6 Ways to Relieve Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments of American adults. It’s also a leading reason why people go to the doctor or call off work. Here are seven simple ways to relieve your back pain and improve your overall health and well-being.

1. Exercise Every Day

Get in some moderate-intensity exercise every day. If you’re new to exercising or want to start a more intensive workout routine, check with your doctor first. Before you start a workout, do some gentle stretches. The stretches warm your soft tissues and help lessen your risk of injury. Add some strengthening exercises, too. They tone the muscles that support your spine. Planks, squats and lunges are good options and don’t require special equipment. Combining stretching, aerobic exercise and strengthening exercises increase your flexibility and lowers your risk of muscle spasms and pinched nerves.

2. Swim

If you can access a pool, consider adding swimming or water aerobics to your workout routine. Swimming is an excellent exercise for anyone who suffers from back, hip or knee pain. When you swim, the buoyancy takes the pressure off of your spine and joints. It’s one of the best exercises for chronic low back pain. Swimming also lowers your stress hormone levels, which in turn decreases your level of pain.

3. Watch Your Posture

Every 30 to 60 minutes, check your posture. Do this regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing. Poor posture is one of the leading contributors to chronic back pain. When you slouch, your lower back experiences excess pressure. When you crunch your shoulders toward your chest, this strains your neck. Your head moves forward, increasing the amount of pressure on your cervical spine.

4. Try Yoga and Mind-Body Therapy

Hatha yoga focuses on posture. If you have chronic poor posture and associated back and neck pain, this is a good type of exercise to include in your regular routine. This type of yoga teaches you how to stretch and use proper form and posture while you move, sit or stand. Mind-body therapy or mindfulness may also help. Mind-body therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps you lessen your stress.

5. Consider Alternative Medicine

Scientific studies have found that many types of alternative medicine are as effective as medications for back pain. Acupuncture focuses on specific pressure points where your back hurts. Chiropractic care involves correcting the alignment of your spine with manual manipulation of your vertebrae. Deep tissue massage relaxes your muscles and helps them support your spine.

6. Prevent Back Injuries

Preventing back injuries reduces your risk of back pain. Repetitive motions lead to straining of your muscles. Make sure that your work station or place where you sit is ergonomically designed. Lift with your legs instead of your back. Take breaks when doing manual labor.  And don’t forget to check the condition of your condition of your mattress.  Most of our healing takes place while we sleep, so make sure you get a good night’s rest.