Back and neck pain are huge health issues in the United States. Figures from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey found that these conditions (one or both) occur in 31% of the population over a three-month period.
Lower back pain (LBP) is always mentioned first as far as pain in these areas goes; it is, after all, the second leading reason that people go to a physician behind upper-respiratory infections. Pain toward the upper end of the spine is also a key health issue impacting millions. While 34 million people suffer from low back pain, 9 million report back pain, and 19 million say they have both.
This problem is common, so many are considering a healthcare solution.
When to See a Neck and Back Center
To be certain you are not suffering from internal damage or a concussion, it is important to go to a doctor right away if you have suffered an injury resulting from a blow (auto collision, sports injury, etc.). You should also get to a doctor's office if you feel numb. Otherwise, it is reasonable to address your pain at-home for a couple of weeks before getting to a professional.
Before visiting a neck and back center, try the below at-home treatments for two weeks (with crossover between the two categories).
First, here are tips for upper back and neck pain:
- Consider your job, whether you work at a desk or do heavy lifting. Your screen should be at eye-level. When you lift, bend at both the knees and the hips.
- Think about what you carry around with you. Purses and other shoulder bags can be hard on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. If you have a lot to carry, try a backpack.
- Manage your stress levels. The muscles will experience tension when the mind is in a state of stress. Use relaxation methods such as exercise, deep breathing, and meditation to restore calm to your life.
Here, likewise, are a few at-home methods to address low back pain:
- Watch your sleep. Pain is one of the top reasons that people experience sleep disorders. Creating a vicious cycle, lack of high-quality sleep exacerbates back pain. Work on fixing your sleep issues.
- Strengthen your core. Your lower spine is supported by your abdominal muscles. A 20-minute exercise, even just sitting on an exercise ball, can strengthen these muscles.
- Try thermotherapy. You can expedite healing and mitigate pain in your lower back with the application of heat or cold. Cold is helpful in minimizing inflammation. Heat aids in improving the blood flow to the area.
Getting Help For Your Neck and Back Conditions
While the above at-home treatments can be powerful, it is important to head to a doctor if you are unable to resolve the problem yourself in two weeks. Through a top neck and back center, Shafter and Bakersfield patients can benefit from the detailed care and direction of experienced professionals. At Envista Medical, we'll establish a treatment plan that will prepare your body against further pain, injury, and illness.