Back Pain Treatment at Home: Avoiding 5 Pitfalls of the Coronavirus Lockdown

Medically reviewed by Goodpath Medical Team,
March 31st, 2020

Millions of people around the country are adjusting to the new reality of being temporarily homebound. And while staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus is the right thing to do, it certainly has its pitfalls. Add back pain to that situation and it can become downright miserable.

 

To help you avoid a flare-up or worsening of your chronic back pain, this article describes five common pitfalls to avoid while you’re at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

1) Lack of Exercise

One of the best treatments for back pain is simply to stay in motion. This applies even during a lockdown.

 

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, then 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 other 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.

 

3) Lack of Sleep

It can be hard to get enough sleep with anxiety about you or your loved ones getting sick, work or school, or lack of supplies. But getting enough sleep is crucial to your health generally, and to allowing your back to heal specifically.

When you have trouble sleeping, the technical term for that 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 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 – from fears about the coronavirus itself to the economy, supply shortages, and big disruptions to your typical routine. Stress can worsen your back pain or cause a flare-up so you need to cope with it effectively.

 

There are a number of ways to do that, some of which are mentioned in this article like getting sufficient sleep and exercising. 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

Despite all the technology available these days, the vast majority of Americans still travel to see their healthcare professionals at their offices. But right now it could be very difficult to get in to see a doctor and even if you could, you may come into contact with others carrying coronavirus. So it’s really not a good idea if you can avoid it.

 

That means right now is a particularly tough time to get treatment for your back pain. However, back pain doesn’t go away just because coronavirus showed up. 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.

 

Americans want these services too. Even prior to the appearance of coronavirus, there has been a need for convenient healthcare that requires no travel. That’s especially true in rural areas and with seniors who may be less mobile.

                           

But 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.