Living with chronic back pain can put a damper on just about every aspect of your life, from sleeping and eating to working and playing. Your doctor can prescribe an effective pain management program for you to follow, but there are some things you can do yourself to enhance the effects of your protocol and further reduce your back pain. Consider using one or more of the following techniques:
Practice Yoga with Friends
Yoga helps to strengthen the muscles in your entire body, even along the spine, which takes pressure off the back and in turn, reduces pain as time goes on. Practicing yoga also gives you an opportunity to effectively stretch your muscles and ligaments, which is essential for chronic pain management.
And practicing yoga at least once a week with your friends will give you a continuous support outlet and help keep you in a positive frame of mind. Get together with a couple of friends and join a yoga class at your local community center or YMCA. If you want to practice yoga more often, consider investing in a few DVDs to use in the comfort of your own home when you have the spare time.
Meditate Every Day
Mindful meditation puts you in the driver's seat when it comes to managing your chronic back pain as time goes on. The practice gives you an opportunity to change your perception of the pain and to work through it, so it doesn't nag at you throughout the day. Just three 20-minute mindful meditation sessions each week is all it takes to substantially reduce your pain. You'll likely appreciate your results more by holding your meditation sessions in the morning so you can take advantage of the benefits as you progress through the day.
Make Walking a Priority
Researchers have found that by walking at least 3 hours every week, you can reduce your chronic back pain and improve your overall quality of life. In fact, taking a brisk walk a few times a week may be just as effective as any other back pain treatment available. It's free and enjoyable, making it a perfect addition to the pain management protocols your doctor prescribes to you. Take a stroll with co-workers during your lunch break, hike around the block with your family after dinner, or wake up with the birds for an early morning jaunt before starting your day.
These tips and tricks are sure to help optimize the pain management program that your doctor recommends to you, and ensure a lifetime of less pain and more enjoyment.