To answer yourself a question why does my back hurt, you should learn the difference between what modern medicine recommends and the myths that are floating around about how to recover from back pain. Knowing how the body recovers from injury is an important first step toward relieving your back pain.
Common ailments can become serious issues if they are left untreated or are tended to improperly. Without even realizing it, you may be impeding your recovery. Next time you experience back pain, you should keep in mind these top ten mistakes that men make. You could avoid a risky surgery or a prolonged recovery period when you avoid making some of these common errors.
Too Much Rest
When an injury sidelines you, many men resort to rest and relaxation in an attempt to heal their sore muscles. They might spend days or even weeks holed up in their bedroom, convinced that they are healing their back. Spending too much time resting can lead to weakness in the muscles that surround the spinal cord.
The injury might feel better for a short period of time and allow you to resume your normal activities. Unfortunately, the pain is extremely likely to return when you go back to your old habits. The muscles in your back are weaker than they were before, leaving them more susceptible to further injury.
Of course, it is still important to get plenty of rest so that your body can repair itself. Harvard Health recommends that you only spend a few hours resting or sleeping for a day or two. If you struggle to get the rest you need, you can follow some of these top tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Ignoring the Pain
What did you do last time you sustained an injury during your workout? If you’re like most men, you probably tried to suck it up and move past it. Many men spend days or even weeks attempting to ignore the excruciating pain in their back. They put off scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor or pain specialist to formally diagnose the problem.
The pain is likely to continue to worsen without any type of intervention. It is always important to seek out professional help for your back pain as soon as possible.
Refusing a Healthy Diet and Exercise
It should come as no surprise that being overweight plays a huge role in your back pain. Extra body weight adds stress to your spine and the muscles that support it. A 2016 study determined that high-intensity low back pain or disability was clearly associated with higher levels of obesity. Men will often ignore the back pain that is caused by their weight and continue with the lifestyle choices they have always made.
In contrast, an overweight man should really modify his lifestyle to reduce the strain on his lower back and spine. You should really consider doing some of the following things to lower your body weight:
- Find an exercise that you love and do it regularly.
- Avoid crash diets and low-carbohydrate diets.
- Develop new habits that force you to be more active.
- Try to eat mostly unprocessed food.
- Drink more water instead of sugary beverages.
- Increase the protein in your diet.
Rushing into Surgery
An inexperienced doctor may recommend that you immediately solve your back pain with a complex surgery. Men are often tempted to follow through with the surgery because it offers a quick solution to the problem. However, this rushed decision is one of the biggest mistakes that people make with back pain.
You need to spend a few months trying alternative treatments before deciding to have major surgery. Consult an experienced chiropractor, try some massage therapy, or research the different chiropractic modalities that are available in your area. Exercise more often to strengthen the muscles in your back. Surgery should really be the last resort.
A little bit of exercise can go a long way in preventing back pain from the very start. In some cases, it is best to continue with your exercise routine even if you have minor back pain. Strengthening the core muscles can be a great way to reduce strain on the spine. However, too much exercise can add an excessive burden onto the muscles that surround the spine. This leads to an increase in the amount of damage done to these muscles.
It is always best to work out the spine and surrounding muscles slowly and gently, particularly if you are already in pain. This is a great time to seek out the help of a physical therapist, chiropractor, or personal trainer. They can show you the right exercises and stretches to help strengthen your back without overdoing it.
Going to a Primary Care Doctor
At the first twinges of pain, most people automatically turn to their primary care physician. These doctors are well-versed in a broad range of health-related topics. A good doctor should be able to help pinpoint the cause of your back pain, but they may not be able to offer much in terms of treatment.
It is highly recommended that you find a specialist instead. Seek out a local chiropractor who has experience in dealing with back pain. They can offer more than pain pills to relieve the stress you feel in your spine. Chiropractors have the specialized knowledge necessary to accurately diagnose and treat your back pain effectively. According to surveys, patients who see a chiropractor tend to be happier with the results than those who simply see their primary care doctor.
Sit up straight! Most of us have heard that admonishment throughout our lives, but we tend to ignore it. We slouch over our desks and round our shoulders when we stand up. All of the bending and twisting adds extra strain on the spine. You should really stand with the spine, neck, and head in alignment.
In a study of children and adolescents with neck pain, it was determined that smartphone use contributed to their discomfort. Bending the neck down to stare at the screen increased stress in the cervical spine. Researchers predicted that the extra stress in this area may lead to earlier wear and tear on the spine, resulting in possible surgeries.
One of the easiest ways to avoid “tech neck” and other posture-related back pain is to modify your workspace. Here are a few suggestions for how you can improve your posture quickly:
- Keep your computer screen at eye level to prevent looking down.
- Hold your smartphone closer to eye level while scrolling through social media.
- Take breaks and stretch your neck out every thirty minutes.
- Exercise more frequently to strengthen back and neck muscles.
- Be more conscious of your posture when standing or sitting.
- Improper Lifting
One of the most common causes of worsened back pain is improper lifting. Many men are tempted to lift heavy boxes and other items using their back muscles. Instead, you should practice proper lifting technique:
- Bend at the knees to pick up the item.
- Use your leg muscles to stand up straight
- Keep your back straight at all times.
- Hold the items close to your body.
- Overdoing It
Men are often tempted to go full-force throughout their day, even when they have a back injury. On a good day, you might be tempted to overdo it and actually worsen your back pain. You might have an intense workout or lift those heavy boxes at your day job. It can be tempting to show off, especially if you are feeling at your best for a day.
Remember that you do need to take it easy and move cautiously when you have a spine problem. Experts recommend that you continuously scale back your activity until your back can fully heal.
No Stress Management
Have you ever felt the strain or tenseness in your back muscles at the end of a long day? Stress can add significant strain to your back and neck, resulting in long-term pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, stress and other negative emotions can aggravate your experience of pain.
If you already have an injury, stress can worsen the situation. Make sure you take time to manage your stress through massage therapy, going for a walk, or taking a hot shower.
Never Ignore Back Pain
Men are always tempted to ignore the first twinges of pain in their back and neck. You might continue to hit the gym for a rigorous workout or pop a few over-the-counter painkillers to get through the day. Ignoring the problem or hoping that it will go away on its own is a major mistake. Take charge of your health and relieve pain by avoiding these top mistakes people make with back pain.