Working at a desk all-day, long road trips, and back to back travel has caused a number of health issues for me recently. I mean, seriously, who knew that I’d be dealing with sciatica, back and neck pain. Good grief, talk about feeling old.
- Pain that is worse when sitting. While seated, the discs of the lower back have three times more load on them than when standing.
- Pain that gets worse when bending, lifting or twisting.
- Feeling better while walking or even running than while sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities.
Yikes. Hoping that incorporating some lifestyle changes will help me avoid anything worse than the current neck and back pain I’m dealing with.
Back in the spring and summer, I was struggling hard with sciatica pain that ran down my leg. I tried everything from physical therapy to acupuncture. It took months, but I finally found relief with integrative massage therapy.
Many of my friends recommended chiropractic care. Just as I was about to call for a chiropractic appointment the pain eased up.
Pain-free for a couple of months and then the neck and back pain started up. Seriously? I just had to laugh at the point because of what in the world? I’ve continued with my integrative massage therapy, but are also using some of the following home remedies recommended by Harvard Medical School:
- Cold and heat therapy – The cold will numb the area while the heat soothes and relaxes your aching muscles. Remember that heat therapy only helps for the first week.
- Keep moving – If, like me, you spend a lot of time sitting set an alarm as a reminder to get up and move every hour or two. If you’re on a road trip make sure you stop every couple hours to get out and stretch. Same for long plane rides, try to get up and move at least a couple times during the flight.
- Strengthen the back muscles. I use yoga to strengthen my muscles, but find what works for you.
I’ve found that activity and strong muscles are key to helping alleviate pain.
I have a feeling my current neck pain issues are from not sitting up straight and not changing my position enough while working at my desk. Of course, Alan would probably tell me that my pillow has a lot to do with my neck pain, but it’s hard finding the perfect pillow.
Of course, if you are unsure of what is causing your back or neck pain its best to check with your doctor and have them give you a diagnosis. They may require an x-ray or other scans to determine the correct issue and offer the right treatment.
Just know that you’re not alone in your back pain issues. We’re all in this together.