Managing chronic pain means finding ways to make your back pain tolerable so you can live your life. You may not be able to get rid of your pain completely, but you can change some things that worsen your pain. These things are called stressors. Some of them may be physical, like the chair you sit in at work. Some may be emotional, like a difficult relationship.
Reducing stress can improve your physical and emotional health. It is not always easy to reduce stress, but it is easier if you are able to ask your friends and family for help.
First, make a list of what makes your back pain better and what makes it worse.
Then try to make changes in your home and work to decrease the causes of your pain. For example, if bending to pick up heavy pots sends shooting pain down your back, re-arrange your kitchen so that the pots are hanging from above or are stored at waist height.
If your back pain is worse at work, talk to your boss. It may be that your work-station is not set up correctly.
Long car rides and getting in and out of the car can be hard on your back. Here are some tips:
These changes around your home could help relieve your back pain:
It is important to have strong relationships with friends and family you can depend on when your back pain makes it hard to get through the day.
Take time to build strong friendships at work and outside of work by using caring words and being kind. Give sincere compliments to the people around you. Respect those around you and treat them the way you like to be treated.
If a relationship is causing stress, consider working with a counselor to find ways to resolve conflict and strengthen the relationship
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Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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