Back pain is one of the most common health problems. In the US, 8% of adults experience it on a persistent basis. That’s 16 million people!
You can experience back pain for a number of reasons: bad posture, stress, a pulled muscle, and more. But in every case, the proper treatment involves relieving pressure, reducing strain, strengthening muscles, and protecting the spine.
This article will list effective ways to do those very things, but if you find that the back pain just won’t go away, it’s best to see a spine specialist.
So without further ado, here are 9 ways you can start relieving your back pain today:
Your muscles were made to move. If you let them idle too long, they’ll start to ache. So one of the best ways to prevent back pain in the first place is to get regular exercise.
Exercise doesn’t have to be extreme. You can just go on a walk. This engages your back muscles and helps get your blood flowing.
Another form of exercise that’s particularly good for your back is swimming. Swimming puts less stress on your joints, making it good for a sore back. And if you swim in a warm pool, you get the added benefit of the soothing heat.
But whether you choose to walk, swim, or do some other sport, make a habit of it. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise.
Another way to reduce back pain is to improve your sleep. The quality and amount of sleep you get each night has a huge impact on how your back feels throughout the day.
First of all, invest in a good mattress. Mattresses are one of the few areas of life you shouldn’t feel bad spending a lot of money on. After all, you spend roughly a third of your life sleeping. So do yourself a favor and get a comfortable mattress!
Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach. Try to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back with a pillow beneath your knees instead. These are better positions for your spine.
If you still have trouble falling asleep, make sure you’re following tip #1. Exercising during the day helps you fall asleep faster because it makes you more tired.
And finally, make sure you get enough sleep by keeping a regular bedtime. If you’re always going to bed late and getting up early the next day, it’ll take a toll on your back.
3.Keep good posture
Straighten your back. Hold your head high with your shoulders back. This will not only give you a confidence boost, but your back will thank you.
Slouching or bending for long periods of time will strain your back muscles and make them hurt over time. To avoid it, never sit for too long without taking a break to stand up and walk around.
If you sit for work, set a timer. Or get a motorized standing desk to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. There’s a reason some professionals are calling sitting the new smoking. Sitting too much can be deadly.
Finally, if you have trouble keeping a straight back, get a simple back brace that you can strap around your back and shoulders. It’ll do wonders.
Of course, stretching helps your back, too. But you shouldn’t do it only once you’re in pain. Try to regularly stretch your back to prevent backaches in the first place.
Here are a few good stretches you can try:
- Lean your back flat against a wall while bending your knees to lower your body. Then lift your way up again by straightening your knees. Keep your back flat against the wall the entire time.
- Put a lifted forearm against the frame of a door and then twist your body toward the door and hold that position for a few seconds.
- If you’re up for some yoga, lay on the ground with your stomach and lift your torso up by pressing down on the ground with your straightened hands. This is a good stretch for your lower back.
- Lie on your back, pull in your knees, grab them with your arms, and rock gently forward and backward. This will massage your spine.
Whatever stretches you do, always listen to your body so you don’t overextend any of your muscles. Otherwise, you’ll do more damage than good.
5.Wear the right shoes
Sometimes the wrong shoes can put a strain on your back. And given how much time we spend on our feet, you definitely want to have the right ones.
First of all, your everyday shoes should be low-heeled (i.e. less than 1 inch tall). This way, you don’t have to resist tilting forward, which puts unnecessary strain on your back.
But most of all, your shoes should be comfortable. If that means wearing crocs, wear them! You can save your nicer shoes for nicer occasions. Your default shoes shouldn’t give you any unnecessary pain or aches.
If you can pinpoint where your back pain is coming from, try applying heat to the area. This will soothe your muscles and help them relax. You can use a rag wet with warm water or a self-activating heat patch.
7.Drink anti-inflammatory beverages
Another way to relieve back pain is to drink anti-inflammatory beverages. These will reduce the inflammation in the cartilage of your spinal column to help control back aches and stiffness.
There are many anti-inflammation drinks out there. But a few you can try include turmeric milk, tart cherry juice, and ginger-green tea.
8.Take calcium and vitamin D
You probably heard as a kid that you need to drink milk to grow. This is because milk contains a lot of calcium, which helps strengthen your bones.
Calcium is also an essential nutrient for reducing back pain from a tender or brittle spine. So make sure to get plenty of it in your diet.
And get lots of vitamin D as well. It helps you absorb the calcium. So without it, the calcium you get won’t do you much good.
Lastly, don’t smoke. Smoking restricts blood flow to the disks in your spine and reduces the oxygen in your blood. Both effects cause your back muscles to hurt. So if not for your lungs, heart, skin, and overall health, quit smoking for your back.
Back pain is never fun. But now you know lots of ways to minimize it. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!
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