There’s only one thing more painful than back pain, and that is the thought of how much money it is going to cost to relieve it. Everything from medical bills through to months off work without pay can take a toll on your finances. To minimize the cost of back pain, find a route to relief it as quick as possible, before it seriously starts to affect family finances.
Here are realistic ways to get back on your feet… without spending a fortune to do so.
Find out what’s causing the aches
If you’re like most poeople, you’ll feel back pain at some point in life, especially as you get older. The most cost-effective way of dealing with it is to find out exactly what caused it so that you can make sure that it does not happen again.
A lot of back issues are caused by joints, muscles, and connective tissue, including ligaments and tendons. However, don’t make this assumption without getting a doctor to check your condition.
There’s good reason for this advice. Some back pain is caused by medical conditions affecting internal organs, such as a kidney infection.
The cause of your back pain could stem from activities at home or work. Employment-related causes of back pain are common, and they include:
- Lifting weights
It could be repeated lifting of a light weight, perhaps at an awkward angle. Or, perhaps you lift of a very heavy weight once and the movement causes a muscle tear.
- A slip, trip or fall at work
It is common to jar your back when you fall awkwardly.
- Repeated movements
The back is prone to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in the same way as other parts of the body. People who work on production lines are especially prone to this type of injury.
- Poor ergonomics
If your posture is poor as you sit at a desk all day, it can cause chronic tension and inflammation. Over time that issue can lead to pain and loss of movement.
Ways to minimize the cost of back pain
Start by looking at what is causing your aching backside, including the ideas aforementioned. Then do something about it, both on the job and at home.
One of the first steps is to speak with your employer about how things can change for the better at work. Could you get a new ergonomically-designed chair, for example?
Or, are you able to take more breaks during the day? If your employer wants to minimize sick days and increase workplace productivity, they will do their best to incorporate ways to improve overall worker satisfaction.
Perhaps most importantly, use the benefits that you get through employment, including taking sick days to rejuvinate sore muscles and heal rather than straining them at work. Utilize other workplace-interventions too, when they will be for the benefit of your body and for pain managment, including potentially taking short-term or long-term disability, if needed.
In your personal life
Stress and tension are major causes of back pain and massage play a big role in helping relieve knots and chronic achiness of the back. For example, a growing body of research indicates that a traditional Chinese massage called Tui Na can provide low back pain relief, particularly when used in combination with core exercises.
To help keep down the cost of back pain and still enjoy massage, use your HSA or FSA to help cover massage therapy costs, if you live in the US. When that’s not offered through your place of employment, speak with HR. Your health is worth the conversation.
Lastly, exercise costs nothing – you don’t have to buy a gym membership! – and activity is one of the best ways of curing back pain. Get some advice from a physiotherapist first though about what exercise would be best for you so that you don’t risk worsening the injury with certain movements.
During your lunch break is a great time to fit in some fitness. If you don’t have a free gym at work then step outside for a walk; ask your coworkers to join you if going solo isn’t your thing.
Make sure that you get up from your desk every hour too and have a walk around. If you are able to go for a swim too, try it to see what relief it can bring for your back. If you have a pool close to your home, find out if there are special rates during certain hours of the day or senior days (if appropriate).
By introducing these simple and cost-effective changes to your lifestyle, you could make your back pain a thing of the past, all without going broke in the process.