EDITORIAL: Simple ways to ease back pain

Whether it's from a long car ride, spending too long sitting in front of the computer or just as simple as a movement gone wrong, we all know what it's like to experience back pain.

Some back pain comes on suddenly and lasts for days to a few weeks. Other types of back pain may worsen over time and last for months. Common symptoms associated with back pain include increased pain with lifting or bending, worsening pain when sitting or standing, stiffness in the morning that eases as the day goes on and pain that can radiate into the buttocks, legs or hips.

Regardless of your type, back pain can make life a little harder.

While back pain is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, there are risk factors that make you more susceptible to this condition.

Those factors include being older than 30, being overweight, having weak core strength or bad posture, occupations that require heavy lifting or bending, a sedentary lifestyle, structural problems like scoliosis, and people with a history of osteoarthritis, fractures or disk problems.

Back pain is also more prevalent in people with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

But just because you're at a higher risk for back pain doesn't mean you're destined to suffer from it. There are plenty of ways to prevent back pain, including maintaining a healthy weight and these eight simple exercises: child's pose, partial crunches, hamstring stretches, bridge pose, swimming, cat-cow pose, walking and bird dog pose.

If your pain does not improve after a few weeks, you experience numbness or tingling, severe pain that does not improve with over-the-counter medication, pain after a fall or injury or you have trouble urinating, it may be time to see a doctor and find out if you're suffering from a more serious condition.

Once your provider discovers the cause of your condition, treatments available can help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Why not get your back ... back?

If you're concerned about your health, speak with your primary care provider. If you're looking for a physician, visit NW-Physicians.com to find one near you. Same-day appointments are often available.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a licensed 73-bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.