5 Pitfalls of Treating Back Pain at Home
If you’re like most folks, it’s probably been a while since you’ve had a proper haircut. You might also be wearing sweatpants more often these days and maybe your showering isn’t as frequent as it once was.
Hey, we’re not here to judge…and that might even be a good thing.
However, there are certain parts of your personal care routine that can come back to bite you if you let yourself go too much.
1) Lack of Exercise
One of the best treatments for back pain is simply to stay in motion.
If you're used to going to the gym, it can be hard to exercise regularly. Try to keep the same schedule, exercise at the same time of day and days of the week that you always have and adjust the exercises to your new location.
If you don’t exercise regularly, now is a great time to start! There are many exercise routines you can do from home and you may have extra time on your hands right now to start a healthy new routine.
As a huge bonus, exercise also releases endorphins. Endorphins can block pain receptors, generally improve your mood and make you feel good. Sound like something you could use right now?
2) Poor Posture
With all the changes to your home and work environments lately, you might be forgetting to maintain good posture. Many people recently went from working in an office to using a laptop from home.
If you have an ergonomic (specifically designed for comfort and productivity) home office – then no problem – but most people don’t. Hunching over a kitchen table or sitting on a couch with a computer in your lap can put extra strain on your neck and back.
So be sure to set up your screen so that your back is straight, the screen is level with your head, and your shoulders aren’t hunched. For more, get 5 tips for an ergonomic home office to reduce or prevent neck pain.
3) Lack of Sleep
It can be hard to get enough sleep with constant distractions at home. But getting enough sleep is crucial to your health generally, and to allowing your back to heal specifically.
The technical term for troubled sleeping is insomnia. Insomnia can include difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up too early and/or trouble getting up in the morning. In any case, it means you’re not getting sufficient quality or quantity of sleep and you don’t feel well-rested.
There are also many factors that go into getting good quality sleep – and getting enough of it. Goodpath created a sleep assessment that covers all of those factors in just a few minutes and generates a personalized action program.
4) Failing to Manage Your Stress
You may be feeling stress in many areas of your life right now. Stress can worsen your back pain or cause a flare-up so you need to cope with it effectively.
Sleep and exercise, in addition to being important for back pain on their own, also help with managing stress. Another key tool is to develop a meditation practice, which can calm the mind and give you a new perspective.
Talking about your troubles and learning some practical mental strategies for dealing with stress can also help. Consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – it requires a therapist, but you may be able to access one as described in the next section.
5) Failing to Take Advantage of Telemedicine
Visiting a doctor for your back pain can be a difficult task now. However, back pain often doesn't go away by itself. You still have to deal with it.
Luckily, we have more options for getting care in the comfort of our own homes than ever before. You might have heard of telemedicine, which refers to the delivery of clinical services at home, but the broader term telehealth covers all healthcare services that are delivered remotely.
Why is telemedicine important? Because Americans want and need these services. In recent memory, there has never been a greater need for convenient healthcare that requires no travel. That’s especially true in rural areas and for seniors who may be less mobile.
Where Do I Start?
It’s clear from the research that people suffering from lower back pain want clear and consistent information on their treatment options. But how do you know where you can get this information remotely?
That is exactly why Goodpath created an online back pain quiz. You will answer questions which only take a few minutes. From your answers, we will provide a program. All solutions in your program have been reviewed by our medical team.
For additional information about how to manage your back pain effectively, see more resources at goodpath.com/learn.