There are many treatments for chronic back pain that are commonly talked about as helpful for back pain sufferers, however some important facts about these treatments are often missed. Some treatments are helpful as short term treatments, and some are long term treatments. The type of injury, type of person, and the stage of their recovery or injury also makes a difference to what back pain treatment will work best for you.
Hot showers, pain relievers and rest can be good for helping back pain in the short term. Chiropractic adjustments, stretches, massage and inversion therapy are other common treatments that help pain in the short term.
Hot showers, massage, and stretches also often help with the healing process as they help break up excess tension, fibrosis or mineralization in your muscles and promote blood flow allowing your muscles to return to their natural, more relaxed state.
However if the pain is still lingering, then there must be something happening that is not going away and allowing your back heal. Often this can be from holding excess tension in our bodies. This can have several causes.
Stress can often cause people to hold excess tension in their muscles, particularly around the pelvis. This can cause the lower back to go into spasm when the excessive tension becomes a habit or when the back muscles spasm to protect an injured part of your back. This has the effect of your back feeling locked up, fragile and it can also be very easy to jar.
Environmental factors are another cause. Often due to the way we are required to sit down for long periods of time at school and at work,we suffer from back pain far more than our ancestors do. Sitting puts 40% more stress on the spine than standing. It also causes our muscles to become short and stiff, which causes further pain.
Bad posture is often a contributing cause to back pain. Also sometimes in order to try and hold good posture we pull our shoulders back. This can cause the muscles between our shoulders to become very tense.
An overly straight spine is a sign of excess muscle tension, usually from trying too hard to pull our shoulders back to maintain “good posture”, sitting down for long periods of time, and generally not looking after our body.
We are actually born with a fairly straight spine, but by age 10 our spine is fully developed to its adult state. The lumbar curve develops to bring our centre of gravity over our hips, the thoracic is to allow room for the lungs, and the cervical curve allows the head to balance correctly.
The best way to stop your back from pain during daily movement is to visit an Alexander Technique teacher. They are commonly referred to as “posture” teachers, but by seeing one you will fix your back pain, reduce tension in your body and have more energy. Do a search on the web for a teacher in your area. Also get a regular massage to promote healing. Once the healing has begun and the pain ceases, start a gentle program of stretching and strengthening. Be very careful to only do the correct exercises that will support the back and not aggravate it further by overworking any weak and inflamed muscles.