Physical Therapy Tips: Relieving Pressure on Your Back

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Whether you realize it or not, your back carries a heavy load on a daily basis. This can result in quite a bit of pressure and back pain. However, before that discomfort leads to something more serious, there are plenty of ways to alleviate that pressure relatively quickly and eliminate the misery you’re feeling. Back pain is a common problem that affects numerous people, and if you happen to be one of them, it’s important to know what some of your treatment options are. The following tips, or a combination thereof, can help immensely in relieving pressure on your back.

Alternate Between Hot and Cold

You’ve probably been advised to use heat or cold on your back whenever it’s hurting, but it may be confusing as to which one works best. It’s actually a good idea to apply both, but in a strategic manner. When you first feel pain, place an ice pack or frozen vegetables on the area in 20-minute intervals throughout the day for 48 hours. This will reduce swelling. Then, switch it up with a heating pad to loosen muscles and increase circulation.

Change Up Positions Periodically

Since the spine is built for movement, sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time can put a great deal of pressure on your back. It’s important to break this up every now and then by stretching or moving around for a few minutes. This will serve to rest different postural muscles at various times.

Keep Back Support in Mind

If you work at a desk for the majority of your day, it’s vital that you select a chair that provides good back support. The best chairs have an adjustable backrest and arms, as well as lumbar support. This will keep the neck and spine aligned correctly and cut down on the amount of pressure placed on back muscles.

Don’t Weigh Yourself Down

Busy people frequently have many things that need to carry around with them for school, work, or recreational activities. When carried around on your back or shoulder, the weight of everything puts significant pressure on back muscles and discs, leading to poor posture and pain.

Try a Variety of Stretching Exercises 

Stretching back muscles can help tremendously in curing back pain as well. Physical therapy will identify which exercises will strengthen the back and take pressure off stressed areas. The knee drop, butterfly, seated jack knife, child’s pose, and standing forward bend are all stretches you can try.

If you find yourself battling back pain, don’t try to stick it out and just wait to see if it will go away on its own. Do what you can to ease the pressure on your own and check in with a physical therapist at the Center for Athletic Performance & Physical Therapy for more effective solutions from the professionals.