Even mild back pain can be hard to deal with and interfere with your usual activities. Sometimes it's difficult for other people to understand what you're going through. But you can take action to keep back pain from taking over your life.
- Keep a journal
It may be helpful to keep a journal in which you record details of your level of back pain, how it varies throughout the day and how it responds to exercises, medications and other treatments. Such an account can not only add to your peace of mind but also help your doctor in diagnosing or monitoring your condition.
- Work with your doctor on devising a treatment strategy
In accordance with your doctor's treatment plan, determine when a therapy such as a heating pad or a cold pack is most effective. Let your doctor know if a medication isn't working or may need an adjustment. Ask about over-the-counter drug options as well as prescription medications. For example, aspirin can be helpful to many, but some people can't take it because of stomach or kidney problems or other reasons. Ask for a referral to pain management specialist if pain still persists after treatment.
- Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask family and friends for help. No one can do it all, especially when experiencing back pain. Children or a spouse may need to take on certain household chores that cause or contribute to your pain. You might need to wait until next year to plant that vegetable garden. Or you might have to hire someone to paint the living room rather than doing it yourself. Relax: The world won't fall apart if you have Thanksgiving dinner catered or decide not to spend the last two months of the year in a shopping mall racing from store to store.