Chronic Back Pain

Living with Chronic Back Pain: Tips for Managing Symptoms

Chronic back pain can be an immensely disabling and difficult condition to live with. Every day activities, such as housework, lifting, and any recreational activities may be all but impossible for those with severe back pain. Around 90 million Americans are expected to experience chronic back pain at some point in their life, and the toll this takes on quality of life can be astronomical.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, there are a variety of ways you can manage and reduce your symptoms. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is a vital part of managing back pain and can help to improve muscle strength and function. If you suffer from chronic back pain, aim to stick to low-impact forms of exercise, such as walking, swimming, and yoga. These types of exercises are less likely to jar your back or aggravate your symptoms.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying even a few extra pounds adds to the stress placed on your back while doing everyday activities. Try to maintain a healthy body weight to help reduce your back pain and improve your overall health.

3. Take Frequent Breaks

If your job or daily routine involves long periods of sitting or standing, make sure that you take frequent breaks to get up and stretch. This will help to reduce stiffness and pain and can improve your mobility.

4. Use Hot/Cold Therapy

Hot/cold therapy can be used to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Try alternating between hot and cold treatments to help reduce your symptoms and keep your back flexible. A heating pad, hot water bottle, or ice pack can be used to help manage pain.

5. Use Pillows for Support

Using pillows to provide extra support for your back when sitting or sleeping can help to reduce pain and improve your comfort. Try using a lumbar pillow or a body pillow to provide additional support.

6. Get Regular Massages/Physical Therapy

Regular massages and physical therapy can help to reduce pain and tension in the back and improve flexibility. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist to determine which type of massage or physical therapy is best-suited for you.

7. Take Medications as Prescribed

If your doctor prescribes medications, make sure to take them as directed. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used to help manage discomfort. If your pain is more severe, your doctor may prescribe opioids for you to take.


Living with chronic back pain can be challenging and trying. But by sticking to a regular exercise routine, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking medications as prescribed, you can better manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.