Most people experience back pain at periods in their lives. Typically it is a short term acute pain that doesn’t last for too long. We experience back pain from over exertion in sports or projects around the house, or even from a fall or sudden impact from an accident. It can feel like a shooting pain or a dull throb. It can affect our range of motion and ability to move around or even standing straight. You many have chronic pain if these back issues continue on longer than three months. This is the time you should have a talk with your doctor for sure.
Back pain of any kind can be quite debilitating. Although we cannot always prevent it, there are things we can do to prevent it, and increase the likelyhood for you to be pain free. While pain medications, like over the counter NSAIDS can help, they also can create other health issues and become addictive.
7 methods for back pain relief and prevention:
1. Change Your Bed Position
The right bed for you is one that is the most comfortable. You may want to check into getting a new Simmons BeautyRest Recharge or other bed that is not overly firm or overly soft, where you can position yourself close to the middle. Aim for some degree of spine support, yet still feel comfortable to you. If you prefer sleeping on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees and a small rolled up towel under your lower back for added support. Side sleepers can place a pillow in-between their legs and try not to allow their top leg to press down on their bottom one. It is suggested you avoid sleeping on your tummy as that may put added pressure on your spine and misalign your body. If you cannot sleep any other way, though, use a pillow underneath your lower abdomen and pelvis and then use a single pillow for your head rest.
2. Give Up Smoking
If you smoke, you are 3x more likely to experience chronic back pain. In studying MRI scans of the brain, scientists have found that particular areas in the brain are more active in a smokers’ brain. These areas involve addictive behaviors. This active increase makes the brain more susceptible to episodes of pain. You can greatly Increase the likelihood of lessening or eliminating back pain by giving up the cigarettes.
3. Maintain Proper Posture
The key tip to remember is: Arch is Good – Flat is BAD. Increased pressure and damage to the lower back discs right above the pelvis (the lumbar region) will result in back pain. Our vertebraes are arched towards the front of our bodies naturally, in this area. Bending forward compresses them together and straightens them. Over the years, these discs can slip out of place adding pressure on the nerves coming from our spinal cord. The result: severe pain from herniated or ruptured discs which can be quite intense.
To prevent this, the most important thing to do is to keep an arch to your lower back. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, yet a lifestyle change will likely be very necessary as well. Consider your posture when you are doing normal things like: walking, sitting, standing, lifting, and running. Keep your back supported by having both your feet on the floor when you sit at your desk. Don’t slouch but stand up straight. Bend from your hips and avoid bending from your lower back. Remember to maintain that arch as much as you can.
4. Strengthen Your Muscles.
Maintaining proper form is essential in reducing back pain. The biggest hazard for back pain is unexpected, sudden movements. When you exert yourself physically after years of not doing so, like lifting heavy objects. It doesn’t take much to be a catalyst for severe pain.
Strengthen your muscles with activities like yoga, squats, stretching and pilates done correctly. These activities can help keep you lose and prepared for unexpected movements that can unexpectedly come your way. Exercises of deep breathing and swimming are also good options Reduce and prevent back pain by increasing your flexibility and strength. Studies have shown this helpful in not only reducing back pain but also lessening stress levels.
5. Get and Maintain a Healthy Weight.
Over 30% of obese individuals have back pain. Excess weight increases your chance of disability and unnatural curvature due to improper support of the spine. Even five pounds can make a difference with the pressure on the spine.
6. Go Natural.
One study showed turmeric as effective in pain relief as ibuprofen. Turmeric is also recommended as an anti-inflammatory for back pain. Fish oil, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D, glucosamine, zinc, capsaicin and many other natural remedies can help with back pain prevention and reduction.
7. Keep Moving.
Sitting still for very long is one of the worst things for back issues. Our bodies were made to be moving. If you work at a desk, try a standing desk. Get up and move around at least every hour, even if it’s just for a short time.