The idea of dealing with chronic back pain that will probably last for the rest of your life can be upsetting to contemplate. Fortunately, there are many ways you can effectively manage the situation with physical treatment and activity, and psychological strategies.
Get Regular Exercise
You may be tempted to spend most of your time sitting in an easy chair, but being active can help reduce back pain by alleviating stiffness and boosting your fitness level.
You might want to try gentle forms of yoga and Pilates that help you stretch and improve flexibility. Swimming is another possibility; the water's buoyancy relieves pressure on the spine. Concentrate on forms such as the breaststroke, backstroke and sidestroke instead of the crawl, as the crawl puts more stress on the torso.
If walking doesn't hurt your back, take a daily walk at a slow or moderate pace. The weight-bearing aspect of walking is superb for building bone density and strengthening bones, including those in the spine.
Some people find that using a device for support allows them to walk further. You might accomplish that by taking your walks at a store with a shopping cart you can lean on while strolling through the building.
Pursue Rewarding Activities
Spending time with loved ones, having fun, or doing something that's fulfilling or fascinating may help you forget about pain entirely. Don't avoid socializing because you're worried about pain. Accept invitations. Watch TV shows and movies that make you laugh. Take a class in a subject you find intriguing. Work on a hobby that you have always been interested in; add a new one to your current routine.
Join a Support Group in Your Area or Online
Even if it seems like nobody you're close to can relate to the problem, you're definitely not the only person living with chronic pain. More than 100 million Americans deal with chronic pain from various conditions.
Ask your healthcare providers if they know of support groups and look for online message boards where people offer empathy and knowledgeable advice. These can be excellent sources of new friendships and general socializing in addition to the more purposeful intent you have for joining. Sometimes, you may just need a safe and understanding place where you can vent and blow off steam when life feels overwhelming.
Seek Help From a Chiropractor
If you've primarily relied on conventional medical doctors so far, broaden your range of healthcare to include other practitioners who can help decrease your pain. Start by scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor to learn the ways this back pain specialist can help you.
Surveys indicate that patient satisfaction with chiropractic treatment is high, as indicated by studies published in 2001 and 2006. Research published by Consumer Reports in 2011 found chiropractic therapy for back pain to be more effective than any other treatment, including prescription and over-the-counter medication, massage therapy and acupuncture.
In addition, a study published in 2002 found that patients suffering from low back pain were generally more satisfied with chiropractic care than with conventional medical care. An interesting point in this study was that patients found chiropractors to be better communicators in regards to explaining treatment and providing advice for self-care.
Don't Let Pain Run Your Life
Many people with chronic back pain have good days and not-so-good days. There may be times when you simply don't feel well enough to participate in activities you enjoy. Be sure to take advantage of days when you feel more like yourself. With a variety of strategies, you'll continue to have a fulfilling and enjoyable life, even while dealing with a chronic condition. For help with treatment, you may want to contact a local chiropractic clinic like Chiropractor Plus.