Have you been struggling with back pain? Don’t let back pain stop you in your tracks in 2021. Learn how to prevent and relieve back pain with these tips.
10 tips to help you say goodbye to back pain
#1. Watch your weight
The more weight you’re carrying — particularly around the middle — the more strain it puts on your lower back and the more it shifts your center of gravity. You can help to prevent and relieve back pain by ensuring that you stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight (which is calculated based on gender, height and age).
Diet plays an especially large role in weight, and there are lots of small changes you can make in your diet that can lead to real results. These include drinking more water and less soda and alcohol, reducing sugar intake, eating more fruits and vegetables, etc.
#2. Exercise more
Speaking of weight loss, exercise can help you reach your goals and stay motivated enough to commit to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Best of all, exercising more will also help you to avoid back pain.
Exercise helps back pain by helping you to drop additional pounds, but it also builds muscles that can help to support and take some pressure off of your spine.
Yoga has proven to be an especially effective exercise for relieving and preventing back pain, as it helps to reduce stiffness, loosen the spine and build back muscles.
#3. Move around frequently
Whether you’re sitting or standing, being in the same static position for too long is going to be hard on your body. Sitting for too long can put additional pressure on your spinal discs, and standing for too long, especially if your posture isn’t good, can lead to misalignment and puts stress on the spine.
Whatever position you’re in, make sure that you don’t stay in it for too long. If you have a desk job, take a few minutes to walk around and stretch every so often. If you stand for long periods of time in one place, stretch or walk in place periodically throughout the day.
#4. Quit smoking
Most people are well aware of the fact that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and can cause a range of other health problems. But, did you know that smokers are actually more prone to back pain?
That’s because smoking restricts blood flow to the spinal discs, preventing them from getting the nutrients they need and eventually causing them to break down. Smoking also leads to inflammation, making back pain worse.
#5. Prioritize sleep
When you’re in pain, it can be difficult to get to sleep at night. And, when you don’t get enough sleep, it exacerbates the pain you’re feeling. It’s a vicious cycle, and if you’re stuck in it, it’s important to take steps to get a better night’s sleep.
Keeping a sleep schedule, reducing your caffeine intake, avoiding screen time before bed and exercising more during the day are all things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene.
#6. Find a better sleep position
Sometimes, the position you’re sleeping in is actually the cause of your back pain (or it at least isn’t doing you any favors). And, making adjustments to how you’re sleeping can go a long way to relieving that pain.
Protect your spine by sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest, or on your back with a pillow under your lower back and knees. Sleeping on your stomach is probably the worst position for back pain, but if it’s your premier sleep position, putting a pillow under your hips could help.
#7. Avoid wearing heels
When you want a little extra style in your step, nothing gets the job done like a great pair of high heels. However, if you have back pain, you’re better off finding another way to express your sassy side.
When you wear high heels, it shifts your center of gravity, putting additional strain on your lower back. If you must wear them, though, stick with heels that are an inch or shorter, or bring a pair of low-heeled shoes with you to change into later.
#8. Lift properly
You may not be lifting heavy weights at the gym, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t lifting heavy things throughout the day. Whether you’re picking up your kid, unloading the groceries or lifting your tool box, it’s important that you do so properly.
When you lift something heavy, start by bending your knees and squatting. Hold the item close to your body, lift up using your leg muscles and support your body using your abdominal muscles. Never twist as you lift, and opt to push heavy objects rather than to pull them.
#9. Practice good posture
When you sit for prolonged periods of time throughout the day, it’s key that you get up every so often to stretch, walk and otherwise move around. However, you can also help protect your back while sitting by making sure that you’re practicing good posture.
Choose a chair that has a straight back or one that provides you with lower back support. Sit with your knees slightly higher than your hips; use a stool if necessary. Support your back by engaging your abdominal muscles while seated, and keep your head and back straight.
#10. Stop sitting on your wallet
While an overstuffed wallet might be a happy wallet, if you want to avoid back pain, you should also avoid sitting on an overstuffed wallet, especially for long periods of time.
Believe it or not, sitting on a fat wallet for extended time periods can wreak havoc on your spine as well as your posture. Instead, consider carrying your wallet in a bag, or sitting it next to you for long drives and other extended periods of sitting.
Whether it’s caused by sitting on a too-fat wallet, wearing high heels or carrying a heavy bag around with you, there are a lot of things that can cause spinal misalignment and lead to back pain. Luckily, your local chiropractor can help you combat it effectively.
With Top Rated Local®, you can compare chiropractors in your area side by side, get a snapshot of their reputation overall and read chiropractor reviews from across the web.