16:11 PM

Best Ways to Ease Back Pain

Consumer Reports on the best ways to ease back pain according to experts including Jesse N. Charnoff, MD, physiatrist at HSS. 

Thirty-nine percent of adults and 45 percent of people ages 65 and up said in a survey that they’d had back pain in the previous three months, according to a 2021 report from the eNational Center for Health Statistics. And a systematic review published in 2022 in the Journal of Pain found that about 36 percent of adults ages 60 and up had chronic lower back pain (meaning it continued for at least 12 weeks). 

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can be the first choice for pain relief, according to ACP guidelines. But they often aren’t appropriate for older adults, who may be at a higher risk of side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding explained Dr. Charnoff. 

For those times when discomfort ramps up, movement may help, but it is important to do it gently.  When you’re in significant pain, it’s important to still try to do some low-stress activities, such as walking and light stretching. “The biggest mistake that people make is going on bed rest,” said Dr. Charnoff. “You’ll recover faster if you stay active. Move in whatever way is comfortable, and take slow steps to increase activity you can tolerate.” 

Read the full article at consumerreports.org.