Half of all working Americans complain about experiencing mild to severe back pain, which accounts for 264 million lost work days per year. Eighty percent of the U.S. populace will experience back-related issues at some point in their lives. Back pain can restrict your mobility, walking capacity, ability to bend, reach, do daily chores, and overall quality of life. The first step in living a pain-free life and walking with ease is to assess the root cause for your back pain and then develop a targeted care plan.
Common Causes of Back Pain
There are multiple reasons why back pain persists, and it may be more than just a muscle strain.
Nerve damage from a slipped or herniated disc can put substantial pressure on nerves that flow through the spinal canal. Damage or pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause severe discomfort in the lower back, hips, and legs that are so disruptive that some find it difficult to stand, sit, or bend for extended periods of time.
Muscle strains or injuries from overuse, a lack of mobility, or poor posture can cause muscle spasms. This specific type of back injury is widespread and commonly happens if back muscles are not conditioned. Stress can also be associated with back pain and should be part of your list of contributing factors.
Arthritis, scoliosis, and osteoporosis are other conditions that can cause chronic back pain. A few treatments include physical therapy, low inflammation diets, stress management, anti-inflammatory medication, weight management, and other lifestyle changes.
Kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, bone loss, and infections are known to cause back problems, and it’s essential to see a physician in order to rule out pain caused by internal organs.
Plotting Out a Care Plan
Creating and sticking to a care regimen that is under the supervision of a healthcare professional will make a big difference in finding relief. The back muscles are a complex array of muscles and nerves, and slight modifications can quickly improve your health and functionality. If you have a severe injury, medical assistance equipment such as lifts, supports, or chairs can help you achieve some independence.
Make Sure to Move
Depending on your injury’s severity, creating a mobility plan that starts with physical therapy, mild stretching, and other gentle mobility exercises as a consistent daily practice is necessary. Physical activity can be moderate in the beginning if you are experiencing pain. Depending on the nature of your injury, ice packs and over the counter pain relievers can be used. When your pain starts to decrease, strengthening and stretching your overall core will help you to walk and bend without pain. Aquatic therapy and posture adjustments will also help to provide relief.
Tackling Your Feet
Once your back pain is under control, you will be ready to return to a normal walking schedule. Remember to take it slow if you feel any significant pain or discomfort.
- Stretching before you walk is vital. Be sure to take the time to do a full-body stretch and target your hamstrings, lower back, hips, calves, ankles, and even your feet. Using a golf or lacrosse ball to roll out your feet will quickly relax loose joints.
- Posture improvement is a critical part of regaining your stride. When you walk, your shoulders should be squared, and you should make sure to stand tall.
- Shoes make a big difference. Investing in good walking shoes and even prescribed insoles will help you to feel your best while walking. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear even when you are not walking for exercise. Avoid ill-fitting dress or casual shoes that may exacerbate your condition.
Explore Holistic Health Treatments
An integrated care plan evaluates multiple components from physical and mental habits to holistic treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy. Assessing your entire daily routine and lifestyle is a necessary journey on the road to wellness. Analyzing your diet, exercise, stress, and weight management tactics all impact your back health and will help you stay active, and enjoy doing what you love.
For more information on how natural treatment like physical therapy can help you, contact Recovery Physical Therapy today.