Five simple steps to avoid back pain

Maybe you pulled something lifting a heavy box or maybe you’ve been hunched over at your desk trying to meet a deadline.  Whatever the reason may be, your back hurts.  Maybe not enough to head straight to the doctor but enough to cause you a lot of discomfort.

You are not alone.  Almost every person has suffered from back pain at some point and we have all wondered how we can avoid it. Here are a few suggestions to keep the pain away without taking a bunch of medicine.

1.)    A Good Night Sleep: Sleep is very important when you want to prevent back pain.  A peaceful slumber without any disturbances will relax and soothe inflamed joints while repair strained muscles.  Start with a firm, comfy bed and experiment with different sleeping positions to see which one feels most comfortable. Research shows that sleeping on your side helps prevent curvature of the spine, which can lead to more back pain.  Try placing a pillow between your legs to help ease your muscles even more.

2.)     Stretching: Be active! It’s not a good idea to just sit around and wait for the pain to leave on its own.  Studies show that by resting, the back pain can worsen and decrease muscle strength.  So don’t lie down and pout, get moving!  Stretching limbers the tense muscles and strengthens those that need improvement.  You still have to be careful while stretching, don’t force your stretching something if it hurts.  Be gentle and if something hurts then stop stretching because it can worsen the pain.  Taking a brisk walk is another way to relieve back pain because it’s relaxing and it’s good for every part of your body.

3.)    Yoga: Yoga helps create balance in your body and soothes all of your muscles.  Yoga is a great remedy because you’ll be doing different poses that develop strength and flexibility which helps release muscle tension. Yoga slowly unwinds your body and leaves you feeling amazing both physically and mentally.

4.)    Heat & Ice Therapy: Another way to relieve back pain is to use heat or ice.  Moist heat such as a moist heating pad or a warm bath or shower works best in providing pain relief.  When you apply heat make sure you only apply it for a limited amount of time, like 15-20 minutes.  Ice is also used to heal sore or inflamed areas on the back.  An ice pack, a frozen bag of vegetables or a freezer gel pack works perfect for this.  In order to reduce inflammation, tenderness and irritation, cold packs should be used three times a day for 10-15 minutes.  For best results, try using heat and ice therapy in combination to relax your muscles and joints more quickly.

5.)    Improve Your Posture: Everyday when people sit at their desks, they are so stressed about meeting deadlines that they ignore their posture.  Most of us don’t realize how sitting in our office chairs for long periods of time take a toll on our back and neck.  Incorrect posture can damage spinal structures, cause lower back pain and can even prolong existing back pain.  Therefore, it’s very important to sit up straight with your feet on the ground as well as stretching every few hours to unwind your muscles.

Photo Credit:  py3mdwg

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