Tips to Reduce Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is one of the most widely prevalent and serious conditions that affects people today. It is a problem that can affect people of any age, gender or occupation. Naturally, medical science has made many improvements with regard to treatment low back pain. However, that does not take away from the fact that the condition can be extremely painful and debilitating.
My Experience with Lower Back Pain
A few years ago I severely injured my spinal cord. There were multiple injuries along the discs and a serious case of protrusion in the lower spinal region. After about a week of bed rest during which I just could not move no matter how hard I tried, I booked an appointment with the nearest registered orthopedic surgeon.
As anyone who suffers from this condition will know I was ordered a series of tests and scans. During the follow-up it was discovered that I had a serious disc protrusion, also known as the slipped disc between the L5-S1 vertebrae. Needless to say I was devastated. Being banned from daily activities such as running or bending and lifting heavy objects was inconvenient and discouraging for someone who was a fitness biff.
How I Cured My Lower Back Pain
While most doctors will prescribe effective medication for the treatment of low back pain, it is important to follow these helpful tips to make a full recovery.
In my case I found that following these guidelines helped me recover faster.
- Controlling Pain: One of the biggest drawbacks of spinal injury is chronic pain. Not only is it inconvenient, but in my case it was debilitating. What this meant was that I could not sit up, stand or even sleep in a comfortable position. When the pain threatened to control my lifestyle I took a firm stand and followed a few steps to reduce it effectively:
- Reducing the Perceived Intensity of Pain: In my experience this is one of the most important steps in the treatment of lower back pain. Distraction works wonders by diverting your attention from the constant pain. It might be useful to tell yourself that pain is more psychological than physical. For me, this mantra helped me understand that the pain could be ignored by focusing on watching comedy shows, spending time with family and friends, working from home and generally keeping busy.
While I agree that this method might seem easier said than done, it improves with regular practice. Whenever you find yourself suffering from severe pain, take a deep breath and try thinking of things that make you happy. Memories of holidays, future vacation plans or thoughts of your weekend get-togethers; anything and everything that diverts your attention from the problem can be effective.
- Breathing and Relaxation: One of the main effects of back injury is that the patient suffers from bouts of chronic pain. During these phases, it might be helpful to breathe through the pain and practice relaxation techniques. Bearing the instances of severe pain are made easier when you focus on relaxing the muscles on your back. In my case, the chiropractor suggested a light finger massage to stimulate the skin. not only did this help control the pain but it also shifted my focus away from the injury.
- Timely Medication: Needless to say, the importance of timely medication cannot be stressed enough. When you are prescribed neurological medicines the doctor will always make sure that you understand the critical need to take it at approximately the same time every day. To make sure that I did not miss a dose I saved a daily reminder on my phone. You can also stick a post-it onto the fridge door to ensure that you do not forget to take the medication on time.
- Regular Exercise: Most of the recovery plans that accompany the treatment of lower back pain involve regular exercise. The day after I visited the doctor and got my prescription for the medicines I visited the local physiotherapist for the recommended exercises. Along with light walking, the exercises are crucial in maintaining even muscle tone. They prevent further injury by strengthening the muscles and must be practiced on a daily basis.
My experience with lower back pain taught me a lot regarding exercise, health and the need for strong muscles. While it is true that the pain was excruciating, following a regimented recovery plan helped my make a fast comeback. Combined with meditative practices, the strategy of distracting myself by focusing only on happy thoughts helped me beat back pain and return to a normal lifestyle.