8 Steps to Ease Your Back and Neck Pain
Back and neck pain is unfortunately common among adults, especially those who work in manual labor jobs or at desks. It can also be the result of stress and anxiety, or muscle strain from too much exercise. Whatever the cause may be, there are many ways you can begin to address your back or neck pain at home, or by visiting a medical practitioner.
Over-the-counter pain relief should be your first port of call when your back or neck is causing you pain, but it’s not serious. This is only temporary relief, though; and the cause will need to be addressed to banish your pain once and for all.
The way you sleep and even your bedclothes could be causing strain in your neck and upper back. When suffering from neck and back pain, choose a firm, low pillow (one only) and lay flat on your back. It might also help to place a pillow under your knees.
Hunching to read your phone, slumping on the couch and having an improperly aligned chair and desk at work can all cause neck and back strain over time. The best way to combat this is to consciously work on improving your posture – standing up straight, walking tall and holding your head up.
Limit your time spent staring at computer screens and phones with adequate breaks during your work day. Addressing your seating situation at work can also make a huge difference. Get a good quality, comfortable computer chair that allows you to adjust the height, recline and tilt. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed. Try to keep your computer screen an arm’s length away and your eye level at the top of the screen.
Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles and in time, hopefully help eliminate pain. Easy exercises to build your back muscles include gentle crunches, hamstring stretches and press-ups. Avoid toe-touches, sit-ups and anything that might put pressure on the spine.
Swimming and light yoga could do you wonders. Swimming exercises all the muscles in the body and provides a great core workout, while light yoga entails lots of gentle stretching which is great for relieving tight muscles.
This one is easier said than done; but if achieved, could provide immense relief for your muscles that have become tensed through stress and anxiety. Self-care is a notion that has become increasingly popular in the last year.
This involves distancing yourself from work and the stressors of daily life, in ways that vary between individuals. Some like hot baths, a long walk, meditation, massages, reading… Anything that allows you to switch off your worries and focus on feeling good.
If your back pain is due to your job or a strain caused by sport, you could benefit immensely from deep tissue massage. A trained masseuse can work out all your knots and muscle tightness to leave you feeling loose and relaxed. This method only relieves muscle strain – if your problem is due to spinal alignment, you will need the help of a chiropractor.
Visit your local chiropractor, like this chiropractor in Brisbane, who will be able to pinpoint exactly what is causing you pain. It’s a natural solution without the need for surgery and pharmaceuticals (unless your problem is more profound, in which case surgery might be recommended by a doctor).
A chiropractor will gently push your bones back into proper alignment if they have slipped or become displaced, relieving strain and aches in the muscles and restoring you to full health. It’s easy to locate a chiropractor’s office near to you through a directory or the internet, or you could perhaps ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Knowing when to visit the doctor with your back pain is important. If it presents as a dull ache and has persisted for over 2 weeks; if it is a sharp stabbing pain; or if it is interfering with your sleep, daily life and work, then you should take yourself to the doctor.
From there, they will examine you and determine the best course of action for your problem. This might be going to the chiropractor or getting regular massages, or in more serious cases, medication and surgery.