Back Pain

Eight pain sufferers groan, “Oh my aching back!”

Does that sound like you?

Eight out of 10 people try to manage this common medical problem at some point during their lives.

A Consumer Reports survey determined chiropractic and acupuncture outperforms other alternative therapies for back pain.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., better known as Dr. Oz, believes chiropractors can help 80 percent of people with back pain. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks.

Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.

When you’re not in good shape, constant strain on your back can cause back spasms that hurt. A lot.

Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. But staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can make it worse.

Warm up first, then get moving slowly to help back pain.

After you warm up, take the time to do back stretches.

Take steps to prevent falls. You can also help children avoid pain in the future.

Make sure your desk and computer aren’t making you feel bad. Learn about ergonomics.

Athletes get a competitive edge when they breathe right. And you do too, when you breathe from your diaphragm.

After exercise? Stretch.

After exercise, stretching can help reduce back pain and speed your recovery after an injury. Improving flexibility by stretching is also a good way to avoid future injuries.

Passive stretching can help increase mobility in a specific muscle or joint. Your doctor will talk with you about stretching 15-30 seconds so the muscles can gradually relax and lengthen. But stretches should never cause pain. Always stop if you feel any discomfort.

Your individual injury and level of pain will guide your doctor as to what exercise and rehabilitation program will be most effective. The most important thing is to start slowly. Then you can increase repetitions as you feel stronger.

If you have low back pain, as an example, ask your doctor for a personalized program that will include learning proper warm up, exercise and stretching techniques. Otherwise, you may end up feeling worse.

Call your doctor.

If your back pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, you should call your health care provider. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury.

Still have questions? Call Chiropractic Rehabilitation & Acupuncture at (317) 876-7826.

Robert W. Ferguson, D.C., F.I.A.M.A., state-licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist, sees patients at 2250 W. 86th Street, Ste. 100, on the north side of Indianapolis by Metro Diner. Just look for the orange sign.

Chiropractic Rehabilitation & Acupuncture now accepts Healthy Indiana Plan for chiropractic services, and most insurance for chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.

Dr. Ferguson also offers a noninvasive low-energy or low-level laser therapy that is Food and Drug Administration approved for temporary pain relief. But most insurance plans don’t cover it just yet.