Back pain can strike at any time, or it could be a chronic condition that you deal with for years. According to the National Library of Health, some studies show that approximately 23 percent of adults worldwide deal with back pain.

The causes of back pain and your unusual back pain symptoms can vary, so getting the proper management tools is vital.

Read on to learn about some of the most common back pain management mistakes and how to avoid them so you can remain pain-free.

Applying Heat to a New Injury

If you’ve injured your back, your first instinct might be to take a hot shower or apply a heating pad to the affected area. But too much heat increases blood flood to the injured area of your back, causing pain and inflammation to intensify.

In most cases, you should apply ice to a new back injury, not heat. Whether you use ice, a cold compress, or a  heating pad, never leave the treatment on your back for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Depending on the cause of your pain, you’ll want to start by applying cold treatment, then move to heat treatment later. If you apply heat too soon, it can cause the pain to get worse. Remember to never apply ice directly to the skin and use a towel or a cold compress instead.

Resting too Much

While some rest is obviously required so the back can heal, getting too much rest can backfire. Sitting or lying still for too long may cause the muscles to tighten and can make the issue worse.

When you rest too often, the back muscles start to weaken which could make you prone to re-injury. Talk to your doctor about the best exercises for back pain that will strengthen those muscles without causing more pain.

Unless your doctor prescribes bed rest, regular walking and mild exercises can help you heal. Look into stretches and low-impact exercises like walking or swimming to help you mend more quickly.

Ignoring the Issue

Dealing with a back injury is a painful, jarring experience that may prompt you to seek immediate medical attention. But other forms of back pain are more sporadic, leading many people to simply ignore the pain in hopes it will go away.

Another of the most common back pain management mistakes people make is thinking that the pain will completely disappear without a proper diagnosis. Until you know exactly what’s causing the pain, you can’t take steps to correct it and get real relief.

If you experience any form of back pain, it’s best to get an examination from your doctor, just to be sure. Remember that the longer you ignore the pain, the worse it could be later as time goes on.

Back Pain Management Mistakes: Doing Too Much

There’s no doubt that back pain can interfere with your ability to do the things you enjoy. However, if you do too much, too soon, or on a “good day,” you could make the problem worse.

Listen to your back pain doctor carefully regarding the best ways to not only manage your pain but live with it. If you’re lifting heavy objects or exercising too rigorously before you heal, you’re definitely vulnerable to re-injury and more pain.

Practice all prescribed back pain exercises to help strengthen the muscles so that you can get stronger. It’s perfectly fine to ask for help with things like lifting items or even housework until your back is completely healed and your pain is gone for good.

Taking Too Much Pain Medicine

Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may prescribe pain medicine to help you manage the problem. But taking too much of this medication can actually cause you more issues in the long term.

Most pain medicine is prescribed to deal with immediate, acute pain and not chronic pain unless there are no other alternatives. If you take too many pain pills or take the medication too often, it can lead to serious consequences including liver issues and even addiction in some cases.

Make sure that you’re only taking pain medication as prescribed and as needed. Avoid using too much medicine to address pain or you may experience withdrawals or side effects as time goes on.

Using a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

You may think that medication and stretching are the only ways to relieve your back pain. But taking a one-size-fits-all approach can make your healing time longer.

Remember to incorporate other aspects of health into your back pain management plan like getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting proper sleep. When you take a holistic approach, you may find that your pain is easier to manage and control.

Look for anti-inflammatory supplements and foods that will keep you healthy and strong. Take it easy without resting too much so that you’re strengthening the back muscles as often as possible.

One key element of good back pain management is to keep your stress controlled. Consider meditation or journaling to help you ease the stress of back pain. When your stress levels are lower, the odds are that your back pain will be lessened, too.

Get Help for Back Pain Today

Keep these back pain management mistakes in mind and remember how to avoid them for faster healing. With the right management plan, you can experience pain-free days and nights.

If you need help with your back issues or other problems regarding spinal conditions, be sure to contact us to schedule your consultation.