Chronic back pain can be quite dilapidating and it reduces the quality of your life. You may have a hard time sleeping, bending over to pick things, and even being unable to go to work. Research has revealed that about 80% of most adults develop back pain as they grow older. Now, the best way to nip back pain in the bud is to adopt habits that will help you relieve pressure on your back, protect your spine and strengthen your back muscles. Keep reading to find out what you can do to help stop frequent back pain.
Consume lots of calcium and Vitamin D
Osteoporosis is one of the major causes of back pain in the later stages of one’s life and is brought about by weak bones. For you to develop strong bones and combat back pain, you need to consume foods rich in both calcium and Vitamin D. Examples of such foods rich in calcium include leafy greens, milk, and yogurt. Foods rich in Vitamin D that you can eat include beef liver, fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks.
Get enough sleep
The body heals injured muscles and tissues during the period of deep sleep. During this time, the body also produces large amounts of vital hormones, such as growth hormones and cortisol. Growth hormones are necessary for cell reproduction while cortisol is responsible for reducing inflammation and supporting muscle strength. An effective way to help stop frequent back pain is to sleep for at least eight hours each day.
Wear comfortable shoes
High-heeled or uncomfortable shoes can increase the strain to your spine and cause back pain, especially if you are standing or walking for long. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes with a heel that is less than one inch to prevent straining your back. If you must wear high-heeled shoes, ensure you don’t stand too long wearing them and carry an extra pair of flat shoes.
Place a pillow under your knees when you sleep
Not only should you get enough sleep, but you should also sleep in a pain-reducing position to help alleviate chronic back pain. If you like sleeping on your back, you might need to consider changing your sleeping position. Lying down on your back makes your spine flatten and can worsen your back pain. Consider placing a pillow under your knees when you sleep to maintain the alignment of your head, neck, and spine. However, the ideal sleeping position would be to lie on your side. Slightly fold your legs and place a pillow in between your thighs.
Try strength training exercises
Believe it or not, hitting the gym is a great way to help curb frequent back pain. Exercise has numerous health benefits, including physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Depending on your fitness goals, your trainer will recommend a strength-training program that will focus on strengthening your core muscles.
A strong core will help you reduce your likelihood of back-related pain. Ensure you perform back and abdominal exercises at least twice a week to help you develop stronger back muscles. You could also opt for frequent reformer pilates classes to help you stop frequent back pain issues. It is good for improving posture alignment and flexibility.
Fix your posture
An effective way to stop frequent back pain is to sit up straight, especially if the nature of your work involves sitting down for prolonged periods. Avoid slouching over your desk and select a high-quality chair that will support your lower back. When you sit, ensure your upper spine and neck and your lower spine are aligned. Relax your shoulders and pull them back, place your back flush against the chair and ensure your knees are either leveled with your hips or slightly below. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor and your feet should touch the ground. Fixing your posture while you sit or stand relieves pressure on the lower back.
Avoid carrying heavy loads
You might be experiencing back pain because you are used to carrying heavy loads the wrong way. You might also be attempting to carry many heavy items at the same time, such as trying to carry all your groceries in one trip. For starters, to curb frequent back pain, you can lessen the weight you carry. Carry your groceries in more than two trips to take pressure off your back. Avoid carrying heavy laptop bags and backpacks on one shoulder. You are better off wearing both straps or shifting the weight from one shoulder to another.
Avoid sitting or standing for too long
If you have a sedentary lifestyle where you sit at your desk for many hours, try taking a break from work and walking around. Standing for too long is not good for your back either. Sitting or standing in one position for too long increases pressure on your lower back, leading to more pain. Take a break every few hours to take the load off your back and relieve you of pain. If you can, you can resume your work while standing.
Smoking cigarettes is bad for both your oral health and your back. Research shows that smokers are more likely to experience back pain compared to non-smokers. Nicotine in tobacco prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the discs in the vertebrae. When these discs fail to receive enough oxygenated blood, they could become dry, crack, or even rupture, causing chronic pain. Smoking also causes a reduction in the number of nutrients that should reach the muscles and tendons in the back. Try and quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day.
Try stretching exercises
Stretching is an effective method of relieving tension in your back muscles, especially if you have been sitting or standing for too long. Not only do stretches help relieve back pain, but they also help relax your hips, glutes, and thighs. Start by lying down on your back, bending your knees, and placing your feet flat on the floor. Put your left ankle on your right thigh and place your hands behind your right thigh. Pull towards your chest until you feel a stretch and hold this position for up to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side at least twice a day to deal with back pain.
From our discussion, you can see that there are healthy habits that can help you fight frequent back pain. It is always good to know the triggers causing the pain and fix the issues. Remember, it is best to speak to a doctor to help diagnose the problem if the pain still persists.