How is your posture right now? Are you slumped in your chair or hunched over your desk? How you are positioning yourself is going to come back and bite you in the butt, in the form of shoulder, neck and back pain. Chronic back pain is not something to just shrug off, and you should know that if you do, it will cost you a lot of money and aggravation through doctors’ appointments.
There is no one remedy for back pain, but there are ways that can work together to help you become pain-free. So before you cross the bridge to more expensive methods on how to relieve back pain, here are some of the more affordable remedies for back pain.
Exercise is non-negotiable when it comes to relieving back pain because it releases endorphins and hormones that act as our body’s natural painkillers. The relief can be just as effective as prescription and over-the-counter pain medication. Exercise also relieves stress, depression, and anxiety. Back pain specialists have nothing but high praise for the benefits of yoga and other low impact exercises. So exercise to relieve back pain!
Do hamstring stretches. If your muscles in the back of your thighs become tight, you are going to create restricted pelvic movement, which can cause stress across your lower back. So incorporate hamstring stretches in your exercise routine. If you have an existing back problem, make sure to check with your physical therapist for approved stretches to relieve back pain.
Lack of movement is one of the leading causes of back pain. So make sure to get up and move after every 45 minutes of sitting down. Or do some preventive back pain exercises every once in while. Set an alarm for when you have to get up, so you won’t slip up.
Maintain proper posture at work
Having the wrong posture at work contributes to neck and back pain. Check your posture right now. Are your eyes level with the monitor? They should be. Are your elbows hanging comfortable on the sides of your body? They should be. Are your shoulders and wrists relaxed? Are your feet hanging from your chair or touching the floor? Your feet should be resting on something and even better if they are propped at a natural angle. So make sure to prop them on something like yoga blocks or a rocking foot rest.
Get comfortable while driving
When driving, make sure to sit as close to the wheel as possible, and sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips. Driving has a high potential to cause lower back pain. If your car seat offers little in the way of back support, roll up a towel or get a chair lumbar support and place it between your lower back and the seat. Be careful not to sit on anything else like a wallet, which can throw your posture out of whack. For long drives adjust your position every 20 minutes or so.
Pick the right shoes
If you are wearing the wrong shoes, chances are, the pain and discomfort will travel upward, affecting how your whole body feels. Use all that you can to help you get comfortable in your footwear, wear gel insoles or orthotics.
Temperature therapy is still one of the most effective methods that provide back pain relief. What works really depends on the situation-- Cold therapy reduces inflammation, while heat therapy stimulates blood flow and prevents pain signals to reach the brain. The moment you feel pain or stiffness, place an ice pack or warm pack over the area. You can try alternating between the two.
Carry bags properly
Bags of the leading cause upper back pain. Almost everyone carries a laptop nowadays. So if you must bring your laptop, choose a backpack, and wear both straps and make sure the bag doesn't sag. If what you have is a sling bag, then switch between the left and the right shoulder every so often. And for women, lighten your load to avoid body pain at the end of the day.
Get restorative sleep
Sleep is very important in back pain treatment. Lower back pain causes people to toss and turn and not achieve restful sleep. Two thirds of patients who suffer from back pain also report having insomnia. If you start having insomnia, learn the things that cause it and address them to avoid it. If your insomnia is caused by lower back pain, you should be working on a combination of approaches for restful sleep. Try researching about the best pillow or best mattress for back pain. Vive Health has a great selection of pillows.
Use a tennis ball
When back pain symptoms start showing. Place a tennis ball between you and the wall to work out the knots and stiff muscles on your back. Let it go over your entire back side. This really works like a charm.
In addressing the lower back pain that’s been plaguing you, you should also try looking at the bigger picture and use a well-rounded approach. Are you doing stuff for yourself that will make you happy? It becomes cyclical--if you don’t do things that make you happy, it will affect your relationships, finances, and your productivity; and if you are not feeling good about those areas in your life, your body will start showing signs of discord. So start doing one thing every day that makes you happy, and move up to two and then three. Having a positive outlook is holistic medicine for back pain, or any pain in general.