When your back is functioning correctly, it’s so easy to take it for granted. It’s only when pain occurs that we realize just how much we use those muscles. Unfortunately, most of us will experience a bad back at one time or another. Plus, chronic pain and depression can go hand-in-hand.
It could also be due to a short-term injury caused by bending, twisting or lying the wrong way, or it could be something ongoing perhaps due to a herniated disk or a postural problem that needs to be corrected.
Either way, a bad back will make anyone feel pretty miserable, and so when you’re in pain you’ll want to do what you can to put this right. Here are some of the ways you can take action.
See a Doctor
Sometimes the cause of a bad back will be obvious. If you’ve spent the day playing a sport that maybe you’ve not played in a while, or have been helping a friend move house and lifting heavy boxes all day – it can be assumed that something has been pulled or twisted.
These kinds of injuries will get better by themselves in time, just stay lightly active (bed rest isn’t recommended for a minor back injury) and use over the counter medication. However, if your back issues are ongoing and there are no obvious causes then it’s time to see your GP.
They can recommend lifestyle changes or send you for things like radiology tests to investigate further. If you have severe back pain then this should be treated as an emergency, this can sometimes be a sign of kidney issues which will need medical treatment.
Replace Your Mattress
To help a bad back, or to be proactive and prevent back pain if you currently feel – fine one thing you can do is replace your mattress. A sagging or inadequate mattress will create pressure points at the hip, shoulders, and neck, can aggravate the muscles and have you waking up each day feeling stiff and in pain.
Go to a bed shop and lie on lots of models, you need to find one that’s right for you – try different firmness levels and materials. You could go with springs, memory foam or a mixture of the two. Spending a little more here is often worthwhile as it will be better tested and made from higher quality materials so will last you longer.
Check Your L-Bs
Ugh. My biggest enemy. If you’re carrying excess weight, like I am, losing this can benefit your health in so many ways. One way, in particular, is you will reduce the strain on your musculoskeletal system. Being overweight can cause bad knees and a back due to the extra load.
You might have to start a new morning routine and add in some exercise. Trimming down, and exercising to strengthen the muscles in some cases can completely eliminate certain types of back pain. If you feel pinching or muscle pain in your lower back when walking or standing which improves when you sit down, you can get rid of this entirely by reducing your body weight and strengthening your muscles.