10 Quick and easy ways to reduce back pain
Whether it is caused by sleeping in an awkward position, lifting something heavy, or you have a more serious back problem, most people will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives. Whatever caused it, back pain can be a real problem, because it hurts when you move, when you walk, or even if you just sit in the same position for too long. If you have persistent back pain, you should visit your doctor, because you may need medical treatment for it. Before you do, though, check out these simple things that you can do that could reduce your back pain.
Human beings are simply not designed to be sitting at a desk for too long and one of the most common causes of back pain is sitting working on a computer all day long. If you work in an office, you probably spend long periods of time hunched over a desk and that will be putting your spine in an unnatural position. To relieve back pain caused in this way, get up every twenty minutes or so and perform a few stretching exercises. This will help with your backache and it wok improve your circulation as well.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep gives strained back muscles time to repair themselves and inflamed joints time to heal, so get to bed as bit earlier and see if that helps to relieve your back pain. If your bed is not giving you enough support, that too could be a cause of backache so, if your mattress is over eight years old, change it for a new one and buy a fairly firm mattress. If you sleep on a soft mattress, your spine will curve while you sleep and that will cause back pain.
3. Get some gentle exercise
Doctors used to advise that you rest if you suffered with back pain but, for general back pain, the advice today is to get some gentle exercise. If you have a serious back problem, then you should, of course, follow your doctor’s instructions with regard to exercise, but many minor back problems can be resolved by strengthening the muscles in the back though gentle stretching exercises, or even just walking.
4. Check your weight
A lot of people suffer with backaches all their life until, that is, they lose a little weight. If you are overweight, you are putting extra pressure on your back all day long and that is bound to cause back pain. The answer to all your back problems could be as simple as losing a few pounds.
5. Hot and cold treatments
Whether applying heat or cold to your back will reduce your back pain will depend on what is actually causing the pain in the first place so, for minor back problems, experiment with both and see what works the best for you. As a general rule, applying something cold, like an ice pack, will reduce swelling and inflammation, while applying something hot, like a hot water bottle, will reduce muscle spasms and cramps.
6. Strengthen your core
If your core muscles, such as your abs, are not strong enough to support your weight properly when you stand, that will cause lower back pain. The core muscles don’t get usually get enough exercise during the average day, so adding some more core strengthening exercises to your workout could be a way of reducing your back pain.
7. Take Pilates classes
Many people find that Pilates is a good way to exercise the back and it doesn’t put a strain on existing back problems. While you don’t want to push any type of exercise to the point that you experience severe pain, studies show that people with lower back pain who took Pilates classes experienced a significant reduction in their condition.
8. Calm down
Get your anger and stress under control, because that can cause back pain too. When you get stressed or angry, your fight or flight instinct kicks in and that makes your muscles tense up. One European study found that people who are more prone to stress and anxiety are far more likely to suffer with back problems than those who are calm and relaxed.
Meditation could be a way to reduce back pain and it’s really easy to do. Several scientific studies have proven that meditation can reduce chronic pain and in one study specific to back pain conducted by the Duke University, it was found that people who mediated could reduce the pain by as much as 40%.
10. A word about painkillers
If you suffer with persistent back pain, it is important that you tackle the problem at the source by trying some of the things that we have mentioned above or by visiting your doctor. Over-the counter painkillers, like aspirin, for example, are fine to use as a short-term solution to backache, but they should not be used for long periods of time unless you are advised to do so by a doctor. Overuse of painkillers can cause stomach disorders and liver problems, so a more natural solution to back pain would be preferable.
Stay happy and healthy!