Tips for Relieving Back Pain
Between life’s stressors, work, and bad posture, back pain is an all too common issue in our modern society. Sometimes a simple action or task — like merely bending down — can send your back out of whack and land you in bed for days. Other times, a rigorous activity — like lifting weights at your local gym — can result in throwing your back out. Whether you deal with chronic back pain or are just hit by a random episode, here are a few ways to help reduce back pain and prevent it from becoming a serious issue.
While you can take non-prescription medication like ibuprofen or prescription pain relievers to alleviate your back pain, a more natural — and increasingly popular — alternative is CBD. Cannabidiol or CBD is derived from the hemp plant, a close relative to the marijuana plant. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not produce the euphoric high typically associated with the drug. This is because the hemp plant is made up of both CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. However, hemp contains less than 0.3 percent of THC.
CBD has numerous health benefits, including the ability to treat chronic pain. Our bodies have a specialized network called the endocannabinoid system which regulates pain, sleep, the immune system response, and appetite. According to research, CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation by interacting with endocannabinoid receptor activity.
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When you have back pain, you may be tempted to lay in bed all day, but medical professionals suggest you do the exact opposite. Science has shown that you can actually increase your back pain by resting instead of staying active. This doesn’t mean you should do a strenuous workout routine or lift weights, but a mild form of movement is beneficial. Some of the best physical activities to do when you experience back pain are swimming, yoga, and walking. Ideally, you want to regularly stretch your body to help prevent back pain.
Ice and Heat
Consider applying ice and heat to an achy back. Ice can help reduce the pain, and heat can help loosen your muscles. Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, for instance, onto your sore back for 20 minutes several times a day within the first 48 hours of an injury. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect your skin. After a few days, replace ice with a heating pad to relax your muscles and stimulate blood flow.
Make sure to sleep in a comfortable position that allows your spine to stay neutral. This could be sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, or sleeping on your back with your knees and hips bent and a pillow placed under your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as that will cause your head and neck to twist and can put pressure on your back. It’s also recommended that you avoid soft mattresses — which can throw our bodies out of alignment — and go for a mattress that is medium to firm.
Some back pain is more severe or a result of a sports-related injury. In this regard, you should seek out a sports medicine professional or another health care professional for treatment. Surgery does comes with risks so it should be your last resort. A surgeon might suggest a discectomy if a bulging disc is putting pressure on a nerve. Or, a surgeon might recommend a laminectomy if pressure is being put on the nerves or spinal cord. Check out orthopedic surgeons in Wayne, NJ for referrals.