People with back pain often decrease their activity level to prevent further damage, and some may stop working altogether. Cutting back on physical activities that you once enjoyed can dampen your spirit and quality of life, and this may postpone your recovery. Friends, family members, and employers can also slow your recovery by being too helpful instead of making you more active, which could aid in your recovery.
Tips to Control Back Pain
Studies suggest that, if your back pain continues for more than a few months and different treatments have not shown any benefits, it is better to focus on becoming more active than on trying to reduce the pain. Becoming more active improves your body functions and quality of life, which ultimately reduces your back pain. Start increasing your activity level slowly, and expect your body to feel worse in the beginning before it gets better. Here are some tips to help you in becoming more active while suffering from persistent back pain:
- Exercise – Begin with simple stretching and cardiovascular exercises like walking, and slowly build up to more advanced strengthening exercises like weightlifting.
- Resolve conflicts – Resolve any family or social conflicts as these can increase your stress level and delay your recovery.
- Continue working – Stay working, because studies have shown that work gives you a purpose in life and reduces your focus on your back pain.
- Avoid relying on medicine – Taking medicine for pain relief can be helpful in getting you to move, but it can make recovery harder as you might begin to rely too much on medication and less on becoming more active to reduce the pain.
- Rest and relax – Be sure to take frequent breaks during your activities, get enough sleep, and relax by doing breathing exercises. Relaxing is important, because it can trigger your body’s natural pain-relieving responses.
- Work through the pain – Understand that pain flare-ups are likely to happen, but do not let them slow your activity level. Continue to work, play sports, exercise, and do household chores to relieve and recover from your back pain.