Back pain can be a pain in more than just your back. It can ruin your weekend plans, interfere with your work, and limit your social prospects. Fortunately we have assembled these six tricks to prevent and ease back pain.
If tense muscles are the cause of your pain, gentle massage can really help loosen things up. Enlist someone who cares to do it for you or try using a tennis ball. Place a tennis ball on the ground and lie on it, then roll the afflicted muscle around on it. Or treat yourself and get a vibrating pad or pillow. Just don’t fall asleep with it on.
You don’t need a fancy class with an instructor to stretch your back. There are plenty of apps, videos, and instructions available on the good old internet to help you limber up. Here’s a good stretch for lower back pain: Lie on your back on the floor. Because of the curve of your spine, there should be a space between your lower back and the floor. Now bring your knees up to your chest and hold them there. This should flatten your back out so that it is touching the floor and provide instant relief if you have “swayback” type pain. Because this position is quite comfortable (your arms are doing most of the work) it can be held for a long time.
4) Light Movement
If you are experiencing ongoing back pain you may be tempted to remain stationary, but some minor stimulation will help speed recovery. Depending on the severity of your pain, you may want to take just a few steps around the bedroom, gently undulate your spine, or even go for a very light jog. Be kind to yourself and don’t push too hard, but a little gentle exercise will go a long way toward recovery. Just like with all suggestions on this list, check with your doctor before exercising if your pain is very intense.
3) Chair Support
Sitting for long periods of time is not good for our backs, but unfortunately it is how many of us make our living. Good sitting posture will not only reduce back pain, it can help maintain energy levels so that you don’t feel drained at the end of the day. Choose a chair with good lumbar support or tuck a pillow behind your lower back. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and be sure your desk is at a comfortable height to deter slouching.
2) Foot Care
Good spine health starts on the ground. Our feet support the entire weight of our bodies, and the way we ground ourselves sets off a chain reaction of micro shifts all the way up the spine. If your feet aren’t properly supported or your stance isn’t comfortable, your other muscles will have to adjust for it. Over time this can lead to problems like spinal misalignment and pinched nerves. High heels are a major culprit when it comes to improper alignment. They place more weight on the balls of the feet than the human body is adapted to. Wearing quality shoes with good support goes a long way in preventing and even reversing back pain, and walking barefoot whenever possible will exercise the stabilising muscles in your feet.
1) Don’t Stick Your Neck Out!
Think about the way you’re holding your head right now. Is your neck aligned with your spine or are you doing what many people do without realizing it and holding your chin too high? The skull doesn’t actually sit on top of the spine, it hangs from the very top point, called the atlas joint. It’s that little bump on the back of your head. To ensure your neck is properly aligned, tuck your chin down and pull your head back until the back of your neck has almost no curve to it. This should pull your atlas joint up, taking compression off of your neck vertebrae and making it easier to release any tension in your shoulders.