Overcoming Back Pain

No matter if you are a weekend warrior, a professional athlete or somewhere in between, there is a strong chance you will eventually deal with back pain.  Here is why:  Everyday activities that you do without much thought, like a morning at the computer, slipping on your athletic shoes or crawling into bed at night, can make or break a healthy spine.  Most back pains are cause by strains or sprains.  These injuries are brought on by overuse, a new activity, an accident or excessive lifting.  Other times a compressed nerve, such as a herniated disk, may be to blame for the back pain.

Given the commonness of back pain, you would think we would have treatment for it down pat.  Not even close.  The challenge is that you are unable to see injuries to tendons, ligaments and muscles the way you can see bone fractures or herniated disks.

Even exercise, which most experts agree is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy back and chase away back pain, can be problematic.  Exercising with improper form, such as arching the back during abdominal work, will place unwanted stress on the spine.

If you fall into the 80% of the population that regularly suffers from back pain, do not lose heart:  One-third of back pain due to a strain or sprain will heal within a week without medical intervention.  Unless you begin to strengthen your back through exercise and learn healthier habits, your odds of recurrence are about one in three.  Keep your back in top shape by avoiding these seven deadly sins.

You are the queen of the screen!

The average person spends nine hours hunched or slouched in front of a computer screen a minimum of five days per week.  Coupled with an increased texting on smartphones and tablets, our time behind the screen is creating more aches and pains in our shoulders, necks and backs.  It is important to take an occasional break, do some neck exercises and occasionally hold your smartphone or iPad out in front of you.  For a simple neck reliever, hold your head for 10 seconds in each of the following positions; back, forward, left and right.  Try to repeat this five times a day.

Sitting all day can be a hazard too.  It puts more pressure on disks and vertebrae than simply standing or walking.  Alleviate the tension with a makeover for your office.  Start with a lumbar-support cushion, then adjust your seat so your computer monitor is at eye level.  You will want your arms and knees both bent at a 90-degree angle, and your feet should rest on the floor.  Finally, set your calendar with a series of reminders to take a break from your computer screen as often as you can legitimately schedule them.

Do not ignore the core!

When you hear the word core, you probably picture abs of steel.  But the core is much more because your back, side, pelvic and buttock muscles all work together along with your abs.  The muscles allow you to bend, rotate, twist and even stand upright.  Your core is essentially responsible for all of your movements.  Unlike crunches which focus on abdominal muscles, exercises for the core strengthen several spine-supporting muscle groups at one time.

My back pain is caused by my stomach? 

Sleeping on your back places pressure on both muscles and joints, whereas sleeping on your side or back keeps your spine elongated and neutral.  If are a belly flopper, slide a thin pillow under your hips to stop the pressure from building on your disks, ligaments and muscles.

My back pain is stressing me out!

It is no secret that struggling with chronic back pain can take a toll on your mental well-being, and studies indicate people with back pain are more likely to be depressed.  Now doctors are discovering that people with depression are four times as likely to develop disabling low-back pain.  Antidepressants as well as exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing can help ease the back pain and make you feel better.

stress back pain

Find out more information about our neck and back pain doctors located in Brandon and St. Petersburg and how they can help you with low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and sports injuries. Contact Tampa Bay Spine & Injury today to make an appointment and start on your path to pain-free living.

We have two locations to serve you:

Brandon, FL (813) 381-3852

St. Petersburg, FL (727) 898-3852


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