Tips for Preventing Your Back Pain from Becoming Chronic

Occasional back pain affects people of every age. As an experienced orthopedic surgeon, Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS, understands how any pain in your back can be alarming.

Dr. Bo offers a variety of treatments to address the underlying cause of back pain. He also provides resources to keep your back healthy and strong and reduce your risk for developing chronic pain.

The difference between acute and chronic back pain

The right treatment for back pain largely depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing. There are two primary types of back pain, and each requires a different kind of treatment.

Acute back pain

Acute back pain typically lasts only a few days and often gets better with over-the-counter medicines and rest. You may experience aches and pains in your back if you overuse your muscles with physical activity or heavy lifting, or if you have a fall or other type of accident.

Chronic back pain

Chronic back pain describes pain that lasts longer than three months. This type of pain can limit what you can do physically and ultimately interfere with your quality of life.

The most common causes of chronic back pain include:

People often develop acute back pain from an injury that worsens over time until the pain becomes chronic. If you’re currently experiencing occasional pain in your back, it’s time to pay more attention to your back’s health.

How to stop chronic back pain from taking over

Acute back pain may be an early indication your condition could get worse. Dr. Bo recommends focusing on the changes you need to make now to prevent a life of chronic back pain.

Here are some of the things you can do now to relieve existing back pain and prevent your condition from becoming chronic:

Practice good posture

As many people spend a good part of their day hunched over a computer or phone, it’s important that you don’t neglect your posture. Make a point to sit up straight with both feet on the floor to reduce the strain on the muscles supporting your spine.

Take walks frequently and practice good posture by standing up straight and holding your head high.

Watch what you lift

Improper heavy lifting is one of the most common causes of back pain. When you need to lift something heavy, be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight, allowing the muscles in your legs to get the job done instead of straining your back.

Keep moving

A sedentary lifestyle is often the underlying cause of chronic back pain. When you’re not moving around every day, your back muscles get weak and are more susceptible to injury.

Make time to do exercises that help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back several times a week. Dr. Bo can work with you on the right exercise plan that meets your physical needs and capabilities.

Eat right

Eating a healthy diet of fresh foods and limiting fats and processed products is important for giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.

A good diet is also vital for maintaining a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese puts constant pressure on the muscles and other structures in your spine. Pressure often leads to muscle fatigue, tissue tears, and compression on nearby nerves that causes pain and limits mobility.

If you need help managing chronic back pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Bo by calling the The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care office nearest you or by requesting an appointment through the online booking feature. 

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