Americans spend more than $50-billion per year for treatment of lower back pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans have experienced at least one day of lower back pain and eight out of ten adults will experience recurring back pain severe enough to interfere with work or normal daily activities. The good news is that most causes of back pain occur from mechanical incidents such as strains, sprains, or over use, and not serious conditions such as fractures, arthritis, or cancer. Knowing the best treatments for recovering from back injuries can have you pain free sooner and provide you the knowledge needed to lower your risk of recurring back pain in the future.
Home Care for Lower Back Pain
The common causes for lower back pain are injury to the muscles from over use, improper lifting, and twisting or sudden trauma such as slipping, or falling. Contrary to what many believe, the best treatment for upper and lower back pain is to stay as active as possible, and studies now prove that extended bed rest may actually make back pain worse and lengthen recovery time. Walking is often recommended for anyone struggling to recover from lower back pain. The key is to start slowly and build up your endurance and distance. If you smoke, consider quitting as smoking interferes with blood circulation needed for recovery and healing of injured muscle. Likewise, consider eating for recovery by making nutritious food choices. A typical diet high in sugars, starches, and fats does not supply the protein and other essential nutrients needed to repair muscle tissue. Many times lower back pain is caused by weak core muscles, exercise helps to stretch and strengthen muscles. As you exercise and strengthen overall muscle tone, your core muscles are able to provide the support needed for your back and spine. Over the counter medications can help reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow instructions and not take more than the recommended dosage. If those medications are not helping relieve your pain, call your doctor for evaluation and treatment options, alternating ice and heat packs may also help reduce pain. For chronic back pain, or if your injury does not appear to be getting better after ruling out any underlying issues, your doctor may recommend a chiropractor or personal trainer for treatment or exercises designed to strengthen your back to promote a healthy recovery.
Chiropractors are Back Specialists
Although chiropractors treat a range of conditions, many of their clients come for back pain that has not responded to home treatment. After reviewing your medical history and possibly ordering x-rays or other tests, your chiropractor will discuss a course of treatment that usually involves spinal manipulation to bring your back into proper alignment. He or she may also recommend nutritional supplements, specific exercises, massages, or electrical stimulation to provide pain relief and promote recovery. Chiropractic care is based on the belief that your body has the ability to heal itself. Chiropractic medicine also understands that the entire body structure is interdependent. Chiropractic treatments are designed to balance your body systems, back, and spine to promote optimal health, strength, and healing.
Personal Trainers and Strength Training
A personal trainer with certification in advanced health and fitness from an organization such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) can recommend a program designed to teach you a range of exercises to develop and strengthen your core and back muscles. While it is possible to begin an exercise routine at home, a personal trainer can help you identify specific exercises based on your level of injury or pain and show you how to perform those exercises with correct form. A personal trainer can also supervise your progress and is in a position to help correct unsafe exercise practices or improper form that may place you at risk for over stressing your back or other muscle groups. Always speak to any personal trainer you are considering and ask about their experience working with others that have back problems. Observe a class or training session and ask to speak to some of their clients. When seeking a personal trainer to assist you in recovering from a back injury, first consult with your doctor.
By taking responsibility to direct your recovery from a back injury safely and with the assistance of professionals such as your doctor, chiropractor, and perhaps a personal trainer, you can greatly decrease your risk of future back injury and improve your overall health and physical condition for an active lifestyle in the years ahead.