15 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Back Pain


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By Sandra Gordon, Family Circle

Count yourself lucky if you've never groaned about your back. Fact is, the majority of us (80 percent) will deal with back pain at some point. It's one of the most common reasons for a doctor visit. Deciding how to treat it, though, can be tricky. There's simply no gold standard. "We have a long history of medical interventions that didn't work," says Roger Chou, MD, a back pain expert at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. But today we know more than ever. Check out the latest ways to avoid and deal with pain—from easy-to-implement prevention moves to the most effective cutting-edge surgical cures.

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Do you suffer from back pain? How do you deal?

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    I believe the best way to manage back pain is to prevent ourselves from getting it in the first place. Most causes of back pain are self-inflicted, such as bad postures during work or sport activities. Change the bad habits and we will be free from back pain. - 11/23/2011   2:55:50 AM
  • 17
    I am miserable with lower back pain. I exacerbated it when I did way too much computer work. I have yoga stretches that help but I agreed to surgery and I feel certain it made it worse not better. I have adverse reactions to many meds so I use a tens unit. No cure but does help. I think just attempting to do something helps otherwise it feels helpless. - 4/7/2011   9:06:11 AM
  • 16
    Lucky for me, I very seldom have back troubles, other joint problems, but my back does hold up. - 4/6/2011   4:50:05 PM
    I've dealt with back issues ever since I injured my back in a horseback riding accident. I've tried everything from physical therapy to yoga to different core strength training sessions. While I found these helped a lot, I noticed the greatest difference recently when I started using a shirt designed to help with my posture. its in one word: AMAZING! i wear it everywhere. its called intelliskin. You can check out their site at www.intelliskin.net . It's worth a shot! - 4/6/2011   2:26:48 PM
  • 14
    Having had back problems, I am very diligent about taking care of it. In addition to the things mentioned in this article, regular stretching dramatically helps my back. This streteching isn't just from your desk every 30 minutes, but rather a dedicated stretching period. Among the stretches that have helped me most, are a good hamstring stretch, and a good glute and hip stretch. I know spark people has great stretching articles as far as "how to" is concerned. - 4/6/2011   12:22:11 PM
  • 13
    I have experienced back pain and can say that walking definitely helped, much more so that sitting on the couch. I also see a chiropractor and a massage therapist on a regular basis to keep things under control. - 4/6/2011   8:36:32 AM
  • 12
    I tell lots of people...moving is better than not moving! Moving can be a bit uncomfortable, but not moving can be excruciating, so I move - 4/6/2011   7:15:55 AM
  • 11
    I am probably the poster child for back pain with a history that includes (but is not limited to) two surgeries after a spine infection that almost took my life. One of the best things I do is belong to a spark team called Osteoarthritis of the Lower Back where we share our ideas and frustrations while working hard to become more healthy each day.
    It was good to read that some of the procedures I have had have become more simple and easier to deal with, including surgery.
    Another point I would make is to NOT give up. I am changing doctors after my previous guy (an excellent surgion) told me that my problem was "back pain." He doesn't seem to understand that I am committed to making my life whole again so that I can be active and sleep in a bed, all he knows is that the fusion and decompression work he did was successful, so there is nothing else. This article confirmed that there are a lot of possible ways to handle this life-changing issue. I suggest that anyone who is struggling with this to keep "shopping" for the relief they deserve. - 4/6/2011   5:05:13 AM
  • 10
    I have been dealing with back pain including sciatica for 8 months now. I have tried physical therapy, acupuncture, medical massage, stretching, exercise, muscle relaxants, oral steriods and am scheduled for trigger point injections Thursday. Right now the nights are the worst because I either cannot sleep due to nerve pain or the pain wakes me and I need to walk it off. Any suggestions for treatments that work when others fail would be gratefully appreciated. - 4/6/2011   12:08:17 AM
  • 9
    Several years ago I suffered a bout of sciatica. Hurt SO bad! Here are the things that really, really helped me: sleeping with my legs raised (on two pillows); walking as much as I could to keep my back and body limber; and stretching. Since I instituted a daily stretching goal I have had ZERO back problems! - 4/5/2011   5:38:14 PM
  • 8
    I have a lot of arthritis in my back and have had back surgery (laminectormies and bone fusion), with exercise and limiting any twisting exercises I can deal with the discomfort. - 4/5/2011   2:08:36 PM
  • 7
    Yoga! 30 minutes minimum every night before bed helps me stretch. During the day, if my back is sore, i try and do some poses as well. - 4/5/2011   11:23:05 AM
  • 6
    There is so much misinformation out there passed on... that this is a breath of fresh air

    NIce to know ! - 4/5/2011   10:22:31 AM
    I do not have back problems, but I am glad for this information. - 4/5/2011   10:05:38 AM
  • 4
    yes, I suffer from back pain. I sit a lot at work. I try to stretch and stand up in every hour for 5-10 minutes. I sometimes ask my partner to massage my back and shoulder. - 4/5/2011   9:29:55 AM
  • 3
    I don't experience back pain, but I love all the information on this blog. Thank you so much for sharing. - 4/5/2011   9:09:10 AM
    I suffer from back pain. Once my back pain was so bad it caused my legs to weaken and sent me tumbling to the floor. I went to the emergency room and received a muscle relaxer. That helped a little but not much. I was sent to a physical therapist where I under went intense physical therapy. Since then I have started to practice yoga. I can't say that all of my pain has gone away but it helps to be able to know the right moves and techniques to relieve my back of the pain. - 4/5/2011   8:53:07 AM
  • 1
    I don't experience back pain. Only during my last pregnancy which was 14 years ago. I do recall that it was painful and wish to not have experience. I do core and back exercises regularly which I believe has helped me stay back healthy. - 4/5/2011   8:11:54 AM

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