Suffering from back pain is one of the most common problems as people age. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), it is estimated to affect more than 100 million Americans at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. While there are many suggested treatments, here are a few simple things that may surprise you that can help:
When your back hurts, a lot of people just want to crawl into bed and rest. But research shows it can actually hurt the healing process or make things worse. Bodies needs movement to stay healthy. Clinical studies of people with back pain show that those who stayed active had a better ability to recover faster. This can include stretching, walking, and any other low-impact activity.
It is well documented that smoking is bad for your lungs and heart, but it can also hurt your back. Smoking can cause vertebral discs to degenerate even faster which can leave you with back pain.
According to another Annals of Internal Medicine study, chronic low back pain sufferers who received weekly massages reported less pain after a few weeks. If your problem is muscle-related, like tight hamstrings, it can be especially helpful.
Maintaining mental health
Stress, depression, and other mental health issues can make back pain worse. These ailments can contribute to physical difficulties like tension and poor sleep which can affect the way you perceive the pain.
A way to manually release needed endorphins, if aerobic exercise isn’t an option, is meditation. It can help develop the mental strength needed to move pain to the back of your mind. Meditation can help focus your attention elsewhere when things are at their worst.