Sometimes all it takes is bending over to pick up a pen from the floor for pain to strike. Fortunately, most of the time back pain is short term and goes away on its own. But if you experience chronic back pain, you may benefit from making certain everyday adjustments.
In fact, lifestyle has the biggest influence on back pain, and healthy habits such as a good diet, exercising, stretching, and posture can give you back pain relief or help you prevent future problems.
Make these steps part of your back pain treatment plan:
Maintain a healthy weight. Staying fit is one of the most important recommendations for avoiding back pain, says Kingsley R. Chin MD, spine surgeon and founder of The LESS Institute. Extra pounds stress your back and can cause pain. Eating a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables and low on processed foods can keep your weight in a healthy range and your back healthy.
Keep your back muscles strong. The most common back problems happen because people who aren’t in shape start doing heavy lifting or hard work and stress their back, Dr. Kingsley Chin says. Back pain usually happens when there’s degeneration of the spine because the spine is working too hard. But when you build up enough muscle strength in your back with exercise, the muscles give your spine the support it needs to keep it healthy. That’s why physical therapy is standard back pain treatment, but being in shape can help you avoid back pain to begin with.
Stretch your muscles. In addition to exercise, stretching is important for staying flexible and avoiding back problems. It’s also a key part of recovering from a back injury. Stretch before doing heavy lifting or exercise and make a habit of doing it before bed. Stretches can be as simple as bending forward, bending back, and bending side to side. The ultimate stretching exercise is yoga.
Focus on good posture. Poor posture is another major contributor of back pain. Standing up straight with your ears over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hip joints, and your hip joints over your ankles will help keep your healthy pain-free. When you’re sitting, getting a chair that’s designed to keep your back straight will help.
Lift properly. When you do pick up a heavy object, bend at the knees and keep the item close to your body. Also, take care not to twist your body when you lift, and wear a brace if you have a job that requires heavy lifting.
Leave your purse at home. If you can, stash a few dollars and your identification in your pocket when you leave the house rather than carrying around a heavy purse. Carrying a bag changes your balance and can change the curve of your spine. Even a wallet packed full of cards and receipts in your back pocket can affect your back because it puts pressure on your sciatic nerve.
Practice stress relief for back pain relief. Stress tends to make back pain worse. That may be another good reason to practice yoga. Other ways to reduce stress include treating yourself well, avoiding over-scheduling your days, and taking time to enjoy life.
Sleep well. Soft mattresses push your back out of alignment, so it’s best to choose a mattress that’s in the range of medium to firm for back pain relief.
Living a healthy lifestyle that’s full of exercise and taking some care to have a healthy back can help you live free of chronic back pain. If pain persists it’s time to make an appointment with your orthopedic doctor.
We at the LESS Institute are available to answer any questions or inquiries and we offer free MRI review.
The LESS Institute is the world leader center of excellence in Less Exposure Surgery. You deserve the best and at The LESS Institute, we focus on identifying the problem and performing effective treatments with minimal blood loss so that patients can recover quickly, avoid expensive hospital stays and return home to their family the same day. The LESS Institute specializes in the best and most efficient least invasive techniques and technologies available. As LESS Institute Founder, Dr. Kingsley Chin is a board-certified Orthopedic Spine surgeon who has been treating of patients throughout Florida, New Jersey, New York, Arizona & Jamaica each year. For more information or to get in touch with our team visit www.thelessinstitute.com or call 855-411-LESS.