If you have had any trouble with your back, you will want to do what you can to avoid a recurrence. Although most people with low back pain improve, the pain returns in about 40 percent of these people within six months. Preventing a recurrence is not always possible. Yet you can do a number of things to reduce the chances that your pain will return. There are also several steps that you can take to manage any ongoing pain.
When you're recovering from back pain, it is usually best to avoid doing too much too soon. Start slow, and gradually do more and more. For example, if you are used to walking two miles a day, you may want to start with half a mile after recovering from an episode of low back pain. Although good posture doesn't guarantee a life free of low back pain (and slouching is not the cause of most back pain), improving your posture after back pain may hasten recovery.
In addition, you should consult with your health care provider. There are several important things that your health care provider can do to help keep your back pain-free.
Remember that the best ways to avoid problems with your lower back are to exercise common sense and treat your back well. Be reassured that if you are among the majority of people destined to have low back pain at some point in life, there are safe and reliable ways to improve your discomfort and reduce the chances that your back pain will come back.
If your back pain returns, or it if never went away completely, consider having a follow-up visit with your health care provider for a re-evaluation of the problem. Over time, your health care provider may arrive at a new diagnosis or may try a different treatment until one is found that works well for your particular symptoms.
If you are taking drugs to relieve your back pain, monitoring your use of them to be sure they are safe for you is another important reason to have regular medical care. Your health care provider can help you to discontinue your drugs when they are no longer needed or can reduce the dose to the lowest effective amount.
Monitoring your weight, prescribing an exercise program, recommending referrals to specialists and making sure you have no life-threatening cause of back pain are important ways that your health care provider can help you to keep your back pain-free.