6 Ways to Reduce Back and Neck Pain
We belong to a very busy generation. Most people are active and driven to success that to often they forget to stop and relax. This drive can lead to individuals burning out, not just mentally but physically. Without time to relax, many will find themselves suffering with physical pain along with mental drainage. That being said, it is so very important that we take care of ourselves in every aspect that we can; especially our physical body. Our bodies age over time, making it hard to correct issues that have went untreated at a young age. That is why we must take all the preventative actions to keep our bodies as healthy and young as possible.
It is not uncommon for individuals to be suffering from back and neck pain even at a young age. Children and teenagers spend nearly all of their time at school or on the phone. Both of these activities require children to either sit all day or flex their neck in a way that is detrimental to their health. This is also true for adults, who can spend all day behind a desk, on their feet, or driving a car. Spending so much time in a fixed position all day can result in some serious discomfort, especially when that time is spent in poor posture. We know posture is the window to the spine.
You may ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to resolve my back and neck pain?” A simple answer to that question is yes, there are many things you can do to help reduce any acute pain you may be suffering with. Some of these methods are more effective than others for some individuals, everyones body is different therefore it may take various methods until you find one that works for your specific issue. Some of these methods include the following:
Call your chiropractor
Pain is the signal our bodies give us when something is wrong. By the time that signal starts, our body is already in a state of crisis. Pain usually comes last and goes away first. For example, think of a heart attack. Heart disease occurs silently over time until one day, the person has “acute chest pain” which is the heart attack. We say in our office, “Just because you are not sick, does not mean you are healthy.”
“When in doubt, ice it out”
Our office likes to give our patients this little quote to live by. “When in doubt, ice it out.” Many patients ask, “do I apply heat or ice to my inflamed areas?” When applying ice you will lower inflammation and swelling, when you apply heat you draw more blood to the affected area which results in increased inflammation. Ice never goes directly on skin. Protect your skin by adding a thin towel and do not exceed 20 minutes at a time. Give your body 2 hours in between your next icing.
Take it easy with controlled motions
If you are experiencing any back or neck pain, the best thing to do it to take it easy and do controlled motions like light stretching. You don’t have to completely put your life on hold, however it is advised that you reduce the amount of strenuous activity that you participate in. In addition, if you do decide to continue to go about your normal day, do not push yourself when you feel any discomfort. Listen to your body and know your limits.
This method may be a little more advanced to obtain at the moment due to the current corona virus outbreak, however a simple massage will help you break up and relieve any tight muscles by stretching them out. If you do not have access to a masseuse, a partner who is willing to you work out the muscle tension will help just as well.
Don’t limit movement completely
I know I previously stated to take it easy, but that does not mean to completely stop any sort of movement. Studies show that maintaining some sort of movement is, in some cases, more effective than anti-inflammatory medications. Therefore, by simply participating in some simple exercises, given to you by your health care provider, you can improve some of the discomfort you are experiencing.
Adjust your daily routine
Everyone has a daily routine whether you realize it or not. Everyone walks a certain way, stands a certain way, even sits a certain way. It is all of these habits that shape the way that we feel. That is why we must be aware of how we go about our everyday lives. Be mindful to stand up straight. Be mindful to sit up straight and keep your legs uncrossed, and be sure to not keep your neck flexed down for too long when you are on your phone.