Back pain is one of the most common issues people go to a doctor for. Blame it on our lifestyle or unhealthy eating habits, and back pain is increasingly becoming a serious issue worldwide. It can strike you in various forms – from a dull ache to sudden, sharp pain and has several causes. It could be due to an injury, a sprain, accident, or a medical condition. Whatever the source is, back pain needs to be taken seriously and tended to at the earliest. In most cases, back pain can be prevented and reduced with simple lifestyle changes and self-help strategies
Here are a few essential things you can follow to get rid of that uneasy, persistent feeling that never lets you be at ease.
Regular exercise and other physical activities are proven methods of overcoming various physical health issues, including back pain. Most people tend to think that resting is the best way to tackle back pain. While resting it out is fine for the initial few days, exercising will help you in the long run. Include muscle relaxing and strengthening exercises in your routine. Build stronger abdominals as they provide better support and strength to your back. Exercises like bridges, knee-to-chest stretches, lower back rotational stretches, pelvic tilts,
etc. are good to strengthen your back.
Keep your weight under control
Something extra is always nice. Not in the case of body weight. If your body weight is above the required limit, it can cause extra pressure on the back, causing pain. Belly fat is one of the most common lower back pain causes. Maintaining proper weight will reduce compression or loading of intervertebral disks and prevent postural abnormalities. With time, back pain might aggravate if the weight is not brought under control and can cause other severe issues related to the spine and bone health.
Maintain a good posture
Maintaining a good body posture is crucial to reducing your back pain. We often sit for long hours while working, and a wrong posture can negatively impact your spine and result in low back pain. Sitting upright in a chair with a straight back or low-back support is a good start. Ensure that your knees are slightly higher than your hips to create a proper sitting posture. While standing, position your head up and keep your stomach pulled in. If you can, rest one foot on a stool and alternate the foot every 15 minutes. The right posture ensures that your spine is not under undue pressure.
Sleep positions are important too
Just getting proper sleep is not enough for good health; sleeping in the correct position also matters. Sleeping on your stomach is not good for your back and can cause pain. Mostly suggested that sleeping on your side with knees pulled up towards the chest, but this is not a universal solution. Speak to your doctor to find out what sleeping position will suit you the best. Place a pillow under your knees and your lower back if you sleep on your back. This will reduce straining your spine too.
Lifting incorrectly is one of the most common causes of back pain. If you are lifting something heavy, avoid bending from your waist. Bend your knees and squat instead. Hold the object close to your body as you stand. This will prevent putting unnecessary pressure on the back. Positioning your legs shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight, and using the strength of your legs while getting up are good lifting positions and techniques to avoid back pain.
Try a holistic approach with Osteopathy
Your body functions as a whole, and taking a holistic approach can help you with back pain relief. Osteopathy is one of the fastest-growing techniques to heal and reduce back pain. It is a drug-free, non-invasive manual therapy that improves overall body health by strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. It focuses on joints, muscles, and the spine and helps in treating arthritis, back pain, headaches, tennis elbow, etc. This technique provides overall good health and well-being as the physician concentrates on the problem and balances all the body systems.
There are more reasons than one for you to quit smoking. Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop back pain issues as their bones are more susceptible to degenerative disk disease. The nicotine in tobacco products can weaken the spinal bones and reduce the vital nutrients required for the spongy disks cushioning your joints.
Back pain must not be avoided. If ignored for long, it can turn into chronic pain that will hamper your movement and life standard. Unlike many other ailments, back pain is often a result of an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise, bad posture, and sleeping positions are a few of the most common causes of back pain. But all these can be dealt with if you are mindful of the above-mentioned pointers. Regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and taking a holistic, whole-body approach to back pain treatment like Osteopathy can give you a better back. Adopt these healthy practices and live a pain-free life.
Stephen Watts is a British-trained osteopath who has worked in top clinics in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong. He has an M.Ost Osteopathy from the European School of Osteopathy (UK) achieving a First class award. Before becoming an Osteopath, he worked for 7 years as a sports and remedial massage therapist with an emphasis on myofascial release.
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