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Top 7 Tips To Control Back Pain
By Raymond Lee
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Back pain is such a common problem that dozens of pain control methods have been developed for its treatment. The physical methods of pain control are defined as those that include exercise, the application of heat and cold, acupuncture, and various other techniques. Learning more about their advantages and drawbacks may give you some new strategies for managing your pain and achieving your goals. Here are some of the tips that you can consider to adopt.
Exercise is probably the best tool for managing back pain, and it is one of the few physical methods that can potentially improve your condition permanently. An immediate benefit of exercise is counter simulation, which tends to reduce back pain. When you exercise, you create sensations in the muscles, joints, and other structures that may compete with pain signals for recognition by the brain. The sensations may even directly block pain signals in the spinal nerves. Exercise also promotes more rapid and successful healing of injured back tissues. Because exercise builds strength and endurance, it will improve your ability to be active in the future, with less risk of pain or injury.
- Cold And Heat
Another pain-relieving strategy involves warming or chilling the painful area of the back. For a sudden flare-up of back pain, applying ice is often the most helpful because it stops muscles spasms and numbs the nerves that send the pain signals to the brain. Ice can also reduce the inflammation often present with back pain. In fact, if you suspect that you have strained your back, apply ice even if you have no pain because doing so will minimize the development of inflammation. When using either any ice pack or heating pad, do not use it for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Massage can also stimulate the painful region, in this case by putting pressure on and stretching the skin, the underlying tissues, and the muscles. The process warms the area, increases blood flow, and helps relax tense muscles. Most types of massage are confronting for people with back pain. A gentle, stroking massage is generally the safest. Avoid vigorous massage performed by someone who is not proficient in the technique. If you are receiving a massage, ask the person performing it to start gently, using slow rhythmic movements over the tense or sore area. The person giving the massage should experiment with different amounts of pressure to determine which is most comfortable for you.
- Spinal Manipulation And Mobilization
Spinal manipulation and mobilization are the processes of manually moving a joint to or beyond its passive range of motion. For the treatment of back pain, spinal manipulation involves being positioned so that a joint in the spine is extended to the end of its normal range of motion, and then the practitioner makes a sudden thrust to move the joint slightly farther. This technique gives some patients quick pain relief that allows them to return more rapidly to normal activities. If the treatments do not provide pain relief initially or do not help in the return to normal activities, they probably should not be continued.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical technique that involves inserting small needles into the body along what are believed to be vital energy pathways, called meridians. This technique has been widely used to treat pain and many other medical conditions. Western scientists have not accepted the theoretical explanations of acupuncture. However, it is still believed to be one of the good technique for back pain management.
- Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a somewhat controversial technique that attempts to soothe pain by passing a low-voltage electric current over the skin. Although some people with back pain find TENS helpful, others do not. If you decide to try TENS, rent a unit for a month or two, so you can see if it works for you in the long run. If it does, it may then make financial sense to buy them.
Physical therapists and other practitioners often use a type of biofeedback called electromyography (EMG) for the treatment of back pain. When the technique is properly used, an individual is connected to an EMG machine that provides information about how tense or active the personís muscles are. The practitioner monitors this information while coaching the patient on changing posture and performing other movements. When used in this way, biofeedback can be a helpful educational tool during physical therapy. The device provides the information a patient needs to develop posture and body mechanics habits that keep the muscles as relaxed as possible.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 12, 2007