Back pain can make everyday living a struggle. From getting up in the morning to trying to sleep at night, the discomfort, aches and pains can make you want to punch the wall and scream. It is no small problem either. In fact, 65 million Americans have reported experiencing it recently.¹ That’s a massive number. Fortunately, there are effective and affordable solutions people are using to get relief.
Replace Your Mattress
It sounds like no big deal, but your mattress has a major impact on your back and spinal health. If your mattress has been worn down over the years it may no longer provide the kind of support your back needs. This can worsen—or even cause—back pain issues.²
Replacing your mattress is a good first step: once you do this then you can move on to more advanced treatment options. Two great options specifically for back pain are the Linenspa Hybrid and the Amerisleep AS2. The Linenspan Hybrid has memory foam that adapts to your body and a comfortable outer layer. It’s soothing and solid and especially attractive in terms of the price, starting at $99.99 with free shipping inside the continental US.³
The Amerisleep AS2 is another fantastic option. It has the optimal firmness and comfortable layers of memory foam that shift and adapt as you turn over. It also has cooling technology that actually regulates the temperature of your body heat and keeps you cool. It’s not quite as cheap however and starts at $799.⁴
Physical Therapy, Yoga And Chiropractic Treatment
Physical therapy, yoga and seeing a chiropractor can all be very helpful in fighting back pain. Finding the best chiropractor in your area is a matter of researching online and reading reviews.⁵ Physical therapy can also be very effective, as can dry needling, electrical stimulation and, in rare cases, lumbar decompression surgery.⁶ Yoga can also be very effective in countering back pain as many yoga poses are particularly good for easing tension on the back.⁷
First of all, you probably want to avoid opioids given the national addiction crisis that is currently happening. The addictive and harmful side-effects can be worse than the treatment. However, there are effective and non-addictive painkiller options. First, basic over the counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, Motrin and Advil are worth trying. These popular NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help, but to try muscle relaxants or other new alternatives you will need a prescription.
There are a number of muscle relaxants that can help significantly with back pain, so it is worth asking your doctor.⁸ Another potentially helpful option is to spread ointment around the painful area of your back. Cold compresses and heat packs can also be soothing. Some of these gels can be bought over the counter while others will require a prescription.
Change Up Your Lifestyle
As much as it sounds like a cliché, changing up your lifestyle can have a big impact on back pain. Everything from diet to changing bad habits can really affect how your back feels. One big negative when it comes to back pain is smoking. Nicotine can actually lessen blood flow to the vertebrae in your back which can significantly worsen back pain.⁹
Bad posture is another big warning sign: if you are hunched over a computer all day at work or tend to have poor posture it can really add up and increase or even cause back pain. Having a non-straight posture starts to cramp your blood flow and warp your spinal cord, leading to back pain and a much higher chance of a serious back injury in the future.¹⁰ Work on exercises that build up core strength and remain conscious of your posture.
In terms of diet, focus on bone-strengthening foods with lots of minerals like magnesium, potassium and vitamin D as well as iron-rich foods like kale and spinach.¹¹ Try to find exercises that get you sweating but don’t have you doubled over in pain or exhaustion. This can help you lose weight and start to relieve the effects of back pain. You should also, of course, completely avoid heavy lifting and activities which put a major strain on your back.