If You Have Back Pain, These 5 Changes Can Make You Feel Better
If your back hurts, you’re not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience at least one episode of back pain during a lifetime. So, how do you get to feel better if you have back pain?
Back pain is a growing problem as more jobs become sedentary.
Not only is it the most common reason people miss out on work, but it is also the single leading cause of disability.
Back pain prevents many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities. This can impact the quality or your daily life and your relationships as well.
But here’s the good news: a few simple changes in your life can help deal with back pain – and even kick it out altogether. Here are a few of them:
1. Improve your posture
Posture is one of the most common things for causing and worsening lower back pain. Posture refers to how your body is aligned when you sit, stand or perform other tasks.
In essence, when you have a good posture, it means the bones of your spine (also known as the vertebrae) are in proper alignment.
A good posture reduces pressure on your lower back which improves blood and fluid circulation throughout your body.
How to improve your posture
Straight-line support. Imagine at all times that there is a straight line that passes through your body right from the bottom of the ground and emerging through the top of your head.
And as you walk or move to make it your mission to not bend this line. There is always the temptation to slouch or bend or even cower.
But this notion of a straight line can always help you to keep the body upright.
Shoulder blade squeeze. Another way to improve your posture is the shoulder blade squeeze.
Also, this squeeze helps if you’re recovering from shoulder pain.
- Find a comfortable chair and sit, eyes looking forward, feet to the ground and rest your hands on your thighs.
- In that comfortable position, gently draw back your shoulders, squeezing the blades of your shoulder together.
- Hold the squeezed position for a few seconds and the release, bringing your body to a relaxed position
- Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level.
- Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Hold for a count of five; relax. Repeat three or four times.
2. Move more during your workday
Most people get back pain or worsen their back pain after sitting for so long. About 60 to 85 percent of the world’s population does not have enough physical activity.
Unsurprisingly, the lack of physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
The problem is as technology and improved transit continue to make our lives more convenient, we also run the risk to move less and less.
If you want to feel better and get rid of back pain, moving your body is important. Here are a few things you can do to move more during the day:
- In the morning when you wake, go for a jog
- Instead of having lunch sitting at your desk or cafeteria, go for a walk in the park
- Instead of having meetings sitting in conference rooms, consider meeting on the go while walking
- If you work in an office, make a case for standing desk
- If you are in a job that requires long bouts of sitting, consider taking regular breaks to walk around or even stretch.
3. Reconfigure your sleeping position
If you think how you sleep doesn’t matter, think again! Because not all sleeping positions are created equal.
Rachel Salas, M.D. who is an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine cautions “We could argue that some [sleeping positions] are better than others.”
Especially as you get older, “and have more medical issues, sleep position can become positive or negative.”
Most of us know that sleeping on our stomach is the worst thing possible for our back. If you want to feel better by kicking out back pain, consider adjusting your sleeping position to a better one for your health and comfort.
The ideal position is one that doesn’t feel like it puts unnecessary strain on your back or other joints.