Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the US. Approximately 65-million US adults experience an acute episode of back pain and 16-million suffer from chronic symptoms a year. Though it can be debilitating and cause a lack of hope, know that there are some things you can do to minimize back pain. Here are some of my top strategies to manage and feel better faster.
Regular Gentle Exercise
Exercise offers a wealth of benefits for physical and mental health and can improve common aches and pains. If you have back pain, you might feel hesitant to exercise due to fear of injury or making things worse. In some cases, this could be true, but, often, keeping your body moving is beneficial and can improve back pain.
The key to using exercise to reduce the risk of pain and alleviate symptoms of chronic discomfort is to choose activities wisely. Intensive exercise, which puts a lot of pressure on the back and joints may not be suitable in many situations. That said, embracing an active lifestyle is recommended over doing nothing at all. Being gentle with yourself and easing into exercise is a safer way to approach it.
Gentle exercises like yoga Tai Chi, walking, and swimming are often beneficial for those who experience chronic pain. Seek advice from your doctor or an experienced personal trainer if you want to increase your activity levels.
Chronic poor posture can cause back pain and exacerbate existing symptoms. If you stand or sit for long periods every day, it is critical to maintain good posture and move around frequently. When you stand, your spine should be straight and your shoulders pulled back, and your head in a balanced position… think of the old posture exercise of walking with a book on your head. Try to avoid slouching or tensing your shoulders and neck.
If you are sitting down at a desk, keep your spine straight and your shoulders back. Position your laptop or monitor so that the screen is level with your eye line. Make sure you can rest your wrists on the desk and reach the keyboard without stretching. Your chair should have sufficient support for the bottom of your back, and, ideally, it should have a full-length back to protect the entire spine.
If you have a history of back pain, or you have developed symptoms, which are either getting worse or not going away, consider seeking advice from a chiropractor. Chiropractors use targeted adjustments to the spine to increase mobility and ease discomfort. There are different types of chiropractors, so do your research and look for the best chiropractic care and wellness services in your area. I highly recommend reading reviews and client testimonials and asking friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. It can also be useful to ask for advice via local social media groups.
Rest and recovery are essential for optimum health and wellbeing. It is particularly important to give your body time to heal and undertake repairs and restorative processes if you are carrying an injury or you have general aches and pains. Get into a routine that promotes quality sleep, relaxation, and recovery. If you are in pain or you feel exhausted, don’t push yourself too hard.
Massage therapy can be beneficial for alleviating back pain caused by muscle spasms and tightness. It can also help you feel more relaxed and less stressed, which can be a major cause of muscle pain. Massage therapy is known to stimulate oxygen flow to soft tissues, offering an effective treatment for some injuries, illnesses that affect the muscles and joints, as well as general malaise. I recommend researching different types of massage to understand what could help you the most.
Get a New Mattress
The average person spends around 6-8 hours in bed per night. Your mattress can have a major bearing on how well you sleep and how your body feels when you wake up in the morning. A comfortable, supportive mattress can be influential in reducing, preventing pain, and aiding high-quality sleep. If you have an old bed, or you struggle to get comfortable, even when you are very tired, it’s wise to think about replacing your mattress. Visit stores to try different styles, read user reviews online, and compare prices before you buy. It’s also beneficial to replace your pillows regularly. Your pillows should provide support for your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Millions of people experience back pain. Some people have more severe symptoms than others, but it is beneficial to be proactive by trying to reduce discomfort and prevent further injuries. Seek advice from a doctor or personal trainer to increase your activity levels and make sure you get enough rest. Explore therapies such as massage and chiropractic and consider replacing your mattress.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.