Are you struggling with back pain? We’ve got the top tips to help you relieve your back pain and help you feel better in no time.
It is estimated that close to 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. This pain also accounts for more than 200 million lost workdays annually and can affect people of all ages, from adolescence to the elderly.
If you are fortunate, you might experience a short term back pain that goes away. However, if you experience chronic back pain, you may want to find a way of dealing with your aching back.
Back pains are hard to live with. The good news is that several ways can alleviate any back pain. Remember, dealing with the pain early, will prevent it from becoming chronic.
Here are some ways of relieving and getting rid of back pain.
1. Sleep Well
While the amount of sleep or rest you get is important, the sleeping position is equally important. Sleeping on a bad mattress or in a bad position can cause back pain or make your existing pain worse.
Sleeping can be quite hard if you have back pain. To help you sleep better and reduce the pain;
- Sleep with a pillow underneath your knees if you sleep on your back to reduce the pressure on your back
- Place a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your side to help keep the spine in a neutral position
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it causes your neck to twist and this puts stress on your back
Remember, experiencing back pain is one of the reasons to see a chiropractor.
2. Maintain a Good Posture
Having or maintaining a good posture is not only about looking upright, but it also helps reduce back pain. Simple things like leaning over the sink in a bad way when brushing your teeth put some strain on the back and cause it to ache.
A good posture will help to keep your spine healthy, help it function well, and reduce any pain. Try not to slouch, bend sideways, or round your shoulders when standing.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking will not just damage your lungs but your back as well. Current and previous smokers are more likely to suffer from back pains than people who have never smoked.
Nicotine narrows the blood vessels, decreasing the distribution of blood to the soft tissues. When this happens, the disks on your spine can rapture, dry out or crack, causing it to pain.
Smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen available in your blood. A weak and unhealthy back is prone to accidents that cause pain and also takes time to heal.
4. Strengthen Your Core
Exercises, in general, are known to be good for someone’s health. When dealing with back pains, you can benefit from exercises that focus on your core muscles. Such exercises will help you get stronger abdominal muscles and reduce injuries like muscle spasms and strains.
Incorporate exercises that focus on strengthening your core so that you can reduce the strain on your lower back and the pain that results from it. You should also try stretching, especially if you sit or lie down in one place for a long time, to help improve blood circulation to your back.
5. See a Specialist
You may want to see a specialist for your aching back for more personalized care. While there is no magic pill that can stop your pain overnight, a specialist can help you develop the right exercise plan or help you work on your posture by showing you how to sit or walk and maybe even prescribe some medication to help you manage the pain.
You can choose to see a chiropractor, physical therapist, or exercise physiologist to help with the pain. If your pain is a result of depression, stress, or anxiety, it would be best to see a psychologist. For example, CBT helps to narrow down on an issue and can target how people who have back pains think about physical activity and why they avoid it.
In such cases, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can come in very handy in dealing with back pains.
6. Try Relaxation Techniques
Like talk therapy, activities such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, or deep breathing will help your mind rest, and this will also reduce the pain on your back. Whichever relaxation technique you choose to use, it will induce a relaxation response that will help with your aching back.
To help keep the bones in your spine strong, you should also try to increase your calcium and vitamin D intake. Remember, strong bones help prevent osteoporosis, one of the most common causes of back pains as one grows old.
7. Use Hot or Cold Therapy
Another quick and simple remedy to help reduce back pains is using heat or cold therapy.
Heat therapy helps your muscles to relax, improves blood flow, and relieves pain. You can soak in a hot tub, take a warm shower, and use a heat wrap or heating pad. All these methods will warm up your lower back and reduce the pain.
Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain. You can use a cold gel pack, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or wrap some ice in a piece of cloth and place it on your back. Keep a layer between your skin and the ice pack.
When using a heat or ice pack, try not to take more than 20 minutes and rest for at least 2 hours before another application so that you can protect your skin.
Consider These Tips to Reduce Your Back Pain
Even though knowing the cause of your back pain can be complicated, these tips and more will help you alleviate the pain and prevent it from worsening. When dealing with the pain, remember that changing your routine and habits will help you have a pain-free and healthy back for a long time.
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