10 Ways to a Happier, Healthier Back in 2014

By Kandace Stolz

Man working at the office, holding his low back having painBack pain can be the epitome of degenerative morale. Thousands of people suffer daily from the agonizing crutches of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar discomfort. The field of orthopedics is grasping to provide a definitive option for treating such ailments. However, those efforts encompass several types of treatments that may be great for some but not conducive for all.

Below is a "Top Ten" list of a few healthy guidelines that our institutes strongly encourage all our patients to do before deciding on a treatment plan.

10.  Be YOUR best advocate.
There is not a single person who understands your body like you do. Advocate on your behalf to find the best solution for your back pain. Research new therapies, explore several options, and define the best remedies that may give you optimal relief.

9.  Positive thoughts evoke positive attitudes.
Keep a positive outlook on your situation. Back pain can be the focus of everything you do, from the time you wake until you fall back into bed each night. It does not have to manipulate every thought of your day. Believing you can overcome your pain and manage life is half the battle!

8.  Find a team of providers who listen and understand YOUR pain.
Don’t allow your pain and body to be lumped into the same category as other sufferers. Everyone experiences pain differently. Make sure your best interests are at the forefront of your prognosis. An expert should never assume he understands your pain until he hears it from you. Listening to your needs is paramount for any health care provider.

7.  Know you have options!
Being told life will only get worse is not acceptable. Seek several opinions when seeking treatment for your back. If the option you are presented does not seem like a good fit…keep searching. Do not settle because an “expert” tells you differently! You are the best expert for your back pain.

6.  Consult with different types of doctors.
Find an office with several team members willing to treat each aspect of your pain. Generally speaking, there is not one therapy that will meet all your needs. A great facility will have several doctors on staff from pain specialists to orthopedic spine experts, working together to better the lives of all their patients.

5.   Explore Research
The world of medicine is constantly transforming, offering bigger and better solutions to back pain. Surgery is not always the best option, and may involve invasive procedures that are compounded with risks and prolonged recovery time. Other less invasive treatments, such as adult stem cell therapies or platelet rich therapies, are available with limited downtime and minimal risks. Additionally, these new therapies are major components of natural healing, permitting your body to heal on its own.

4.  Include several therapies.
Therapists can assist with all your healing needs. A knowledgeable, well-trained, physical therapist can help assess the needs and therapies you may want to try. Other therapies, like massage therapy or chiropractic care, can add to benefit your health. The important aspect to remember is to choose a therapist who understands what your body requires. Consultations are wonderful opportunities to determine if the therapeutic relationship will help you achieve your goals. Make sure your therapist communicates well with your doctor.

3.  Dedicate yourself!
You owe it to yourself to show your body dedication. Trying a new technique once and immediately writing it off is not a sufficient attempt. Allow yourself time to adequately exhaust all efforts to better your situation. Your body has been struggling to heal itself. It will take time for it to adjust to your new treatments. It may not feel like your efforts are warranting any relief, initially. However, giving your body time to respond to new treatments and adjust is crucial.

2.  Don’t give up!
Living with back pain allocates the unfortunate “ups and downs” of life. Some days will be better than others. Utilize your resources and seek help when the pain is unbearable. Experimenting with over the counter products, like Biofreeze® or Traumeel®, can give you the extra drive to get you through the day.* Ice and heat are excellent resources too.

1.  Breathe…better days are coming!
Once you have established a plan to treat your pain, your body can start to heal. Remaining vigilant will grant you relief and give you the power of your life back. Good luck and Happy New Year and New You!

*Always consult with a doctor before trying a new treatment or product.