Almost everyone experiences Back Pain at some time in their lives. But that’s not news to you. 80% of Americans experience back pain in their lives. Just because your back hurts now doesn’t mean it has to hurt forever.
Have you lost work from Back Pain?
Have you missed out on family fun because you hurt too much?
Have you spent too much time in bed because it hurt too much to get up?
Here are 6 things you can do right now to start eliminating Back Pain from your life.
- Lift correctly. 99% of all Back Pain is related to incorrect lifting. Lift with your knees bent, let your leg muscles do the work. Whenever possible, use a cart or wheelbarrow to move things around. Nobody said you had to do it the hard way all the time.
- Stand up straight. The head on your shoulders weighs 10-12 pounds when you are standing straight. But when you are hunched over your cell phone that same head weighs 60 pounds. That’s more than a BIG bag of dog food!!!! Hold your cell phone up at eye level (yes, people will think you’re weird) but you will not develop “tech neck” that those same friends may already be experiencing, and your back won’t ache. When they start complaining of a sore neck and back refer them to your chiropractor and she will educate them about proper posture.
- Get up and move around. Sitting for long periods of time puts a lot of strain on your “tail bone” and can cause a dull aching pain that radiates into your buttocks and down your leg. Walk over to the copier at work or take the dog for a walk. You need to stretch to keep everything in line. Set your cell phone timer for 30 minutes and when it goes off just get up and walk a bit. Your back will be so much better for it.
- Start getting in shape. People who have flabby abdomens have more back pain. That’s because your back must do more work. If your stomach muscles are helping, then your back doesn’t have to work so hard. Just tensing your stomach muscles every time you think about it will go a long way. And tense your buttocks while you’re at it. You can do these easy exercises at your desk, in the grocery store line, or while getting gas. You can feel it, but nobody can see it happening. Then consider more vigorous exercise, ask your chiropractor to suggest some exercises for you.
- Get enough sleep. Pain causes insomnia which in turn causes pain. It is a vicious cycle. If you are suffering from an inability to get to sleep or stay asleep, insomnia, then there are a few things you can do that will help IN THE LONG TERM. You have to be consistent for these to work
- Go to bed at the same time. This will alert your body that it’s time to sleep. Also, get up at the same time in the morning. This alerts your body that there is a time to sleep and a time to be awake.
- Make sure you have good pillows and mattress. If your joints ache you need to consider a new mattress
- Write down in a journal all your worries and leave it in a different room than your bedroom. Remind yourself, when you wake up in the night, that it’s all written down and you’ll tackle it tomorrow.
- Keep your room a little cooler than the rest of your house. Our bodies need to cool down to sleep well. You may like the nesting feeling of lots of covers, and at some point, you’ll stick your feet out to cool down.
- If you smoke, quit. Studies have shown that a significantly higher percentage of smokers have Back Pain than non-smokers of the same age, height, and weight. A 2008 study published in the journal Spine noted that regular smoking in adolescence was associated with lower back pain in young adults, especially among girls. According to the report in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, nicotine… “could affect the manner in which the brain processes sensory stimuli and the central perception of pain” — in other words, cigarettes affect the way the brain sends its pain signals. Smoking may also damage tissue in the lower back and elsewhere in the body by slowing down circulation and reducing the flow of nutrients to joints and muscles, according to the journal. Isn’t it time to quit?
These 6 steps will help you begin your journey into pain-free health. They will not give you immediate relief but over time you will feel better and be able to play with your kids and grandkids, participate in sports or hobbies, and just be a happier person.