Has back pain become a daily experience? If so, you’re not alone. An estimated 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time. In other words, one out of every ten Americans is always dealing with an achy back.
While nerve damage and other significant trauma are often to blame, chronic back pain can have various causes. A few simple adjustments can be enough to put an end to the pain for most people.
Here’s what you can do about your chronic back pain starting now:
Problems in the feet often cause pain radiating from the lower back. Problems in the feet are usually the result of poorly fitted footwear. A pair of comfortable shoes for women and men provides arch support, which improves posture and promotes better balance. After a week or two of wearing better shoes, your chronic back pain may disappear for good. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Stand more often
How often do you sit during the day? If you’re like most people, the answer is anywhere between eight to ten hours. That’s terrible news for all parts of your body, including your back. Make an effort to stand up more often. While that might sound difficult to do at work, consider standing desks as a solution. If anything, make a habit of standing up and walking around once every hour. Do some light stretching and walk up and down a flight of stairs. It’s enough to do wonders for your lower back.
It might sound counterintuitive, but less exercise is more likely to cause back pain, not more. If you’ve been bad about sticking to a fitness routine lately, consider exercise a potential cure for your chronic back pain. Go slow and steady at first but make a point to pick up the pace a little more every week. Over time, your increased activity level will strengthen your lower back, reducing pain in the process.
Are you overweight? Carrying around extra pounds is not going to do your back any favors. By losing weight, you reduce the load on your spine, which reduces the pressure on your lower back. While exercise plays a critical role in weight loss, healthier eating habits are just as crucial. Eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods, and limit your intake of red meat. In addition to calorie counting and routine fitness, weight loss will be only a matter of time, and with it, life without chronic back pain.
Many people insist on avoiding painkillers no matter what. If this is you, and you’re experiencing chronic back pain, it might be time to make an exception. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, more commonly known under the brand names Advil and Tylenol, are highly effective at reducing aches and pains such as those in the lower back. While it’s imperative to follow the dosage instructions, especially with acetaminophen, there’s nothing wrong with relying on over-the-counter painkillers to help manage lower back pain.
If you’re one of the millions of people dealing with chronic back pain every day, the time is now to do something about it. Living in agony is no way to live.