Sex positions for back pain

Finding Comfort in Intimacy: Best Sex Positions for Back Pain Relief

Explore the Top Sex Positions to Help Alleviate Back Pain and Improve Your Sexual Experience.

Back pain can be a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can limit your mobility and reduce your quality of life. However, there are ways to alleviate this pain, including using specific sex positions that can help reduce the pressure on your back. In this article, we will explore some of the best sex positions for people with back pain.

Sex Position: Spooning

One of the most popular sex positions for people with back pain is the spooning position. This position involves lying on your side with your partner behind you. Your partner can then penetrate you from behind while you support yourself with a pillow or cushion. This position is great for people with back pain because it doesn’t put any pressure on your spine.

Sex Position: Cowgirl

Another great sex position for people with back pain is the cowgirl position. In this position, the woman straddles her partner while he lies on his back. The woman can then control the pace and depth of penetration, which allows her to adjust the pressure on her back as needed. This position is also great for people with back pain because it doesn’t require any bending or twisting.

Sex Position: Modified Missionary

If you prefer a more traditional position, the missionary position can also be modified to reduce back pain. Instead of lying flat on your back, try placing a pillow or cushion under your hips to elevate them slightly. This will help reduce the pressure on your lower back and make the position more comfortable.

Helpful Tips: lube and taking breaks

In addition to using specific sex positions, there are other things you can do to help alleviate back pain during sex. For example, using lubrication can help reduce friction and make penetration more comfortable. Additionally, taking breaks and changing positions frequently can help prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of exacerbating your back pain.


It’s important to note that not all sex positions will work for everyone with back pain. Some people may find certain positions uncomfortable or even painful. It’s important to listen to your body and experiment with different positions until you find what works best for you.

In conclusion, there are several sex positions that can help alleviate back pain. The spooning position, cowgirl position, and modified missionary position are all great options for people with back pain. It’s important to listen to your body and experiment with different positions until you find what works best for you. By doing so, you can enjoy a fulfilling sex life while managing your back pain.



Executive Spine Surgery. (2023). When Can I Have Sex After Back Surgery? Retrieved from

Healthline. (2021, April 20). Sex Positions for People with Back Pain. Retrieved from

SpineUniverse. (n.d.). Sex Positions for People with Lower Back Pain. Retrieved from

Cosmopolitan. (2019, July 12). 10 Sex Positions for People with Lower Back Pain. Retrieved from

Back Pain in Young Adults

Back Pain in Young Adults

Causes of Back Pain in Young Adults

Back pain is a common complaint among adults, and it can affect people of all ages. While it may be more prevalent in older adults, back pain can also affect young adults. In fact, studies show that nearly 80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain in young adults can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, sports injuries, or accidents. It can also be the result of underlying medical conditions such as scoliosis, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis.

One of the most common causes of back pain in young adults is poor posture. Many young adults spend a significant amount of time sitting at a desk or using electronic devices, which can cause them to develop a slouching posture. This can put pressure on the spine and lead to back pain. To prevent this, it is important to maintain proper posture while sitting and standing.

A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to back pain in young adults. A lack of exercise and physical activity can lead to weakened muscles and a loss of flexibility in the spine, which can make it more susceptible to injury. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine can help strengthen the muscles in your back and reduce the risk of developing back pain.

Sports injuries are another common cause of back pain in young adults. Activities such as football, basketball, and weightlifting can put a lot of stress on the back, which can lead to injury. It is important to use proper technique when performing these activities and to wear proper protective gear to prevent injury.

Accidents such as falls or car accidents can also cause back pain in young adults. Even a minor accident can cause injury to the spine, leading to back pain. It is important to seek medical attention if you have been involved in an accident and are experiencing back pain.

Medical conditions such as scoliosis, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis can also cause back pain in young adults. These conditions can be diagnosed by a healthcare professional and may require treatment such as physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

In general, there are several things you can do to prevent back pain in young adulthood. Maintaining proper posture, incorporating regular exercise into your routine, using proper technique when performing physical activities, and seeking medical attention if you experience pain or discomfort are all important steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing back pain.

In conclusion, back pain in young adults is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors. Maintaining proper posture, incorporating regular exercise into your routine, using proper technique when performing physical activities, and seeking medical attention if you experience pain or discomfort are all important steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Dr. Carl Spivak, MD at Executive Spine Surgery is a neurosurgeon based in Newton, New Jersey. He specializes in treating back pain regardless of the patient’s age with endoscopic spine surgery. To find out more about our facility, click here.

What are the alternative treatments to vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty?

The alternative treatments to vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty are living with the pain, rest, wearing a back brace, physical therapy for core muscle strengthening and pain medicine.  Please click on Kyphoplasty for more information on vertebral body compression fractures.

I broke my back. Who do I see for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?

I would recommend seeing a spine surgeon if you are considering vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.    You should bring your x-rays, CT and MRI to be reviewed and interpreted to determine the best treatment for you.  For more information about spinal compression fractures, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, please click Kyphoplasty.

Click Schedule an Appointment to learn more how Executive Spine Surgery can help you.  Good Luck!

What are the Risks of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are common, safe, and helpful procedures, but like any other procedure or medication, there are many risks.  Some of the risks are related to fracture, a person’s health, anesthesia, and procedure.  Fortunately, the risk of these procedures are generally low, but risks include death, stroke, heart attack, pneumonia, blood clots in lungs and legs, fat embolus, plastic spreading to the lungs, lung collapse, spinal cord or nerve injury causing pain, numbness, weakness, bowel and bladder incontinence or paralysis, infection, bleeding, but not limited to these complications. People with one fracture are at increased risk of future fractures.

For more information on vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty please click on Kyphoplasty.

back pain at work

Beat the Hunch: How to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Given that 20% of Americans report having some kind of back problems, it’s important for everyone to pay attention to their back health during the day. One of the places you can hurt your back is while you’re at work, even if you don’t have a strenuous job. As more people sit down throughout the day at a desk, back pain at work has actually increased.

Here are five ways to beat back pain while you’re at your office.

1. Focus on Posture

Even while you’re sitting, you could be damaging your spine and back with bad posture. This positioning can lead you to suffer discomfort while walking or running, just because you sat the wrong way.

While you’re sitting, you need to keep your feet flat on the ground. If you’re sitting at a desk, you should keep your head in a neutral position with your ears over and directly above your shoulders. This ensures that your whole body, from top to bottom, is in a position that’s healthy for you.

You need your weight equally distributed throughout your body as you’re seated. Your bones put weight on your hips and you need the lower portions of hips to only take as much pressure as they need to.

When you round your lower back, your head and your shoulders are going to slump forward.

Make sure your chair’s height is at the right height. Your thighs should be angled down only slightly. This manages to keep your weight distributed throughout the bones you’re sitting on.

2. Adjust Your Monitor and Keyboard

Where your monitor and keyboard are located makes a big difference in how your back feels. You need to be looking in the right direction and have your tools in the right spot to work comfortably.

Your monitor should be level with your nose. With a monitor too low, you’re going to have your had angled down and put stress on your neck. Working with a laptop is a challenge, so use a second monitor if it’s possible.

Your keyboard needs to be close enough to keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle. No matter how fast you type or how comfortable you might be in another position, your elbow must be at 90 degrees for good posture.

Notice if you start slumping down via your shoulders to touch the keys. If you notice you’re doing this, then you need to reposition things. Put your mouse at the same level as your keyboard, elevating it if necessary.

3. Take Time To Stand

While it might seem odd, having a standing desk setup or an adjustable desktop that allows you to stand could make a big difference in your health and comfort. Our bodies were designed to walk through most of the day, foraging, hunting, and running around. Sitting in a chair can be a relief after a long day but it’s not the ideal way to treat your body.

Consider other ways to move that do more for your posture. If you’re able to spend an hour or two standing during the day, try that for better back health.

More people are using standing desks to get more out of their workspace. However, that’s not an option of everyone. There are desktop converters to allow you to turn your desk into a standing set up and back easily.

If you have a conversion setup, you have flexibility and can go back and forth as you need to.

4. Stay off the Phone

If you’re using your phone for more than calls throughout the day, you’re going to suffer problems with your back. People have a natural tendency to bend their head down when they’re using a phone or a tablet. When using a touchscreen, notice how you hold your body in front of the screen.

When you hold your head forward, you’ll end up with painful muscle strains over a short term period. If you do so over a long term period, you’ll find that you could end up with a disc or join problem. The longer you hold that position, the more likely you are to suffer a permanent injury to your body.

If you’re responding to emails or doing a quick bit of research, switch over to a desktop computer whenever possible. You’ll save your spine and stay more comfortable throughout your workday.

5. Keep it Moving

If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’re going to suffer from persistent muscle or back issues. instead of sitting around, get up and move your body ever half an hour or so. This has proven to reduce back and neck issues.

If you’re suffering from back problems or soreness, consider getting out of your chair.

If you have trouble remembering, set a silent alarm to remind yourself to get out of your chair. While it might not be possible to get up each time the alarm goes off, it’s helpful to set it in such a way where you can hit snooze. If you’re able to keep your schedule, you’ll be able to stretch and avoid pain.

If it’s too hard for you to walk, you might need to see a chiropractor. People won don’t seek help or put these changes into place soon enough are likely to deal with long term issues.

Back Pain At Work is a Serious Problem

If you’re suffering back pain at work, take it seriously even if you don’t work a stressful job. You could be suffering avoidable problems that you still have the chance to correct. If you take some action now, you’ll avoid expensive surgery later.

If you want to give back pain the one-two punch, check out this guide for foods that help fight back pain.

back pain causes

Finding the Source: 7 of the Most Common Causes of Back Pain

How long have you had your mattress? Be honest…

If you can’t remember the last time you got a new mattress, it’s time to hit the furniture store. 

Why? Because sleeping on an old mattress is killer on your back.

But a bad mattress isn’t the only thing that can put your back in a bad mood. Lots of other lifestyle factors and medical issues cause back pain. And it’s important to know those causes so you can do your best to prevent back injuries in the future.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 7 of the most common back pain causes and what you can do to prevent them.

Common Back Pain Causes

There are certain risk factors that make you more susceptible to back problems. People who are overweight are more at risk. And if you’re not moving around much, you’re more likely to injure your back. 

If you work in a job that requires heavy lifting or long periods of standing on your feet, you’re more likely to have spine pain. And as you age, you might develop back pain because of wear and tear on your muscles and spine.

Knowing your risk factors can help you prevent back injuries. But no matter how much you work to prevent them, there’s still a chance you’ll experience problems at some point during your life. Now let’s look at the 7 most common causes of back injuries. 

1. Slouching

The way you hold up your body affects back health. Working long hours at a desk without taking a break can cause you back pain. And if you do this over a lifetime, it can compound into more serious issues like herniated discs and arthritis.

Also, bending your neck forward too much can make your back to hurt. This is a problem called text neck. And it’s a serious issue affecting many smartphone users today. 

To prevent this, pay special attention to your posture. Take breaks from sitting and walk around. And put your smartphone away before your neck gets tired.

2. Overuse

Sometimes, your back hurts because of a good, old-fashioned muscle injury. Muscle pulls and strains come about most often because of overuse. 

It’s more likely to happen when you do exercises that you aren’t used to. Like when you haven’t played basketball in 10 years and you decide to join a game at the gym. The bending, reaching, and twisting can cause you to injure yourself. 

But even seasoned athletes can overdo it and strain the muscles in their backs. Be aware of how your back feels while you’re exercising. Stop at the first sign of back pain to prevent further injury.

3. A Bad Mattress

We already mentioned this briefly, but let’s dive into your bedroom routine. You should replace your mattress at least every 10 years. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Every person sleeps differently on their mattress. And every mattress wears differently. If you’re already having back problems, consider getting a new mattress sooner rather than later.

And consider upgrading your pillows too. Pillows bear the responsibility of holding up your head and keeping your neck in alignment. Old, flat pillows are just as likely to cause back problems as your mattress.

4. Arthritis

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. And lumbar arthritis happens when you develop osteoarthritis in your back. Over time, the cartilage in the joints wears down.

Without that cartilage, you lose range of motion, making the movement more painful. And it puts more stress on your nerves.

Prevent arthritis by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising. Also, eat a diet rich in foods that fight back pain.  

5. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis develops when our bones lose minerals and weaken over time. The pain isn’t caused by the disease itself. It’s caused by tiny fractures in the bones of the spine that happen because the bones are so weak.

These fractures occur suddenly. You’ll notice a new pain in your spine because of a certain movement, even from a cough or sneeze. 

Unfortunately, many people (women especially) are prone to developing osteoporosis. But preventative measures like eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D are helpful. And weight-bearing exercises strengthen bones and prevent or prolong osteoporosis development.

6. Disc Problems

Each vertebra is separated from its neighbors by spongy discs. These discs are little fluid-filled sacs that provide a cushion for the bones around them. As you age, or if you suffer a spinal injury, these discs can get injured too. 

A bulging disc happens when the disc slips out of place and sticks out further on one side of the spine. This puts pressure on the nerves around the disc. 

A ruptured disc occurs when aging or trauma causes the tear, releasing the fluid inside. This means the disc won’t provide as much cushion to the bones as it should. And that also means more pressure on the nerves in the area. 

Prevent disc problems by regularly stretching your back. Also, using proper lifting techniques helps. And, of course, regular exercise keeps the back strong enough to shield the discs from injury.

7. Sciatica 

Your sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the lower back down through your hips and thighs, all the way to your feet. Sciatica is when that nerve becomes pinched or inflamed.

This is usually caused by a bulging disc as we mentioned before. But it can also come from bone spurs or hip and back injuries.

Sciatica pain starts in the lower back and can spread down into the legs and feet. It may be sharp or dull, depending on how much pressure is on the nerve. 

Prevent sciatica by doing the same things you’d do to prevent a bulging or ruptured disc, as these are the most common causes of sciatica. 

Treat Back Pain ASAP

Many people experience back pain at some point in their lives. These back pain causes are some of the most common. You can prevent these issues by maintaining a healthy weight, keeping good posture, and exercising.

But remember, it’s not normal to have back pain. If you do suffer from back problems, get it looked at asap. It might be a sign of something worse. 

At Executive Spine Surgery, we take a multidisciplinary approach to give you the best possible treatment for back pain. Visit our website to book your appointment online to see Dr. Spivak.

Don’t live with back pain anymore. Get it treated now!

fight back pain

9 Foods That Help Fight Back Pain

If you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it is a pinched nerve or something more serious, it can be frustrating, interruptive, and very painful.

You may know that improving your posture, getting physical therapy, or back adjustments can help, but did you know that the foods you eat can help fight back pain? Scientists have discovered that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties. You may have heard of popular diets like the low inflammation diet. 

The sooner we realize that food is medicine, the sooner we can use it to heal our ailments. In this article, we’re uncovering the best foods you can start incorporating into your meals to help reduce your back ache and get back to your life. 

Put down the pain pills and pick up the saute pan, we’re getting started.

Fight Back Pain with These Miracles Foods

Everyone has to eat, so incorporate these foods into your diet and watch your pain dissipate. Channel these vitamins and nutrients from your diet and heal your back. 

1. Olive Oil

People who eat a Mederterean diet tend to have a lower chance of developing inflammation-related diseases and symptoms such as joint pain, depression, and or diabetes. This diet is heavy in one thing: healthy fats like olive oil. 

Extra virgin olive oil has similar properties to ibuprofen so instead of reaching for a bottle of Advil, try reaching for your olive oil.

Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with — hot or cold. It’s perfect on everything from salads, dressings for meats and fish, for frying an sauteeing, or even as a dip for crusty bread. 

2. Ginger

Ginger is possibly the most powerful superfood there is. You may have heard that it’s is good for settling stomachs or boosting your metabolism but did you know that it has powerful anti-inflammatories?

The gingerols in ginger drastically reduce pain found in arthritis sufferers. Try adding it to your smoothies, meat and fish sauces, or even as a supplement.

3. Tumeric

For centuries, cultures all of the world consume turmeric (also known as curcumin) in their foods. It’s what gives curry it’s yellow-orange tinge. It’s wildly popular as a spice but rising in popularity as a supplement since it’s proven to reduce chronic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Start consuming foods like ginger and turmeric soup and delicious curries or pop a supplement and watch your body transform.

4. Salmon

One of the best nutrients you can consume to reduce inflammation are omega-3 fatty acids. These are the healthy fats that make up a well-rounded, healthy diet. 

Omega-3s are easily found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. Consuming these fats have tons of benefits, from boosting your mood to reducing inflammation. Salmon also provides calcitonin which slows down bone loss and prevents the pain of osteoporosis. 

Now that you know both ginger and fatty fish reduce inflammation, we think it’s the perfect excuse to make sushi dates a weekly thing. 

5. Sweet Potatoes

Another incredible superfood to add to your diet is the sweet potato. It’s packed with all kinds of minerals and vitamins like Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants, which give it anti-cancer and antidiabetic properties.

This friendly starch not only tastes good but reduces inflammation that can lead to unfriendly back pain. Whether you eat it mashed, roasted, or baked, be sure to add this one to your dinner menu. 

6. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another great two sources of omega-3s. Here are some of the best sources: 

  • Walnuts
  • Hemp Seed
  • Chia Seed
  • Flax Seed
  • Cashews

Consider whipping up a walnut pesto to top your pasta or adding a handful of seeds to your next smoothie. 

7. Caffeine

Most mornings have one thing in common: they’re fueled by caffeine.

Caffeine can actually aid in fighting your back pain. But too much can be detrimental. No matter what kind of caffeine you consume, be sure you talk with your doctor that its a safe level. 

Coffee and green tea contain polyphenols which not only reduce pain but increase your quality of life. We’re thankful there’s a Starbucks on every corner.

Not a coffee drinker? Grab a green tea. It’s perfect hot or iced. It’s known for its abundance of antioxidants and appetite-curbing abilities. Green tea will not only give you a burst of energy but will calm you, as well. 

8. Carrots

Carrots have two incredible things going for them: they’re high in beta-carotene and packed with vitamins. Both of these things fight inflammation and lower your risk of back aches. 

Pair this orange vegetable with grilled salmon and a turmeric soup and you’ve got yourself a perfect, inflammatory-fighting meal. 

9. Red Grapes

Red grapes contain a compound called resveratrol which has a multitude of incredible health benefits like the prevention of aging 

If you’re serious about fighting against back pain, consume your resveratrol with turmeric to enhance the anti-inflammatory benefits. Try eating a handful of grapes with your turmeric, kale smoothie and feel better fast. 

Experiencing Back Pain? Let Us Help.

Now that you know what foods help ease back pain, you can start cooking and get back to your regular life. Usually, back pain is a common symptom and can go away on it’s on, but sometimes we need more help than just adding anti-inflammatory foods to our diet. 

Back pain can often be an indication that there is a more serious, underlying problem at hand. At Executive Spine Surgery, we take a multidisciplinary approach to spinal disorders. 

Check out our website to learn more about possible conditions, treatments, and tips on how to fight back pain like these spine strengthing exercises you can do at home.

annular tear

How to Tell if Your Pain is Caused by an Annular Tear

Unfortunately for us, most people suffer from some type of back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, 80% of people will have back pain at some point, and it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide.

But there’s a difference between a sore back after hunching over your computer all day and a serious back injury. An annular tear is one type of back injury that you shouldn’t ignore.

But how can you tell whether your back pain is the result of an annular tear or if it’s just sore because you slept funny on your mother-in-law’s guest bed?

We’re going to go over exactly what an annular tear is, how you can tell if that’s what you have, and what you can do to treat your symptoms.

What Is an Annular Tear?

Our spines are made up of bones called vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are discs that help to protect and cushion the bones. This cushioning helps them to absorb any large shocks or pressure applied to the spine as well as distribute the pressure/weight on our back evenly to avoid one part of the back taking too much weight.

These discs are made of two distinct materials. One part is a soft, gel-like fluid that serves as the cushion.

The other part of the disc is made of something called annulus fibrosus. These are strong fibers that hold the disc together and keep them in place.

An annular tear is when these fibers, well, tear. These tears can be minor and small at the beginning with little to no symptoms. However, they get progressively worse, which can lead to the inner “gel” of the disc to leak out.

When this happens, the nerves in the spine can be impacts, which leads to a great deal of pain.

What Causes Annular Tears?

Most annular tears occur in the lumbar spine, which is a fancy way of saying the lower back. While it’s not impossible for them to happen in other parts of the spine, they’re most common in the lower back.

But what causes this to happen? One of the main causes is something we can’t do much about aging.

As we get older, normal wear and tear lead to parts of our body to weaken. This includes the parts of our back like the vertebrae and the discs. When these parts get weaker, it’s easier for injuries like tears to occur.

There are other factors that can lead to annular tears. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re at a higher risk of an annular tear. The extra weight puts excess pressure and weight on the spine, which leads to tears.

Annular tears can also be the result of accidents, especially ones with sudden or jarring movement of your weight. This could be a car accident, a sports injury, or even just lifting a heavy box incorrectly. When you combine these physical activities with age or obesity, you’re at a much higher risk.

Symptoms of an Annular Tear

Minor or small annular tears usually have no symptoms. However, as the tear gets bigger, symptoms will begin to appear.

The main symptom of annular tears is pain. You’ll have pain in your back that could radiate from the point of the tear to other parts of your back. You may also experience pain in your legs as well.

Difficulty Sitting And/Or Standing

We use our back for almost every movement or activity, even if you don’t realize it. Because of this, you may have trouble getting any relief at all when you have an annular tear.

Even sitting or standing can be very painful.

Consistent Symptoms

As we said before, we use our back all the time. This means that pretty much no matter what you’re doing, you’re going to still have pain if you have an annular tear.

Doesn’t matter if you’re on a hike, sitting in your car, or laying down on a fluffy soft bed. You’ll still be feeling pain.

Worsening Symptoms

If your tear isn’t treated, the condition will get progressively worse. You’ll experience:

  • Worsening pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness in the limbs/affected area
  • General discomfort
  • Bulging Disc

If you notice symptoms worsening, you should definitely see a doctor that can diagnose an annular tear.


On that topic, let’s look at how you can diagnose an annular tear. If you have any or all of the above symptoms, there’s a chance that it’s an annular tear. The likelihood that your pain is an annular tear increases if it’s lower back pain, if you’re older, if you’re overweight, and if you have all of the symptoms listed.

However, to get an official diagnosis you’ll need to see a doctor. They’ll do a full work-up and will probably order an MRI. An MRI will be able to definitively show an annular tear (if that’s what you have).

The doctor can also use a CT scan or a discogram to determine the exact location of the tear.

Treatment Options

If you do have an annular tear, there are several treatment methods. You’ll probably start conservatively in order to avoid surgery: pain medication, anti-inflammatories, weight loss regimens, physical therapy, etc. Annular tears can take up to 2 years to fully heal.

Only when these treatment methods fail, or if your condition is worsening, will a doctor recommend surgery. There are traditional surgery options, endoscopic surgical techniques, and even some experimental stem cell treatments you can try.

Contact Us for More Information

If you have an annular tear, it can progress into a serious and painful condition. Any sort of consistent or recurring back pain should be discussed with a doctor as soon as possible to rule out any serious condition and to get you started on a treatment plan as soon as possible.

Contact us to set up an appointment or to ask any other questions you have.

spinal arthritis

How to Soothe Spinal Arthritis Pain Before Your Treatment

Arthritis, which affects some 54 million American adults, is the leading cause of disability. If you are among those patients who have been diagnosed with spinal arthritis, you likely experience back pain on a regular basis — and perhaps you are even scheduled for non-invasive back surgery.

Having surgery or another treatment scheduled can give you peace of mind, knowing that there is relief in sight. In the meantime, there are a variety of ways you can ease your aching back. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

Heat or Ice?

Chances are you have a heating pad or a hot water bottle lying around, in which case you should press them into service right away. If not, it’s pretty easy to make your own or pick up a reusable heat pack at the pharmacy. The soothing effect of the heat can help you live with lower or upper back pain.

Ice is generally used for acute injuries, to reduce swelling and help numb pain. Chronic arthritis pain tends to respond better to heat. However, use whichever one brings relief; just don’t use an ice pack for more than 20 minutes at a stretch.

Water Feels Wonderful

Many spinal arthritis patients find that it feels wonderful to be immersed in water. The buoyancy helps ease pressure on aching muscles. Taking warm baths, attending gentle aqua fitness classes, or sitting in a jacuzzi are all great ways to soothe your spine pain.

Massage Therapy

Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy getting a nice massage? Aside from the blissful feeling of having your knots and kinks worked out, massage can also provide lasting pain relief for anyone with arthritis.

Yes, it’s true that arthritis directly affects the joints, not the muscles, but remember that everything in your body is connected. If you have joint pain, your muscles will do extra duty to help move your body — and they can get pretty sore as a result.

Chiropractic Care

Similarly, your knees, hips, feet, and other joints may suffer due to spinal arthritis. A chiropractic session may help realign your body and temporarily take away the pain.

Be sure to inform your chiropractor of your arthritis diagnosis. First-timer and nervous about the adjustment? It’s OK to ask that your chiropractor go easy on you, or to find one who uses spinal mobilization rather than spinal manipulation.


Like chiropractic care, acupuncture can sound a little scary. Who would choose to have needles jabbed into them? In fact, plenty of people not only make this choice but report tremendous benefits from this ancient practice.

Ensure that your acupuncturist is licensed in your state and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. They should also use only disposable, single-use needles.

Gentle Exercises

No matter how active you were pre-diagnosis, the pain from spinal arthritis is probably restricting your mobility and activity level. High-impact exercises like running or playing basketball will have to wait. In the meantime, try two ancient and very gentle forms of movement: yoga or tai chi.

Both disciplines emphasize breathwork as well as slow, steady movements. They can improve your balance, flexibility, and overall well being, too. Start out slowly with videos for beginners, and make sure to get your doctor’s approval beforehand.

Get Some Rest — But Not Too Much

It would be nice to use your spine pain as an excuse to lie in bed or camp out on the couch, catching up on the latest Netflix offerings. However, too much inactivity won’t do you any favors. The human body is designed to move, after all.

Do what you can within the limits of your pain. It’s important to find a balance between your activity level and the signals your back sends you to be still.

Shed Those Extra Pounds

Nor is this the time to engage in emotional eating. If spinal problems have you temporarily sidelined, make sure to adjust your calorie intake downward to avoid gaining weight.

Anyone who is already overweight would do well to drop a few pounds prior to spinal surgery. Control your portion sizes, and choose foods that are nutrient-rich instead of processed junk. Slimming down somewhat will help your body feel better in general, and can speed up recovery time, too.

Find New Ways to Relax

This tip for spinal arthritis patients is especially important if lying down and taking it easy are hard for you to do. Maybe you’re accustomed to relieving stress by playing a sport or heading to Zumba class three times a week. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, your go-to in times of tension is a date with Ben and Jerry.

There are plenty of relaxation techniques to try. Journaling, coloring or sketching, guided meditation, and self-hypnosis are all healthy ways to chill out.

Pain Medication

Some people are hesitant to start taking medication for their pain — and that’s understandable, given how serious the opioid crisis in the United States has become. In some cases, however, prescription medication is a viable option. There are a number of drugs you can try before restoring to highly addictive painkillers.

Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen or analgesics such as Tylenol are a good place to start. If those don’t do the trick, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxer or non-opioid pain medication.

Topical Treatments

Another way to get relief is by using topical preparations. These include Ben-Gay, Aspercreme, Tiger Balm, IcyHot, and BioFreeze. You can find them at the drugstore, and some even come in roll-on or spray versions for easier application.

Spinal Arthritis Pain? Not Anymore!

As you can see, there are many approaches to pain relief that you can try while you’re waiting for more serious treatments, like spinal arthritis surgery. No two back pain patients are the same, so it may take some experimentation to see what works for you.

Have you found relief from any of these non-invasive spinal pain treatments? What has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments!

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