Back pain can do much more than just put us in a bad mood. Discomfort in this part of the body has the potential to stop us completing even the simplest of everyday tasks, from getting dressed to walking the dog. It can also prevent us from sleeping properly. So, if you want to live life to the full, putting up with this problem isn’t an option. The good news is, as troublesome as back pain is, it can often be tackled with relatively simple changes to your lifestyle and environment. Here are some simple tips that should help you ensure you’re not held hostage by this common but frustrating health complaint.
1) Choose the best possible bed
Given that we spend around a third of our lives sleeping, it’s easy to see why beds can play an important role in preventing and relieving back pain. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests that, based on the average life expectancy, we spend an impressive 227,468 hours in the land of nod. This means that if you put up with a poor quality bed, you could be making a big mistake.
In other words, if your bed’s seen better days and your mattress doesn’t make the grade, it could be time to buy yourself a new sleeping setup. Ideally, your mattress should be firm enough to support your shoulders and buttocks while keeping your spine straight.
Your sleeping position is important too, and this is where adjustable beds really come into their own. These useful sleeping aids can make it easier to stay in a suitable position while you catch up on your shuteye. For example, if you sleep on your back, you can set these beds up to provide extra support under your knees. This helps to maintain the normal curve of the lower part of your back. Adjustable beds also make it easier to get in your sleeping position at night and to get up again in the morning, which can be especially important if your back pain is limiting your mobility.
2) Make the most of massage therapy
Massage therapy could also help. These pampering sessions offer instant pain relief, and they can help you to keep your spirits up. Never underestimate the power of staying positive when you’re fighting back pain. Although many people don’t realise it, keeping an upbeat mindset can play a major role in recovering from injuries and illnesses. It might not always be easy, but trying to stay relaxed and positive could help you to combat your discomfort quicker.
Our adjustable beds and chairs feature in-built cyclo therapy massage systems. This innovative technology massages your whole body and you can choose from a range of different settings. Knowing that you can access pain relief at the flick of a switch can be a real comfort.
3) Stay active
Doctors used to advise rest for patients with back pain, but things have changed. Suffering from this condition is no longer a reason to kick back on the couch. Instead, medical experts now recommend staying active because it’s thought that moving around can actually speed up the recovery process. Of course, if your back is causing you problems, you might not feel like training for a triathlon or working up a sweat in a spinning class. There are plenty of other, gentler activities that you can try though. Anything from simply walking around the house to taking a gentle stroll to the shops could aid your recovery. If you’re feeling up to it, you could get stuck into some basic yoga too, but before you test out any new sports, it’s wise to check with your doctor first. If you get over-ambitious in your athletic exploits, you risk making your back problems worse.
You might also benefit from making a few changes to your lifestyle. For example, if you’re carrying a little too much weight, it could be time to change your diet and get in shape. This should relieve some of the pressure on your back. Make sure you eat balanced, healthy meals too so that you provide your body with everything it needs to function properly.
4) Use hot and cold treatments
It’s also worth giving hot and cold treatments a try. For some people, a hot water bottle or a good long soak in a warm bath can do wonders to relieve back pain. For others, placing ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables on the affected area is more effective. If you’re going for the DIY cold pack approach though, make sure you avoid putting ice directly onto your skin because this could cause a nasty cold burn. Instead, make sure you always wrap frozen veg or blocks of ice in a cloth before you apply them. It might mean a little extra laundry, but really is worth making the effort.
5) Give painkillers a go
Over-the-counter painkillers can also help you to relieve discomfort in your back, and paracetamol is usually one of the first medications that doctors and pharmacists recommend. Some people find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments, like ibuprofen, to be better though. If non-prescription drugs aren’t doing the job, your doctor might advise you to take something stronger, and if you suffer spasms in your back, they may also recommend a course of a muscle relaxant such as diazepam.
Bear in mind though, painkillers may have side effects and certain medications can be addictive, so it’s important to get advice from your GP or a pharmacist.
Start taking steps now
Back pain is a common problem and it affects most of us at some point in our lives. Often, people just put up with the discomfort and hope it simply goes away. However, by following simple steps like these though, you stand a better chance of relieving your back pain and of keeping it at bay in the future.
From sleeping in a better bed to getting massages, doing more exercise, using hot and cold therapy and taking pain killers, there are plenty of things you can do to make your back feel better in the comfort of your home.