Truth #6: There are effective ways to manage your back pain
The first step to managing back pain is determining what’s causing it. If you experience back pain that’s bad enough to keep you from you normal activities, you should seek advice from your health care provider. It could be as simple as a muscle strain or as serious as a bulging disc, but you won’t know for sure unless you see a doctor. After you know what you’re dealing with, you can create a pain management plan that works for you.
You may need to manage your pain temporarily with steroid injections, anti inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants. Your healthcare team may also ask that you limit activity for a period of time or put you on bed rest. The best long-term goal is building back your strength with physical therapy. For many people living with back pain, physical therapy provides the best results for long-term health and wellness.
The one thing chronic back pain patients know is consistency is key when managing pain. Even if you have to adjust your plan, you have to stick to it. For most people who live with back pain, the equation includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and a realistic exercise routine.
Since back pain comes with good days and bad days, you need to make the most of the good days. It helps if you can learn to anticipate things that trigger your back pain, so you can avoid activities that cause you pain. Unfortunately that tends to be something you learn through trial and error. One day you may overdo it and then you’re stuck in bed for a few days. If you don’t know exactly what it was that caused your setback, keep a pain journal.
In time, you’ll know what you can do, what you can do with modifications and what you need to avoid to live your best pain-free life.