10 Ways to Improve Your Back Pain

Even though it’s hard to determine what might cause those insufferable back pain episodes, there are many different things you can do to alleviate your back pain or prevent it from getting worse. When it comes to back pain, the single and most important factor is relieving pressure, reducing strain, protecting your spine, and last but not least: strengthening your muscles.

Besides prescription pills, these are the best ways to treat all types of back pain. Even more, there are a couple of daily habits that will help you maintain good and strong tonus, and a healthy, pain-free back for a long time. Curious? Find out here:

Put a pillow under your knees when you sleep

When you sleep on your back, you put a lot of pressure on your spine. That’s why elevating your legs will slightly relieve this pressure on your back during your sleep. But given the fact that it’s technically impossible to lift your legs while sleeping, the best thing you can do is to place a pillow under your knees.

Not only does it help alleviate lower back pain, but it also improves sleep posture, muscle cramps, and improves spinal alignment. You can’t control your sleep positions, so you might suffer from discomfort during sleep. There are some sleepers who also prefer putting the pillow between their knees, for the same reasons.

back pain
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Work your core

So far, I think it’s fair to say that we all associate sports and exercise with losing weight and the peak of a healthy lifestyle. Bottom line, we all want it, but it’s not for everybody, and we know it.

The thing is, we know so much about why exercising is good for losing weight, and so little about why exercising is GREAT for our spinal health. If we suffer from back pain, 99% of the cases are because our core muscles aren’t greatly shaped.

When this happens, our spine moves as it wants, which creates discomfort and bad posture for all of us. What’s the idea in all that? If you incorporate back and abdominal strengthening exercises into your workout, you’ll develop a more flexible back.

Increase calcium and vitamin D intake

Strong bones keep osteoporosis away from you. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of back pain for seniors, particularly for women. So, if you want to keep your bones strong and steady, integrate more calcium and vitamin D into your diet. You can easily find calcium in:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • leafy greens
  • vitamin supplements

While vitamin D is in:

  • fatty fish
  • egg yolks
  • beef liver
  • cheese

But remember, before taking any supplements, make sure you consult your doctor first. When it comes to taking supplements, you have to know how much you should be getting, as too much might harm you.

back pain
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Change your shoes for something more comfortable

If you’re suffering from back pain, you must know how much of a struggle it is to find the proper pair of shoes in order to feel comfortable throughout the whole day. You might not know where to begin looking, or what kind of shoes you must be looking for.

As we’ve learned from Long Island Spine Specialists, the worst shoes to wear in case of back pain are flats, high heels, and flip flops. When it comes to shoes, it’s best if you go for rocker shoes that encourage an active posture, curved heels to avoid heel strike, arch support, cushioning, and shoes that actually FIT.

Straighten up

Maintaining a good posture isn’t just a way to look better, it’s actually healthier. First things first. It protects the intricate pieces of your spine, in order to keep them healthy and well-functioning.

Bad posture can add extra strain and stress to your back. In time, the architecture of your spine might change and develop pathological aspects. So, try to avoid rounding your shoulders as much as possible, slouching, and bending sideways when you’re standing. Also, learn correct ways of lifting up things, and how to stretch.

Because if you learn all that, you can easily prevent any problems that might appear.

back pain
Photo by sebra from Shutterstock

Don’t slump over your desk

If you have a nine-to-five job and you have to sit most of the day in an office chair, you must remember to use the same good posture techniques you’ve been using while standing. Why is it so important?

By keeping a good posture and giving the right support for your back when you sit down, your spine won’t be kept under a lot of pressure. Even more, if you know to have the same position for several hours per day, it’s even more important to watch out for your posture. Alternatively, you can choose a quality chair that gives you firm support for your lower back.

Mingle

And speaking of keeping the same posture for most of the day, whether you’re at an office party or at a bar for happy hour, try not to sit in an awkward position or stand in the same position for too long.

If you can, move around the room to avoid putting too much pressure on your spine, or even dance if you see fit.

Make sure you get up every 60 minutes to go to the bathroom or to walk around, in order to avoid any possible stiffness. When it comes to our spine, movement is key, so make sure you don’t forget that!

back pain
Photo by Photoroyalty from Shutterstock

Quit smoking

Smoking is known to be a serious health risk, no matter the subject and no matter which area of your health we’re talking about. That’s settled. But did you know that smokers are more likely to experience back pain than those who don’t smoke?

The reason for this is that nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks in the spine, which causes them to dry out, crack, or rupture. Even more, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which is at fault for reducing the nourishment to the muscles and tendons in the back. So try smoking less and drinking more water!

Lighten how much you carry

Another common cause of back pain is improper or heavy lifting, but it doesn’t necessarily happen only to those who lift heavy boxes on the job. Mostly, it’s about those who have to carry a bulky laptop bag, suitcase, camera, or even a load of groceries that can cause strain on your back.

If it’s possible, try taking some weight off your shoulders and carrying less stuff, or at least learn how to distribute the weight to both sides of your body, or shift the weight from shoulder to shoulder. Even more, consider buying a rolling cart or bag with wheels to help you with heavier loads.

Stretch

Whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down in one place for a longer period of time, it may harm your back. In order to relieve the strain, you have to get up whenever you can, walk around some time, or even do some simple stretches. By doing this, you’ll improve circulation to your back, and it can also ease any strains or aches that might occur due to inactivity.

Bottom line, back pains can be avoided if you remember a couple of things: to take your vitamins, to exercise as much as you can, and to avoid sitting in the same position for a longer period of time.

If you found this article to be useful, we also recommend reading: 10 ‘Healthy’ Habits That Are Damaging Your Teeth

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