Almost 80% of people will have back pain at some point. For some, it may just be a quick tinge that does not stay around, but there are many others who have chronic lower back pain. Age can play a factor, as there are structural alterations in the spine as you get older. Other factors involved may include a sports injury, motor vehicle accident, and poor posture. Sometimes there are things you can do at home to help manage the pain. However, for some acute and chronic issues, you may need to visit a professional, such as physical therapy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who knows how to treat back injuries.
The home remedies you try often depend on the cause of the back pain. For a sprain/strain injury, using cold and heat packs may help with more acute low back pain. For the first 48 hours, a cold compress should be applied for around 10 to 15 minutes every hour or so. Not only does the cold help numb the pain, but it also helps reduce swelling and inflammation of the area. After 48 hours, a heat pack relaxes the back and helps with healing, as it increases blood flow to the area.
If your back pain is due to sitting at your desk all day, you may need to make some ergonomic changes to your workstation. This may include switching out your chair for one with lumbar support or adjusting the level of your desk and computer. It also helps to take frequent breaks and stretch the lower back.
If your back bothers you in the morning and then improves as the day goes on, sleeping may be the culprit. You may need a new mattress or pillow, or you may need a better sleeping posture. If you lay on your back, try putting a pillow underneath your knees to alleviate pressure on your lower back. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
If home remedies are not working, you may need physical therapy for lower back pain.
Professionals That Can Help
There are a number of healthcare professionals that can help alleviate back pain. Rather than reach out to your medical doctor, who may just give you pain meds, try a more natural approach first.
A chiropractor may provide relief if the lower spine is misaligned. This professional adjusts the spine so it is in its proper position, which takes the pressure off the corresponding nerves.
To help with muscle tightness or imbalance issues, you may want to try cutting edge physical therapy in North Carolina. Physical therapy uses a variety of therapies to help alleviate acute and chronic pain. Examples of how this is done include manual therapy, massage, exercises, dry needling, blood flow restriction therapy, and orthopedics.
Most people who take advantage of these professional services do not need pain medication and can avoid more invasive procedures like surgery. Treatment for low back pain should begin sooner than later to prevent chronic issues.