Whether you experience an occasional bout of back pain or it is a chronic problem, you want as many tools as possible on your side to help you cope. Back pain is a particularly common problem for people in developed lands, and Canada is no different.
According to one study, nearly half of the population had experienced back pain the past half a year. More than 10% were dealing with back pain that was causing a high degree of disability. Another study showed that nearly 1 in 5 adults over the age of 18 were dealing with chronic pain. What was the most common location of chronic pain? The lower back.
So if you are dealing with back pain, you are far from alone. Let’s look at some of the best tips to help keep your back healthy.
#1 Daily Exercise
Exercising every day can help to strengthen the surrounding soft tissue of the spine. This, in turn, can help to stabilize the spine and keep it healthy. In particular, you should focus on core exercises since this will support the lower back. You can also work on your shoulders, chest, and upper back to provide support for the upper spine and neck.
Daily exercise also helps prevent the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, which include stiffening joints and weight gain. Limber joints mean less inflammation and pain. Controlling your weight means that there is less for your back to support.
Two ways to get daily exercise that are especially good for your back are walking and swimming. When you go for your daily walk, try to make it at least 20 minutes. Walking is low impact, so it shouldn’t cause any pain. Finding a flat surface to walk on is essential. Wearing the right shoes will also help.
Swimming is good because the water provides some resistance without being demanding on your spine. Daily exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress. Since the body stores stress and tension in the muscles, these relaxing activities can help reduce pain triggers as well.
#3 Focus on Your Posture
Much of our modern lifestyle takes us away from proper posture. For example, if you sit at a desk for long hours or have a long commute to work, these are situations where body position may suffer. Long-term effects of poor posture can include premature degeneration of the spongy discs between the vertebrae and the onset of chronic pain.
Pay special attention to your posture if you work at a desk. Keep monitors at eye level. If you work on a laptop, you may want to consider getting a separate keyboard so that you can elevate the laptop screen. Never hold a phone between your ear and shoulder. To keep your hands free, use speakerphone or an earpiece.
You may want to make this a part of your daily exercise routine. Stretching before and after you exercise can reduce the risk of injury and help keep you from being sore the next day. On the other hand, there may be days when you are in too much pain to exercise. Even on these days, stretching may help you through some of the pain.
Again, if you work at a desk, stretching throughout the day can be a big help. Research stretches that you can do at your office. Then get up every hour or so and stretch for a few minutes. You can do this while you are on a phone call or reading emails, so you won’t even lose any work time.
#5 Injury Prevention
Getting injured can undoubtedly lead to long-term problems with back pain. A common injury that is at the start of back pain is a car accident, so always use safe driving techniques and wear your seatbelt. Of course, you can’t control what other drivers choose to do, but you can drive safe to decrease the likelihood of an accident.
Be sure to use proper techniques when you lift. Always bend at the knees rather than the waist. Hold heavy weights closer to the body. If something is too heavy, be sure to get help lifting it so that you don’t strain your back. If you carry a heavy backpack, briefcase, or purse, try to keep the weight distributed evenly and wear shoulder bags as high up as possible.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Back Pain
Another possible way to get some help for your back pain is through upper cervical specific chiropractic care. When the top bones of the neck become misaligned, this can cause a change reaction that throws off the balance of the shoulders, hips, and even the length of the legs. When significant changes take place throughout the spine, it can create the circumstances for back pain to flourish.
Upper cervical specific chiropractic involves gentle and precise adjustments of the C1 and C2. These corrections may help to undo the chain reaction that led to back pain in the first place. Therefore, we encourage you to look into upper cervical chiropractic care if you are dealing with lower back pain.
Upper cervical chiropractic care may help to relieve the pressure from irritated nerves that are contributing to the pain. You may even find that it is easier to maintain proper posture once your neck is in the appropriate position. So find a practitioner in your area today and learn more about the potential benefits.