• 5 Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Back Pain

    Edmonds walk in clinic

    Back pain is a problem for many people around the world. It has been estimated that, in the United States, as many as 60% of all Baby Boomers will need to manage a chronic condition such as back pain. Today, nearly 70% of American adults say they suffer from back pain on a regular basis. They report that they are impacted daily by their back issues. When you ask the doctors who help with back pain and injuries, most will tell you how common this is around the globe. There are a lot of reasons for back injuries but there are some things everyone can do to help when they occur.

    1. Stop playing your sport. If you are playing a sport when you injure your back (or anything), stop playing. The idea that you should “play through the pain” is ridiculous. When you ask doctors about that, they tell you the same thing. There are some injuries that will not be made worse but until you know how much damage you have done, you need to stop what you were doing. If your injury happens at night or over the weekend you may want to consider going to an urgent care center rather than an emergency room. It will take you less time and be less stressful.
    2. Get a medical evaluation. When people ask the doctors who are specialists in sports injuries and orthopedics, they will tell you that they have to see a patient to know what can or should be done. Unless you are injured while working on a science station in Antartica, you should try to schedule an appointment with a physician.
    3. Seek out DIY remedies. There are some remedies you can try at home. For injuries that result in swelling, the term “RICE” works well. That stands for rest, isolation, compression and elevation. You want to do what you can to limit the swelling. If you are not allergic, you can take on over the counter NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) to help. It will help with the pain as well. When you ask the doctors, most will tell you that you should start with ice (never with direct contact with your skin and for intervals of time such as 15 minutes on 30 minutes off) but after that, you may benefit from some heat. There are also foods that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Some people swear by taking a bath that has bath salts or crushed naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil).
    4. Follow the advice of your doctor. When you go to a doctor, you are doing so because they are an expert. When people ask the doctors about an injury or problem, the reason they are doing that is because the physician is an expert in this area. If they tell you that you should do something, you should listen to their advice. They may not know everything in the world but they can help you with your back. Also, if you are planning on filing any kind of legal action, you need all of your paperwork and to follow your medical instructions to the letter.
    5. Look at your lifestyle. Many Americans lead very sedentary lives. Often people who used to be active ho hit the basketball or tennis court only to find that they are not in the same shape they once were in. These “weekend warriors” can injure themselves doing something simple. One way you can prevent injuries to your back (knees, hips, ankles, etc,) is to stay in good shape. You should work some activity into your daily life to help prevent injuries. You should also make it a point to stretch and warm up before you start any activity, even if you used to do is all of the time. You can get exercises from your doctor to help you recover from back injuries.

    Most people will end up going to an orthopedist at some point in their lives. Even if you are the most fit and active person you know, you will probably need some help at some time. Just remember that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to musculoskeletal injuries.