Affecting an estimated 31 million Americans at any given time, back pain is an all-too-common condition that can lower a person’s quality of life. The back is a complex bodily structure consisting of 33 vertebrae within four regions. Only the top 24 bones are movable. Not to mention various tendons, ligaments and muscles. Whether it’s minor or severe, though, there are certain things you can do in your daily life to reduce back pain.
Applying either a hot or cold compress to your back may help to relieve pain. Hot compresses are generally best used for chronic, lasting pain, whereas cold compresses are better suited for acute pain that’s characterized by inflammation. Heat increases blood flow, which allows your body to flush toxins more easily. A compress has the opposite effect, discouraging blood flow while reducing inflammation and the pain it causes.
Maintain a Healthy Posture
Whether you are sitting, standing or lying down, you should remain conscious of your posture and the curvature of your spine. Walking with your head and neck slouched forward, for instance, stresses the intervertebral discs, which can lead to pain, inflammation and limited mobility. To prevent this from happening, or other problems associated with poor posture, stand upright in a healthy, relaxed state while placing the weight of your body on your heels.
Back pain is often the result of weak, underdeveloped abdominal muscles. Also referred to as the “core,” your ab muscles play an important role in your musculoskeletal health, taking some of the burden off your neck and spine. If your core is weak, however, these muscles won’t be able to support the weight of your body, at which point your spine will have to take over. You can strengthen your core by performing ab-targeted workouts like crunches, sit-ups, planks, flutter kicks and leg raises.
Of course, your fitness regimen shouldn’t consist solely of core exercises. Include both cardiovascular workouts (e.g. running, jogging, swimming, etc.), and full-body strength training exercises into it as well. Burning fat and building muscle will naturally relieve back pain without the use of drugs or medication.
The way in which you sleep may also have an impact on your back pain. When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees to reduce stress on your spine. When sleeping on your side, place a pillow under your knees. What about sleeping on your stomach? Unfortunately, there’s no healthy way to sleep on your stomach, so try to avoid this position when possible.
If you continue to experience constant pain or discomfort, feel free to call our offices and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors. Depending on your condition, they might recommend Cold Laser Therapy or Spinal Decompression. Be sure to browse through our blog for other helpful articles on helping relieve your back pain.