Eight out of 10 people suffer from back or neck pain at some point. While pain can be acute and subside on its own, millions of people struggle with chronic pain that continues despite pain relief treatments. At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we believe effective pain management for people in Kingsland and Brunswick requires a multi-disciplinary approach that also incorporates steps you can take yourself. The following pain management tips can help you recover from an injury or pain relief procedure and protect your spine from further damage.
Practice Good Posture
A common cause of lower back pain is poor posture. Over time, repetitive activities like carrying heavy objects or sitting at a desk can cause tension and muscle tightness. In addition to the pain this causes, it can also aggravate an existing condition.
Good posture ensures the vertebrae of the spine are correctly aligned. To improve your posture, imagine a straight line passing through your body from the floor to the ceiling. Visualize a cord attached to the top of your head pulling you straight upward. Keep your pelvis level and don’t sway your lower back as you imagine your body straightening. Your weight should be evenly distributed when standing.
Use Cold and Heat Therapy
Applying cold and heat can help ease strains, neck pain, and joint pain. Heat works to relax tight muscles to contribute to pain relief. It also helps boost blood flow to the site of an injury to help with healing. Cold, meanwhile, helps numb pain and ease swelling by constricting blood vessels.
Safe and effective pain relief options include ice packs, hot showers, hydromassage, and heating pads.
Consider Massage Therapy
Massage has documented pain relief benefits. According to a growing body of research, massage is most useful for short-term pain relief. It can also be combined with conventional approaches to pain management for the best effect. You can turn to regular sessions with a licensed massage therapist to help alleviate back and neck pain.
Turn to Therapeutic Exercise
Staying active is important, even though chronic pain can make it difficult. Low-impact exercise that reduces stress can help with pain relief by easing tense muscles that contribute to pain. Research even shows that yoga and tai chi may also help with chronic pain. Brain changes occur due to chronic pain that may be reversed or minimized by yoga. Over time, this can improve your brain’s pain modulatory systems to ease the pain you feel.
Self-care practices can go a long way toward easing pain and speeding recovery. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do on your own to manage chronic pain. If you are struggling to deal with the pain of degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, or chronic neck or back pain, contact the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia to explore pain management solutions that may help. We encourage our patients in Brunswick and Kingsland to practice self care at home to supplement a treatment plan.