Back pain is unfortunately a common issue that plagues millions of people of all ages. If you suffer from back pain, you might experience an increase in discomfort in times of increased stress. Symptoms of stress including poor sleep habits, decrease in exercise and poor diet often accompany increased stress.
Stress is a daily part of life for most of us. Around the holiday season, many people tend to experience more stress than normal. If you suffer from back pain, this can result in a worsening of symptoms including more pain and tightness in your back.
How can you make this holiday season less stressful and painful? Try out these tips for decreasing stress and treating some types of back pain.
1.See a specialist: As with any other medical condition that is new or worsening, it is important to be assessed and diagnosed by a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon. Surgeons specializing in spine issues are trained to assess and treat both operatively and non-operatively. Once you know the source of the back pain, an orthopedic surgeon can help determine the best options for successful recovery.
2. Maintain good posture: This might seem like a small thing but your posture significantly impacts the strain on your back muscles. Being aware of your posture while sitting, walking, even waiting in line, is very important. Self correcting poor posture throughout the day can have an overall positive impact on back pain.
3. Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist, as recommended by your doctor, can help decrease pain in your back with a variety of exercises and stretches.
4. Relaxation techniques: Employing a variety of relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or breathing exercises can help lower your stress levels. Decreasing tension in your muscles can help bring a little relief in your back.
5. Strengthen your core: While picking up a new exercise routine might not be at the top of your priority list, it can be highly beneficial. If your doctor approves an exercise plan, start with focus on your core/abdominal muscles. As the core strengthens, it can take some of the stress off of the lower back. Weak abdominal muscles make the back work harder, increasing strain.
6. Footwear: Investing in supportive footwear is important in taking care of your back. Shoes that evenly distribute your weight can help not only with back pain but knee and hip pain as well.
Don’t let back pain rule your life this holiday season. Take control of your symptoms and be proactive in reducing stress that can often worsen back pain. As always, be sure to first consult with your doctor before attempting to treat your symptoms at home.