Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is one of the most common physical ailments among adults. Studies show that around 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Whether you sprained your back while playing with your children or cleaning the yard, here are a few things you can try to reduce the pain and prevent it from escalating.
One of the common misconceptions of people suffering from back pain is that they should stop moving. However, having a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for your back. Lack of movement can decrease your muscle strength and worsen your back pain. Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, try to do gentle exercises for at least 30 minutes per day.
Yoga is a great way to improve your back circulation and enhance your spine’s flexibility. You can start with a few gentle stretches, and once you are comfortable, you can add more to your routine. Another option is to go for a slow and easy walk. You can stroll around the neighborhood or take your dog to the park. Remember that no matter what type of exercise you choose, it should not aggravate your back condition.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a simple way to reduce your back pain. You must get enough quality sleep to make you feel refreshed and less sore. Invest in a quality mattress and try sleeping in different positions. Avoid sleeping on your back all the time, as this position can put pressure on your spine. Place a pillow under or between your knees to minimize the stress, or elevate your knees slightly. Experiment with various sleeping positions until you find the one that best suits your back.
Keep a healthy weight
Having extra weight can be detrimental to your back. Shedding excess weight can help reduce the pain, since it takes the pressure off your spine. Your spine can develop an unhealthy curvature if your body has been carrying extra weight for quite some time. Strive to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and adopting healthy habits.
Maintain a good posture
Poor posture places unwanted strain on your back. Always check your posture and adjust the positioning of your shoulder, neck, and back to prevent unnecessary stresses on your spine. Avoid slouching, slumping forward, rounding your shoulders, and excessive sitting. Make sure to stand up every hour, stretch, and walk a short distance. Likewise, avoid prolonged standing and rotate your activities so you can sit down and relax your muscles.
Consult with a healthcare professional
If your back pain becomes chronic and home remedies are no longer working, it is best to consult with your doctor. Along with your back pain, some of the red flags you need to watch out for include:
- Loss of bowel control
- Unexplained weight loss
Another alternative is to get help from a chiropractor. If you live in Canada, you can consult with a Burnaby chiropractor to help you better understand your condition and the different approaches you can utilize.
Several factors cause back pain. Changing your habits and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you manage the pain and prevent it from worsening.