The extraordinary flexibility and strength that is engineered into our lower backs also make us vulnerable to developing a number of problems. Our spines are lined with many nerves that also run throughout the rest of the body, and a problem in the lower back has potential to cause hip problems, leg pain and more.
Your lower back can succumb to injury while twisting, lifting a heavy object or during a sudden movement. Any of these can cause ligaments or muscles to develop microscopic tears or stretching. Over time, respective stress or poor posture can also cause muscle strain or other soft tissue complications.
Research has revealed that 80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is the most common followed by upper back pain and sometimes neck pain. Generally, most back pains are caused by an accumulation of events. These collectively cause some imbalances in the spine that worsen with time. If this sounds like you, here are some quick tips to help you stop back pain.
1. Use a cold or hot compress.
A cold compress is an excellent way of reducing inflammation and swelling of strained muscles. Cover the affected area with a pack of ice for about 20 minutes, and keep repeating this until the pain numbs down. If a cold compress is not available, you can wrap a bag of frozen, unopened vegetables in a cloth and use it.
If you’re experiencing back pain as a result of muscle spasms, you should consider using a hot pack instead. The heat will help to stop the muscle spasms, sooth the pain and reduce the stiffness in the joints. Simply wrap the hot pack in a cloth, place it gently on the affected area and leave it for about 30 minutes.
2. Stop what you’re doing if it causes pain.
Pain or discomfort a clear sign that what you’re doing in is unhealthy to your body right now, or you’re doing it incorrectly. Any sharp discomfort or pain, swelling or tenderness is a good sign that you should stop what you’re doing right away. Mild pain and soreness may occur after a physical activity, but this should be temporary. If this occurs every time after exercise, then consider a visiting physical therapist for assistance. And if the pain persists or is unbearable, see the doctor immediately.
3. Step away from the screen.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that spending hours in front of your computer, television or video game console is bad for your back. Consequences on the spinal code can start quite early, especially in kids who play computer games extensively. As a remedy, make an effort to minimize the time that you and your children spend watching and gaming. As you play or work on your computer practice good posture in addition to taking regular breaks. As a good measure, swap most of your screen games with more physical activities.
4. Lighten your load.
Heavy or improper lifting is one of the most notorious causes of lower back pain, but this doesn’t only happen to people whose daily activities involve heavy lifting. Carrying a bulky suitcase, laptop bag, camera or a bag of groceries can equally strain your back.When carrying a significantly large load, try to take off some weight from your shoulder by distributing the weight equally to both sides of your body, carrying less or shifting the load from shoulder to shoulder. If you’re carrying a heavier load like a box file or a bag of groceries, consider using a rolling bag or cart. As a general rule, if the load you’re carrying exceeds 10% of your body weight, then it’s too heavy.
5. Adjust your office ergonomics.
Television and videos are not the only things that make you stuck to screens. A lot of people spend long hours working hunched over their computers at their workstations. If you don’t implement proper ergonomics in your office, your back, shoulders, and neck may suffer. There are various priceless little adjustments that you can implement right away to stop your back pain. For instance, you need to position your monitor at your eye level, which should be at least 20 inches far from your face. Switch your chair to a comfortable one with good lower back support and an armrest. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your neck and head aligned to your torso. As you work, ensure that your wrists and forearms are parallel to the floor and your elbows close to your body.
6. Sleep right.
Studies have shown that people who sleep on softer beds are less likely to develop back pain compared to those who sleep on harder ones. With this in mind, consider a high-density mattress whose material conforms to the shape of your body as you sleep. If you’re using a pillow, make sure that your head and your spine are aligned. If you are a back sleeper, for instance, ensure that your chin doesn’t press into your chest. If you do sleep on your sides, ensure that your head doesn’t curve up towards your upper shoulder. If you have already developed severe back pain, consider placing a small pillow below your neck and another one between your legs to stop the leg on top from sliding back and forward and twisting your lower back while you sleep. If you want more tips to sleep better <– click here.
7. Exercise your core.
Strong and healthy muscles are critical to providing necessary support to your back and avoid injury. Some low-impact exercises such as walking and jogging increase circulation to your spine. This leads to increased nutrient supply and hydration to the muscles and tissues in your lower back. Low impact cardiovascular exercise has proven successful in reducing back pain. Consider brisk walking, swimming or participating in tai chi or do a yoga workout program several times per week. These will help you manage your weight, improve your fitness levels and provide flexibility as well as strength to your back. If regular exercise is a challenge to you, start by making small goals such as using the stair instead of the elevator, sitting on an exercise ball for about 30 minutes or walking with a friend. If you have a few extra pounds, consider putting together a weight loss exercise plan and reduce your calorie intake.
All the above measures are great are for stopping back pain. We have tried to mix both curative and preventive measures to help you achieve instant relief as well as a long-term solution. While the curative and soothing methods such cold and hot compressive might seem like the easiest and best options now, it’s always important to take preventative measures to avoid the occurrence of back pain in the first place. Consider all the above recommendations and lifestyle adjustments and soon the back pain will be a thing of the past.