Everything — from what you eat to the mattress you sleep on — can play a role in your back pain. Here are six tips that will help get you some relief.
1. Exercise. The best way to control, relieve and eliminate back pain is with exercise. It is best to start with slow stretching, and then work up to more strenuous exercise. Try the following moves:
- Sit in a chair and gently twist around to grab the back of the chair, alternating sides.
- Lie flat on the floor and pull one knee up and hold as close to your chest as possible for a count of 10, release and repeat using the other leg. Do this 10 to 20 times.
- Wide stance squats that push your tailbone below the level of your knees. Do these slowly.
- Good mornings: Stand up straight with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Put your hands on your hips and bend at the waist. Keep your back straight and bend down until your chest is parallel to the floor and then return to the standing position. Do this 20 times.
The one exercise you want to avoid is the sit-up if you suffer from back pain. The sit-up is very hard on the spine, and it doesn't do much for your core or abs. There are better choices for whole body exercise that will work your abs, and keep your back in good condition.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight is determined by a combination of your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your waist circumference. These two measurements must be within the accepted standard range for your weight to be considered healthy. You don't have to crash diet, just start making some small changes:
- Exercise for 15 minutes a day
- Work up to walking 10,000 steps a day
- Don't drink soda (even diet ones)
- Limit sugar
- Limit alcohol
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
Start with one thing on the list and work it into your life before adding another. That way you will build healthy lifestyle habits.
3. Take a look at your shoes. Take your shoes off and put them up on the table. Look at the heels and see if there is wear that indicates your feet lean to the outside or inside. Many back problems start with poor foot support. You may need new shoes or inserts.
One other tip you should know is that sneakers, which are so comfortable to wear, have an average lifespan of eight months when just worn for walking. After that, they aren't providing you the support you need.
>> Read more: Custom Lace Your Running Shoes for Pain Relief
4. Physical therapy: Many people are helped by various forms of physical therapy. If you have had back pain for a very long time, going to regular PT sessions may be the thing to do before you begin to start exercising on your own.
Your therapist can also help you to design a program that will ease you back into independent exercise that will help build back strength, relieve pain and improve flexibility.
5. Learn more about pain management. There are many different sides to pain management. It can include everything from over-the-counter pain killers to prescription anti-inflammatory medication. It can also include meditation, Tai Chi, yoga, massage and hypnosis – just to name a few techniques used.
The thing to keep in mind is that something works for everyone, but not everything will work for everything. The goal in pain management for back pain is not to get rid of the pain, but to reduce the pain so you can then pursue these other tips and recommendations.
6. Design the perfect night's sleep. There is more to getting a good night's sleep then just a regular bed time. If you have back pain you need to design your sleep. This means to take into account how you sleep, what type of mattress you sleep on, and the positions you sleep in. Not enough can be said about the importance of your mattress.
It has to be firm enough to provide support, but give enough to also let you avoid pressure point pain. Once you have a memory foam mattress that works for your back, adjust your sleeping posture until you find the one that makes you feel the best when you get up in the morning.
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