Too many people wait far too long and suffer for way too long with lower back pain and back stiffness. Lower back pain can easily interfere with your life and keep you from doing the things that you love. Read below to find out 7 quick and easy ways to start putting and end to lower back pain today [...]
#1: Choose Proper Footwear
We really like our shoes in today’s world. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some interesting choices in footwear may include high heels, sandals, flipflops, or shoes with poor support. All of these have been proven to ADD to your back pain.
It is due to the lack of cushioning to absorb shock, as well as how these shoes may effect the angle of the ankle. This poor foot positioning may change the angle at other joints up the kinetic chain and take its toll on the back.
If you can absorb some of the shock or change the mechanics by wearing shoes with proper cushioning or by wearing shoes that support a more natural angle of the ankle, then you could significantly reduce your back pain.
#2: Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
There isn’t a worse way to sleep for your back than by being on your stomach. Laying on your stomach puts your spine into extension and thus closes down all the joints in the back. This can lead to stiffness, muscle tension, and pinched nerves, not to mention how it may make your neck feel. Save yourself the back and neck pain, avoid sleeping on your stomach at all costs.
#3: Keep Moving
The sayings “motion is lotion” and “movement is healing” seem cliché, but there really is a lot of truth here. We were not made to sit for very long. It goes against every basic, fundamental rule of the way that we evolved as humans. The fact is that when you sit you place approximately 10x more pressure on your spine than when you stand tall.
50 years ago bed rest was often prescribed for low back pain. We now know that the worse thing that we can do for low back pain is stop moving. This just creates more fear of movement and leads to more pain. To avoid more aches and pains keep moving and try to resume your normal life as best you can.
#4: Use Heat
Heat is by far the best way to ease back pain. My tip, use heat whenever you are feeling stiff, achy, or painful; it may work especially well if you wake up sore and stiff first thing in the morning. The heat increases the mobility of the muscles and may loosen things up. Apply a hot pack for 10-15 minutes as needed throughout the day.
And when to use ice – my tip would be to try ice if heat does not work for you. But realize that the ice simply is just “numbing” the pain through slowing the speed at which the nerve conducts. Recent research indicates that it may not be the great anti-inflammatory that we have been told. 10 minutes of ice should be plenty.
#5: Change Your Mattress Every 5 Years
This is the bedroom question that I get asked every day. People want to know about their mattress and what type they should sleep on. This is almost impossible to answer, as the question is too generic. But what I can say is that if you haven’t changed your mattress in the last five years then it’s about time that you did!
And invest as much as you can in finding the most comfortable one that works for you. After all, if you’re going to spend a third of your life on it, might as well get the best one that you can.
And the key isn’t to finding a firm one or a hard one – finding the right mattress is about finding the one that works best for you and your spine.
#6: Quit Smoking
Nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks that cushion your vertebrae and increases how fast your low back breaks down. This loss of cushioning and increased break down can cause back pain. Cigarette smoking also prevents new bone growth and reduces calcium absorption, which leads to smokers being at an increased risk of having fragile, brittle bones and slower healing after bone fractures, which can cause back pain. Not to mention heavy coughing from smoking may cause back pain. If you needed another reason to quit, back pain is definitely one of them.
#7: Get Physical with Physical Therapy
There isn’t a faster way to END back pain than by going to see a physical therapist. Getting to see a hands-on specialist physical therapist means you’re going to get very fast access to care that will soothe and relax those tight aching muscles, loosen and lubricate stiff, stuck and painful joints, and strengthen your body so that you can go back to doing the things that you love.
You can often leave a good physical therapist with concerns eased and physical pain reduced, in only a short time.
Combine all of the “tips” in this blog with a trip to see a hands on physical therapist, and you will see a dramatic drop in the back pain and stiffness you are currently suffering from
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