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Back pain steps to alleviate your condition

Strategies to alleviate back pain

Although no one dies from back pain, it’s one of the most common causes of work disability. Experts estimate that lost productivity from back related health conditions could be as high as $100 billion per year in the United States. What does this mean for you? Even if you personally don’t suffer from a severe back condition we are all paying for it as our health care insurance premiums increase and the cost for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cost rise.

What about current back treatments?

The increase in back conditions and back pain in the general population raises interesting questions about our current treatment methods and their effectiveness. Whether it’s using medication such as over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, or ketoprofen) or acetaminophen (Tylenol or Pandol) or other more serious pain treatments such as opioids (codeine, morphine, Vicodin or OxyContin) it’s time to determine if this is really enough.

Yes, there are other treatments including rehabilitation and surgery which may help some patients or more alternative treatments, but it could be time to review other behaviors that may be contributing to an increase in back conditions.

What can I do to alleviate my back pain?

1.    Get moving

Experts contend one of the main reasons more workers may be experiencing back pain is because we, as a nation, are sitting more than ever before, and poor sitting posture can cause low back pain. Sitting with the wrong posture is known to put excessive pressure on the joints, muscles and discs, causing pain. What can you do? Learn to sit with correct posture and maintain that posture at all times.

2. Lose weight and stop avoiding exercise.

As the rate of obesity has skyrocketed in America it’s not hard to believe that back pain could be a result. Exercising can be beneficial not only for weight loss but also to help keep your core muscles strong, and provide increased circulation to your joints.

3. Accept there may not be a specific diagnosis.

Up to 85% of low back pain can be classified as "non-specific." The complexity of the back may make it impossible for your doctor to narrow down the exact cause of your condition. But getting good medical care can, in some cases, identify the bones, discs and joints which may be causing the problems.

 4. Stop lifting heavy things and doing detrimental repetitive activities.

While going to the physical therapist and outlining a health exercise plan could be great for your back, frequent heavy lifting can put unnecessary pressure on your back. For instance, if you have a herniated disk the doctor may advise against putting heavy weight directly on your shoulder, like you might do during a squat, but other exercises may be helpful to strengthen your legs and core muscles.

5.   Don’t ignore the pain

Some conditions may go away without medical treatment such as a minor strain or sprain, but many injuries or conditions will need specific treatment. If you have a severe pain or a pain that doesn’t go away, seek medical attention.
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