and in most cases, it eliminates the pain and prevents more invasive methods like surgery. Depending on the location and severity of your back pain, PT may consist of a variety of treatment methods. Some examples may include muscle therapy, strength and balance exercises, heat or cold therapy and manual therapy.