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All Posts Tagged: Pain

4 Ways to Soothe Herniated Disk Pain

A herniated disk, also known as a pinched nerve, can cause myriad painful symptoms dependent on where in the spine the disk is located. Most patients experience some degree of leg and foot pain. Dealing with a herniated disk is uncomfortable and can be difficult, and requires treatment from a medical practitioner. However, there are several things you can do at home that will help soothe and reduce the pain until the treatment is completed.

1. Temperature Therapy

Using heat therapy to help soothe and treat a herniated disk is one of the most common and effective methods of home treatment. Apply a heating pack to your lower back at intervals throughout the day. If this proves inneffective, look into other options, such as a heat wrap that provides low heat throughout the day, or a warm whirlpool bath at the end of the day. You may have to test several different options before finding what works for you, but you should ultimately find some relief.

2. Correct Posture

Speak with a doctor or physical therapist regarding easy, gentle stretches that can be performed at home to help correct your posture. One of the reasons discs herniate in the first place can be  related to poor or incorrect posture. These stretches will help relieve pain in the  meantime, and, if continued, can help prevent further incident.

3. Mindful Meditation

“Mindful Meditation” has been shown to improve symptoms of herniated discs in lots of patients. While it might not seem like this is an option for you, meditation can be performed in whichever environment you are comfortable with, and centralizes around breathing patterns to eliminate pain. Not only will this help lessen your pain, it can help prevent and eliminate a dependency on medication over time.

4. See a Doctor

Too many people ignore back and leg pain because it seems like the kind of thing that will just go away on its own. This can lead to a reliance on pain medications, further injury, and a lessened quality of life. Herniated discs can truly only be fully treated and diagnosed by a doctor, who will be able to refer you to a physical therapist and who will be there every step of the way in managing your pain symptoms.

Dealing with a herniated disc can feel like an uphill battle at times, and there may be days where it seems like it will never get better. However, by following these tips to help reduce pain and through working closely with your doctor, your pain will be reduced, and eventually, will be gone.

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4 Daily Activities May Cause Back Pain

1. Your Diet

This is one that is often overlooked, but the food culture in America today encourages the consumption of a lot of foods that can be inflammatory and can aggravate your back pain. John Spallino, MD, of the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Fla. suggests avoiding processed foods, fast foods, and saturated fats, and recommends a mostly plant-based diet that includes such things as flax and chia seeds. Fish that are rich in omega-3’s like salmon, tuna, and trout are also great staples of an anti-inflammatory diet.

2. Driving

According to a study done by the Harvard Health Watch, an average American spends 101 minutes per day driving. That’s almost two hours a day! And when you’re sitting for that long, it is imperative that you maintain good posture to alleviate some of the stress on your lower back. Make sure that you are sitting up straight, with your back flat against the back of the seat. If you find yourself sitting in the middle of the seat with your head craned forward, you may be doing more damage to your back.

3. Choosing the Stairs Over the Elevator

Picking the stairs over the elevator is generally considered a good habit, as stair climbing requires 8-9 times more energy expenditure than sitting and burns about 7 times more calories than taking the elevator. But for someone suffering from back pain, it may be in your best interest to skip the stairs and stick with the elevator. Taking the stairs can put stress on your knees and lower back, and if you aren’t strong in those areas because of pain, the stairs can do more damage than good.

4. Shaving your Face/Brushing your Teeth

What?! Brushing my teeth can cause me back pain?! Unfortunately, this may be the case if you tend to lean over the sink when you’re brushing your teeth, which tends to be the case for taller individuals. Shaving can also have the same negative impact on your back, if not more so, as most men tend to lean closer to the mirror when shaving than when brushing their teeth and usually spend more time shaving than they do brushing their teeth. To avoid this, stand with both feet flat on the ground, with tall posture.

Back pain can be a real hindrance on your day to day activities, and it is estimated that almost 90% of people will experience it as some point in their lifetimes. If you are dealing with back pain, give us a call today so that we can begin helping you to get your pain back under control, and your life back on track.

 

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