Back pain is so ordinary that it is the number one cause of disability around the world. According to JAMA, about 80% of Americans experience low back pain. Back pain does not only bring annoyance and discomfort, but it can also wreak havoc on a patient’s quality of life. It can affect a person’s ability to go to work and enjoy activities with family members or friends.
Possible Causes of Back Pain
One of the following conditions can be behind the pain and discomfort of your back:
The back muscles can suffer from strain due to improper lifting practice, sports injury, and working overtime. When your core is weak, or your muscles are tight, the back also tends to compensate for all these.
Disc bulge or herniation
Discs serve as a protective cushion in between vertebrae. They are sponge-like and keep the bones from grinding each other. Disc herniation or bulge can cause severe back pain. It occurs when a disc slips out of place and irritates a surrounding nerve.
Ligaments are the tissues that attach bones to other bones. The spine is consists of many ligaments that provide support, stability, and strength. Injury of the ligament can cause a sprain.
Joint irritation or arthritis
Irritation of the spinal joints can occur due to repetitive use, injury, and arthritis. On the other hand, osteoarthritis of the spine is a result of the wearing down of the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your spinal bones.
Referred pain from internal organs
The gallbladder, kidneys, and other internal organs can cause referred pain to portions of your back.
Tips to a Pain-Free Back
Here are ten natural steps you can follow if you want to stay free from back pain.
1. Practice proper posture
Many people overlook their posture as they perform daily activities. Be mindful of the way you sit at your workstation or bend over to pick up an object from the floor. Small bad habits can contribute to back pain.
2. Limit bed rest and inactivity
When you’re in pain, you may stop your regular routine and lie down to rest. However, keeping yourself active is the key to get through the pain, not taking prolonged rest. It may be challenging to exercise as hard as you usually would, and you might limit the weight you carry at work but stopping these physical activities altogether could worsen the pain.
3. Exercise regularly
Forms of exercises such as yoga, jogging, and cycling can help you release endorphins, which are natural hormones in the body that reduces your perception of pain. Endorphins are stronger than pain medications. Also, it alleviates anxiety, stress, and depression, all of which contribute to chronic back pain.
4. Always get adequate sleep
Having enough sleep and rest helps the body recover faster. To get a good night’s sleep, be sure your mattress has medium firmness as a too-soft mattress does not provide the spine the full support it needs.
5. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Back pain can originate from severe inflammation in the body. Some of the foods that can help combat inflammation are green leafy vegetables, wild-caught fish, banana, avocado, and other sources of lean protein. Add these foods into your diet. Also, make sure you are drinking adequate water. Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates.
6. Try heat or ice therapy
Applying an ice pack on the area of your back that hurts can reduce its inflammation. Ice is beneficial for fresh acute injuries. On the other hand, heat stimulates blood circulation which can provide renewed nutrients to recovering tissues.
7. Improve your flexibility
Some muscles are weak to support your back fully, while others are too tight. One major contributor to low back pain is tight hamstrings. It is a common problem in people. Daily stretching of your hamstrings can return the balance into your lumbar spine and pelvis.
8. Strengthen your core
Your abdominal muscles and back are responsible for supporting your lumbar spine. If you are experiencing back pain, one of your next steps should be adding some core-strengthening exercises into your routine. Hold a perfect plank position or sit on an exercise ball. This helps in building a strong support system for your low back.
9. Quit smoking
Smoking is not only bad for the lungs, but it also puts you at a higher risk of getting back pain. Nicotine limits the nutrients and blood flow that your spine receives. This results in back pain and degeneration.
10. Get proper care for your spine
We cannot stress enough how important your spinal’s health is. It holds the solution to a pain-free back. Wear and tear of the spinal discs are inevitable, as well as injuries. Maintaining a healthy spine can keep your body functioning at its best.
Back Pain Chiropractors Can Help
When the topmost vertebra (atlas) in your spine shifts out of alignment, the entire spine from top to bottom will have to compensate. These compensations occur as your body tries to maintain the proper balance of your head and whole body. However, these may lead to discomfort and pain in other parts of your spine.
Upper cervical chiropractic knows very well and focuses on this idea. It adjusts the atlas bone to address the root cause of back pain. Practitioners of this unique form of therapy often help patients combat their back pain in a natural and safe method.