Back pain is so common that up to 80% of Americans have suffered from back pain at some point. However, just because discomfort is prevalent doesn’t mean that people should do nothing. A few strategies can help people reduce arthritis back pain. Follow these tips for pain management.
1. Sweat it out
People who have arthritis might feel tempted to sit on the couch and rest all day. However, regular movement is beneficial for managing arthritis pain. Choose activities that focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles, like yoga and tai chi. Or opt for low-impact movements like walking, swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine.
2. Optimize your space
The way a person sits and moves the spine can significantly impact back pain. For example, continually straining the neck all day to read a computer screen can increase back, neck, and shoulder pain. Optimize space with ergonomic chairs and place screens at eye level. Invest in pillows that help support the neck while lying down. Aim to keep the spine in alignment so that pain doesn’t worsen while sleeping.
3. How you sit matters
Just as a person’s chair can impact back pain, how a person chooses to sit can worsen or alleviate discomfort. For example, crossing the legs and hunching can both make back pain worse. If working at a computer, sit with both feet firmly planted on the floor and legs at a 90-degree angle. For optimal results, stand up and walk around every 30-60 minutes.
4. Try hot and cold therapy
Treatment with hot and cold packs can significantly reduce arthritis symptoms. Cold treatment decreases inflammation, while heat improves blood flow and provides relaxation. People with arthritis may experience benefits from alternating hot and cold every 15 minutes a few times a day.
5. See a pain management specialist
While many at-home remedies can help alleviate discomfort, a pain management specialist can provide personalized treatment options. Some components of a treatment plan may include medication, physical therapy, massage, or steroid injections. A pain management specialist can help patients find options that decrease pain so that people can participate in daily activities.
Life with arthritis
Arthritis and back pain can be debilitating. Many people skip work or miss out on major life events due to the discomfort. However, there are treatment options. Many people experience a significant improvement in the quality of life after seeing a pain management specialist. For more information, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider today.