5 Ways to Ease Back Pain From Scoliosis
An estimated 5 to 7 million Americans suffer from scoliosis, reports the American Chiropractic Association. This condition is characterized by abnormal curvature of the spine. For most people, the spine is straight and tall to support our body posture. People with scoliosis have a spine that curves more than 10 degrees to the right or left. This spinal curvature contributes to significant back pain but may also negatively affect lung or heart functioning. Addressing the back pain associated with scoliosis is an important way to improve well-being among people who suffer from this condition.
- Over-the-counter pain relief. When you feel pain radiating up and down your back, it’s okay to reach for the quick relief of over-the-counter painkillers. Taking ibuprofen can block pain and reduce inflammation that may be contributing to the problem.
- Acupuncture. This traditional Eastern medicine method of pain relief has been rigorously tested in scientific studies and shown to be effective in alleviating back pain. Dr. Esser, the non-operative sports medicine and spine specialist at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, frequently recommends acupuncture as a proven way to reduce pain associated with scoliosis.
- Using a hot pack. Abnormal curvature of the spine can also lead to painful muscle spasms. If you’re experiencing muscle pain, apply a hot pack for at least 20 minutes. Be sure to wrap the hot pack in a towel to prevent your skin from becoming burned.
- Rest. In many cases, the back pain triggered by scoliosis occurs when you have overexerted yourself physically. For these situations, rest is the best medicine. Take 30 to 60 minutes to relax in a reclined or prone position that provides plenty of support to your lower back and neck. Placing a pillow under your lower back may help support the natural curve of the spine, reducing back pain.
- Improve your back strength with exercises. Because the spine can exert a pull on the back muscles, it is important to keep your core muscles strong. Plank exercises are a good way to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Begin by assuming a push-up position, focusing on keeping your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds, and try to work your way up to 60 or 90 seconds. Repeat several times per day to improve strength.
No one should suffer from serious, chronic back pain. At Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, we take a graduated approach to care for scoliosis back pain. Our specialists can evaluate the extent of your spinal curvature and recommend the best treatments to overcome the pain.
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