3 Ways to Ease Back Pain

2014Apr16_GenPharma_ADid you know that Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on lower back pain? It’s the top cause of job disability around the world and about one in 10 people suffer with it. Chronic back pain is serious – studies show that it can cause loss of productivity and even more frightening, loss of years of life.

The world’s growing elderly population means that people are living longer with pain. Additionally, technological advances cause more people to suffer with back pain due to time spent in front of a computer or hunched over a cellphone or tablet. In fact, a recent study shows that 18-24 year olds have missed an average of 6.74 days due to back pain as compared to 5.12 for 45 to 54 year olds. Other factors contributing to back pain include age, stress, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. No matter the cause, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat the pain.

Here are the top three ways to prevent the most common types of back pain.

#1: Exercise often.

Because a sedentary lifestyle is thought to be a major contributor to back pain, exercise can be one of the most effective treatments. Strengthening back and abdominal muscles is especially important for people with skeletal irregularities. Low impact exercises that include stretching are ideal. Try yoga, swimming or walking.

#2: Pay attention to posture.

Good posture is especially important if you are sitting for an extended period of time, like so many in today’s modern workforce. You’ll want to make sure your seat has back support and arm rests with additional support in the small of your back. Ideally, your knees and hips should be level with elbows at right angles and horizontal forearms.

#3: Lift from the knees.

Whether you’re moving a box, picking up a child or lifting weights in a gym, it’s critical to use your legs, not your back. Try to keep your back as straight as possible, bending only at the knees. Keep your gaze straight ahead of you, so that the back of your neck and your spine are aligned.

Treatment Options

When you do experience back pain, a combination of cold and hot compresses along with the use of an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, can be helpful. Other treatment options may include acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments. However, if your back pain is accompanied by pain down the legs, difficulty urinating, swelling of the back or numbness around the buttocks, you’ll want to consult a doctor.

If you have any questions about the prevention and treatment of lower back pain, the staff at [company_short] is always here to help. Give us a call at [phone_main] or stop by the store to meet with one of our healthcare experts.

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