Managing Back Pain


At some point throughout life, most people will encounter back pain, and it can be pretty debilitating. For people with disabilities, however, back pain can bring our lives to a screeching halt. Even simple tasks, like rolling over in bed or transferring, become insurmountable feats of will that often result in tears, heavy breathing and the occasional scream.

Back pain can make living an UNlimited life seem nearly impossible,Because of my Cerebral Palsy I am prone to back spasms. These spasms are a huge hindrance in my life, but now that I have encountered this particular pain a few times, I have found some simple ways to deal with it.

Heat Wraps These things are a life saver, especially if you are far away from your heating pad. They have these stone like disks in them that are self heating, and they easily wrap around your waist so it stays in place no matter what position you find most comfortable. They can be worn under your clothes for up to 8 hours. They do get pretty warm, so if you have limited sensation you may want to have someone check every couple of hours; I have never had a problem though.

Stretching and Massage- If your back pain comes from muscle spasms like mine, then stretching and massage is the best solution. If the pain is really bad, you might consider going to a physical therapist. If the pain is only mild to moderate, you might be able to treat it at home. It is pretty easy to find stretches for the back on the internet if you are in a pinch, but a physical therapist can also provide you with modified, at-home stretches if you need them.

If there is no one at home to help massage the area, you can purchase a massage chair or cushion. My husband bought me one which has a heat option and the ability to focus on just one part of the back. It works pretty well for me even though I am short. My only suggestion is to put a towel between you and the cushion because it can get a little intense. I also would not use it for more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Hot Showers- I am a firm believer that a hot shower can help fix almost anything; a broken heart, a crappy attitude and yes, back pain. I turn the water on as hot as I can handle and just let it wash over me. It never fully gets rid of the pain, but nine times out of ten, it does help. The best part is this one is completely free, if you don’t count the water and gas bills that you have to pay anyway.

Positioning-If you are suffering from chronic back pain and you are a wheelchair user, then your seating system could be to blame; mine was. Make sure that you are fully supported by your seating system. This small change could dramatically decrease the frequency of your back pain.

Back pain sucks, but if you learn how to manage it in ways that work for you, you can greatly reduce the impact that back pain has on your life.

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