Did you know that over two-thirds of the population will suffer severe back pain at some point in their lives?
Whatever the cause may be, whether bad posture, poor diet and exercise or an injury- back pain is a difficult thing to experience.
Back pain is quite literally A PAIN to deal with.
But what we might not realize- is that it can be treatable and more importantly- PREVENTABLE!
If your back pain is severe- of course always speak with your doctor to see about options available, but there are also everyday life style tips you can follow to help treat and even prevent back pain.
1) Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine consumption interferes with the body’s production of endorphins, which act as a natural painkiller. Do not forget that coffee isn’t the only drink to contain caffeine. Tea (especially black and green tea), chocolate, soda drinks, and even ice cream all contain high amounts. While they seem tempting, they are full of bad ingredients, not just caffeine but sugar and other harmful ingredients if taken in large quantities.
2) Avoid Bed Rest (unless recommended by your doctor)
One thing we tend to do if we are in pain-especially with back pain- is lie down in bed and rest.
While it may seem like a good idea- studies show that lying down too much can slow recovery and raise the pain.
A spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association states that bed rest and back pain do not go hand in hand. Instead, you want to be as active as you can with your back pain and work the muscles. Exercise helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to the area.
3) Watch Your Diet
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and cut down on junk and processed food. Some fruits and vegetables are especially good: berries, cauliflower, cherries, and sweet potatoes, for example, will help the body produce collagen which makes up the majority of the bone matrix and itself has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Some other anti-inflammatory foods are:
- Tuna & Salmon
- Red Wine
- Olive Oil
- Green Tea
4) Strengthen Your Back
This goes hand in hand with avoiding bed rest. Back pain often ebbs and flows. As it reduces, do what you can to prevent a future attack. Exercise will help, but it must be the right sort. Brutal, demanding exercise could do more harm than good and will certainly increase the chances of inflammation. Swimming is perhaps the best exercise of all, as the back muscles are worked and thus strengthened, but the support given by the water prevents jarring. Ideally, join a center that offers both swimming and yoga. The latter will strengthen the spine and improve flexibility.
Jogging is also a great option, since one of the most common causes of lower back pain is weak core muscles. Jogging uses a complex combination of muscles, ligaments, and your skeletal system- which gives your body a full workout. A whole body workout helps strengthen muscles especially core muscles, which can help decrease your pain.
5) Work On Your Posture
When you sit before a computer screen, keep your back straight and have something supporting it. Do not have the chair pushed back. If you do, you will lean forward and curve your spine. When you pick up something heavy, keep your back straight and bend your knees. Remember: your knees should bear the weight, not your back. Too many people keep their legs unbent and lean over, taking the strain in their spine rather than their knees.
6) Take a Hot Bath
And when you do, add bath salts. These will help reduce muscle spasms. Try your local health store and ask their advice. Explain that you suffer with back pain. Some brands of bath salt will also help the body rid itself of toxins and re-alkalise. If you have a partner, you could follow the bath with an aromatherapy massage.
Ask your partner to rub in some chamomile and eucalyptus oil. As these enter the bloodstream, they can help reduce muscle spasms.
7) Improve Circulation
You could try garlic and ginkgo biloba to improve blood circulation.
Some have also had success with magnets.
When placed on the affected area, they can increase blood flow, thereby increasing oxygen levels and reducing the swelling.
Don’t Suffer! Take Action!
Too many people entirely neglect their back until it is too late. They slouch, lift heavy objects without thinking, eat poorly, take little exercise, and so on. But you can take action while it is early- and ensure you live as pain free as possible!