5 Smart Ways to Manage Your Chronic Lower Back Pain

5 Smart Ways to Manage Your Chronic Lower Back Pain

You wake in the morning and wonder whether lower back pain will be a minor or major issue during the day. Instead of existing at the mercy of a fickle back, you can take steps to control the issue.

Humans and chronic low back pain are hardly strangers — studies suggest that up to 23% of adults around the globe suffer from ongoing discomfort that stems from the low back.

Instead of existing in a world where your chronic low back pain dictates how you live, imagine taking charge of the problem so that you have more control over your quality of life.

At Spine & Orthopedic Center, Dr. Rajiv Sood understands that chronic low back pain is a condition that’s best tackled from every angle possible. To give you an idea about how you can more successfully control your discomfort, here are five smart ways to manage the problem.

1. Understand what you’re up against

The first step in figuring out almost any problem is understanding what you’re up against. If you’re suffering from chronic low back pain, we urge you to come to see us so that we can correctly identify the problem.

In most chronic cases of low back pain, the problem is typically a progressive issue, such as degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, or arthritis. This means that your goals should be twofold: 1) Relieve the pain and 2) Slow the progression of the condition.

To relieve the pain, we offer several different interventional therapies that will make you more comfortable to try pain management and progression-slowing steps on your own.

2. Strength is key

Enough can’t be said about the benefits of physical therapy when you have chronic low back pain. Your back is under a lot of stress, and anything you can do to strengthen the area will help it function better and far less painfully.

When we say to strengthen the area, we’re referring to your core muscles, which play no small role in supporting your spine. Keeping these muscles strong makes your back better supported and less prone to pain.

3. Be smart about your activities

You should choose your activities wisely if you suffer from chronic low back pain. Helping a friend move furniture, cleaning out the attic, playing tennis, or any other activity that tends to place more stress on your back may not be wise if you’re prone to back pain.

If you don’t want to avoid the activity, think about ways to safeguard your back. For example, lift with your knees if you’re moving furniture or avoid a diving groundstroke on the tennis court. 

4. Keep moving

While we want you to be mindful of your chosen activities, we recommend staying active. Your spine is designed for movement and doesn’t do well if you spend hours at a desk or on your feet.

Moving and stretching throughout the day (simply touching your toes works) can keep inflammation down and pain at bay. A good rule of thumb is if you’ve kept your spine in one position for more than an hour, move around for a few minutes and stretch out.

5. Pay attention

When your back pain flares, it certainly gets your attention, but there may have been earlier signs. One of the best ways to manage chronic pain is to understand its behavior. For example, pay attention to small warning signs like a twinge in your back. Or, remember activities that left you in pain and avoid them in the future.

Also, pay attention to what works to relieve your pain and apply these therapies immediately. Consider alternating ice and hot packs when the pain flares work well, lying flat for 20 minutes, or getting a massage. Whatever works best for your pain should be your go-to; the earlier, the better.

If you want us to help customize a low back pain management plan for you that will help you get the most out of life, please contact our office in Jonesboro, Georgia, to schedule a consultation.