Whether you have been suffering from back pain for a long time or have recently been injured and now find yourself having trouble, pay attention to the following. These mistakes are commonly made by people who suffer from back pain. Most of the time, people think that they are helping themselves, but in reality they are only increasing their risk for a more intense injury in the future.
Ways to Make Your Back Pain Worse
Avoid Exercise. Yes, resting is important when you have back pain, but resting doesn’t mean quitting the gym altogether. Exercising has multiple benefits, including:
- Strengthening your muscles
- Lubricating your joints
- Releasing endorphins that relieve pain
- Fighting inflammation
Routine exercise helps to prevent further or more serious injuries – as long as you engage in the right type of exercise.
Continue the Same, or a More Intense, Exercise Routine. By all means exercise after experiencing back pain, but don’t just jump right back in. Start slow when getting back into exercising.
If you’re a runner, it’s best to start by walking a few minutes a day until you are comfortable jogging, and eventually running. If you take aerobic classes, try an aquatic aerobics class or swimming first. Getting in the water is easier on the joints. Yoga is still a great exercise after a back injury, but if hot yoga is available, opt for this type of class. Hot yoga, similar to swimming, keeps muscles looser.
Read more about common exercises that exacerbate back pain, as well as safe options, here.
Don’t Consider Mental Health as a Factor. Back pain can come from many different sources or events: herniated discs, auto accidents, a sports injury, and so on. Many chronic back pain sufferers, however, don’t realize that the source of their pain isn’t physical at all.
Stress and depression are very closely connected. Studies show that between 30-54% of people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression. Common signs of depression (outside of chronic back pain) include weight gain, changes in appetite or sleeping habits, excess fatigue or restlessness, and so on. If you can’t shake your back pain, consider talking to your doctor about depression and similar mental health conditions, and how they can show up through physical symptoms.
Rely on Medication. Sure, medication may relieve back pain at first, but failing to address the root of your back pain means that the pain can return whenever you aren’t medicated and may even leave you at risk for worsening symptoms.
Relying on medication also has other drawbacks. It can be costly as you have to continue buying drugs to alleviate your pain, and you may find that you develop a dependency on the drug.
Decide Surgery Is Your Only Option. Surgery is offered for many patients with lower back pain, but it is far from the best option in many cases. Spine surgery is not a guarantee, especially if your back pain is misdiagnosed. In addition to Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, getting surgery puts you at risk for infections, nerve damage, or scarring.
Living pain-free without medication or surgery is possible, but it requires doing some research and looking into different treatments for back pain. If you have not considered options like acupuncture, physical therapy, or chiropractic care, you may be limiting yourself.
Contact a Florida chiropractor today to learn more about holistic approaches to back pain that do not involve medication or surgery.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.