Are you suffering from low back pain?  If so, weighing the risks and benefits of medication can be tricky.  Nobody wants to suffer unnecessary pain.

For short periods of time, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (i.e., aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen) and prescription drugs can provide some relief to help us function in everyday life until the injury heals. But for chronic pain, it’s wise to examine the side effects and risks of prolonged medication usage. Especially for anyone who suffers from chronic low back pain.

Side effects of prolonged medication use.

The list of possible side effects from long-term use of medication can be rather frightening and includes such ailments as:

  • Stomach bleeding
  • Ulcers
  • Kidney damage and dysfunction
  • Iron loss
  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness etc.

Some nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and other medications can increase the negative side effects and even interfere with the pain-relieving performance of these medications.

To make matters worse, when someone takes a pain reliever over a long period of time, people can become resistant to the effects of the drug. This creates a potential increase in the dosage of the medication to experience the same pain relief.

Focus on a holistic approach instead of medication.

Taking a more holistic approach to lower back pain can reduce the need for prescription medication and improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from chronic pain. Try these tips instead:

Move more.

It may sound like that last thing you want to do, but exercise, including strength training and stretching, is one of the most effective treatments for back pain. Weakened muscles in the body’s core (those muscles in your abdomen and low to mid-back) make it difficult to move through life without pain.  

Reduce stress and tension.

When you feel the stress building, slow down your breath or take a short walk.  When the body is tense and tight, blood can’t flow easily through muscle fibers and toxins can become trapped leading to back pain and other physical problems.

Optimize workplace ergonomics.

Do you sit all day?  Or perform a repetitive motion in your work? Many office workers have replaced their desk chair with an exercise ball or standing desk in order to keep their hips rotating freely. This also provides a passive exercise that strengthens your pelvic muscles, leg muscles and the lower back.

Correct your posture.

Consult with a physical therapist to learn about your specific posture issues. Good posture can help you breathe easier and move better, reducing pain and stress on the joints and muscular system.

To find out more about healing from low back pain please contact us.  The Telespine program can be a great addition to your holistic approach for reducing back pain and increasing productivity through health and wellness.

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