Simple Solutions to Ease Your Back Pain

Back pain like you’re experiencing is very common; the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that during a three-month period around 25 percent of Americans experience at least one bout of back pain. Following some simple steps can greatly reduce or completely eliminate your suffering.

Get Moving

Regular exercise can help you eliminate the pain. Bending forward in exercises reduces pressure on the nerves in your back and strengthens your core for greater support of your spine. Bending backwards allows you to develop the muscles in your spine, further reducing pain. At a loss of how to start with exercising? Try Tai Chi! The poses employ extensive bending and have the added benefit of deep-breathing and relaxation techniques to help you cope with chronic pain.

Watch Your Body Alignment

Your mother’s advice to stand up straight had wisdom; slouching causes compression on the spine, exacerbating back pain. If your job or another activity makes it necessary to stand up for long periods, find something that you can rest your foot on as you stand. When you sit, make sure your hips and knees remain level and that your chair has back supports and arm rests.

Use Temperature

Using hot and cold packs helps to ease both back pain and stiffness. Heat causes your blood vessels to widen, increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to help the healing process and reduce spasms. Cold packs make the blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow and, in turn, the inflammation that contributes to back pain.

Adopt a Healthy Diet

Both Vitamin D and calcium are vital to the health of your spine. Ensuring that you eat a well-balanced diet that includes dairy products, lean proteins, green leafy and other vegetables, fruits and healthy grains provides your body with the nutrients necessary for bone health and speeding up the healing process. A healthy diet can also help you lose weight, if necessary, which has a positive effect on your back pain.

Stop Smoking

Smoking decreases the oxygen levels in the body, which is detrimental if you have back pain. Although it’s not easy to quit, the health benefits are numerous and extend far beyond eliminating spinal discomfort.

Sometimes back pain lingers even with self-help techniques. Regular physical therapy sessions can help strengthen your spine and increase your flexibility, making it easier to perform work activities and enjoy your home life.

References:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Back_Pain/default.asp

 


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