One in five Canadians lives with chronic pain, according to multiple sources including the Canadian Pain Coalition and the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability. In addition to doctor-recommended pain treatments such as medication and physiotherapy, there are numerous self-management techniques and lifestyle habits you can practice that may help manage your chronic back pain.
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Tips for Managing Chronic Back Pain
Pain is a complex condition affected by numerous factors including anatomy, types of injuries, lifestyle habits, and emotional and social dynamics. The following tips from the Back Clinics of Canada and WebMD may help you manage and better cope with your chronic back pain.
- Learn better posture habits and proper lifting techniques. Poor posture and hunching promote back and neck pain and strain.
- Reduce and better manage stress in your life. Stress contributes to and intensifies pain, so work to get rid of stressors and begin to use stress-coping mechanisms, such as medication, deep breathing and relaxation music.
- Move around and take frequent breaks if your job requires long periods of holding the same position. Repetitive use and awkward positioning can cause chronic pain.
- Maintain a healthy body weight by eating right and exercising. Excess weight can strain your back. Plus, good nutrition and exercise keeps your body healthier and increases your back’s strength and flexibility.
- Minimize or eliminate alcohol consumption. Alcohol interferes with sleep, and sleep deprivation can worsen pain symptoms.
- Use a medium to firm mattress for back support.
- Join a support group and/or obtain counseling. A support system can help chronic pain sufferers learn coping mechanisms and feel less alone.
- Keep a pain journal. Document your pain level and activities on a daily basis to help provide you and your doctor with insight into how you’re managing your condition and what types of activities help or hurt your pain levels. If you are filing a chronic pain claim, your journal also can provide useful information for your lawyer.
- Try non-traditional pain treatments. Some complementary treatments such as massage, acupuncture and yoga may help ease your symptoms.
Resources for Chronic Pain Suffers
There are numerous free resources available that those with chronic back pain may find useful, such as the following.
- The Pain Resource Centre’s online articles, referrals and resources.
- Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Ottawa Personal Decision Guide to help make decisions about treatments.
- The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability’s Shared Decision Making and Your Healthcare: Tools and Tips for People Living with Chronic Pain Webinar.
- Pain BC’s Pain Brochure/Infosheet.
- Chronic Pain Association of Canada’s listing of support groups.
- Pain Waves Internet radio station hosted by Pain BC.
- The Canadian Pain Coalition’s publication, Agencies that are providing the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program.
Preszler Law Can Help with Chronic Pain Claims in Ontario
If you suffer from chronic pain, you might be able to file a claim for compensation. Call Preszler Law in Ontario today to discuss your situation and determine your options. Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE®.