Are bad sleep positions and long working hours giving you back aches? There are some effective changes you can make in your routine to reduce your back pain or at the very least keep it from becoming worse, even if determining the exact cause of back pain can be quite a challenge. All of these things—pressure release, strain reduction, spine protection, and muscle building—need your attention. You can keep your back healthy and pain-free for a very long time by making a few simple daily habit changes.
Sleeping can be a real task when you have a nagging back pain. The discomfort can keep you tossing and turning in bed all night, and when you don’t get enough sleep your back may feel worse. It’s a vicious circle. Wrong sleeping positions can also aggravate back pain. Sleeping on your side during a back ache is very effective. Doing so you can place a pillow between your knees to keep the spine in a neutral position. Similarly, if you are a back sleeper, you can place the pillow underneath your knees to avoid further stress on the spine and keep it well aligned.
Keep a Good Posture
Slouching is bad! We all have heard this line at least once in our lives, especially from our grandparents, because obviously, they knew better. It shouldn’t be a surprise that slouching in front of your television, computer screen, or video game console is bad for your back. The spinal consequences can start early.
Make an effort to limit the time that you, and your kids, spend gaming. Practice good posture while you play and take regular breaks. Most importantly, swap out some of your screen time for more physically active activities. Using a wrong pillow also leads to bad posture. Get a pillow that supports you according to your sleeping positions.
Change Your Footwear Collection
High heels are the most attractive until you know what you are putting yourself through for long run. That’s right. What your feet wears also impacts the health of spine. Wearing uncomfortable foot with no arch support such flip flops, and cushioning such flats, can misalign your spine. High heels create extra pressure on the spine to support your ankles while you walk, as much as possible. Prolonged use of high heels will cause back aches and weaken the spinal support.
Buy footwear that support the natural arch of your feet and keeps you comfortable for longer hours. Get shoes that prevent your feet from being sore while working out.
Do Stretching Exercises
Walking, exercising, or even moving may seem next to impossible when you have pain radiating from the back of your body. But sometimes it’s the physical movements that do the trick! Physical exercises like stretching, yoga, aerobics, short walks, and other light activities can actually help you get rid of the back pain. These may loosen tense muscles and release endorphins, the natural pain relievers of the brain. Exercising won’t hurt you anyway, it will keep future back pain episodes away and your body weight in check which brings us to our next tip.
Manage Your Diet
Our eating habits are not so good as we go on with our work-a-day lives. What you eat can highly contribute to your back problems. A diet low in whole grains, dairy, and fruits, can make you susceptible to chronic back issues. High calorie intake with unnatural sugar can be concerning for spinal aches. Hence, add foods rich in fiber to your diet, eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, consume spices like turmeric and black pepper, and drink green tea at least once everyday. Such an anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce pain.
Keep Your Body Weight in Check
We are not pointing out to any personal choices here, but dropping a few is always good for your body. A balanced body weight keeps you away from plenty of issues. It keeps your heart healthy, your immune system strong, your stamina high, and your mood pleasant.
Whereas extra weight puts more pressure on your muscles and since the spine supports your entire body structure, it might become tilted and stressed unevenly. Your back may lose its natural curve and the spinal support may weaken over time. So, hit the gym, run miles, cycle, box, or dance, whatever floats your boat, just keep healthy!
You should quit it anyway! As for the back pain issue, smoking impedes blood flow to the discs that cushions your vertebrae. This can weaken the disc very fast. Smoking also minimizes the absorption of calcium and growth of new bone which makes them weak, brittle, and much more prone to fractures. So, if you wish to walk up straight and not crouch as you age, then put out that cigarette now!
Train Your Core Muscles
Your lower back is under the stress of supporting your entire upper body. Surrounding muscles in your back need to be toned to support your spine and reduce pressure on your lower back. Our core muscles are rarely used during everyday activities, so they need to be toned through specific, targeted exercises. Take a few minutes each day to do a couple of simple core exercises.
Apply Heat and Ice
If you don’t feel like getting out of the bed and the back pain is slowing you down, try using hot or cold packs to soothe the pain or reduce any that swelling you might have. Cold may provide a numbing effect for sudden, intense back pain. A heating pillow can soothe an achy back, increasing blood flow, which enables healing.
You can place warm pads on your back for a few minutes or you can use ice pack, just wrap it in a towel and gently put it on your back. Keept it for about 20 minutes and move it over the affected area, this will reduce any pain or inflammation from an injury.
Try Back Massages
Body massages are bliss! It is so relaxing and soothing. Massage may offer short-term benefits for lower back pain. Soft tissue massage can involve kneading, friction, gliding, vibration, or percussion techniques. A person may use massage in conjunction with other treatments. Soft tissue manipulation encourages mental and physical relaxation through the release of endorphins. Manipulation may involve hands or a mechanical device.
WebMD: Ways to Relieve Back Pain
UC Davis Health: 8 tips to help ease your back pain
Medical News Today: Home remedies for fast back pain relief
Healthline: 10 Daily Habits to Stop Back Pain
Desert Institute For Spine Care: Everyday Home Remedies for Back Pain