The 9 Quick, Easy Ways to End Back Pain (and Stiffness) Without Taking Painkillers or Having to Call the GP!
Avoid High Heels
Wearing high heels will increase the pressure through your back by about 25 times. Reverse that, and it means if you wear a nice soft cushioned pair of shoes instead, your lower back would be experiencing 25 times less pressure and force placed upon it. Imagine how much relief you'd feel if you could take that type of stress off your lower back right now? But understand that it's a cumulative effect. This pressure builds up from wearing the wrong footwear over a period of weeks and years and results in a weak and stiff back somewhere around the age of 40.
Avoid Sitting for More Than 20 Minutes at a Time
There's so much 'gossip' that surrounds back pain. But this is FACT…you and I were not designed to sit. It goes against every basic, fundamental rule of the way we originally evolved as humans. When you sit there is approximately 10x more pressure pushing down on your spine than when you stand tall. And it's because most of us slouch, or flop when we do sit, meaning that the muscles in your spine (called your core muscle group) that are designed to protect you, just don't work. This causes inevitable aches, pains and stiffness.
Use Ice (Not Heat)
Ice is by far the best way to ease back pain. My tip, use ice whenever you're feeling achy or painful, such as at the end of a very busy day. Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes or so, little but very often (every hour). And when to use heat – my tip would be to apply a hot water bottle on a morning when your back is likely to be feeling more stiff than painful. Again, 10 minutes should do the trick.
Avoid Sitting Cross Legged
Your spine isn't designed to twist or turn. And sitting in a cross-legged position is doing just that. Your joints are twisted, muscles stretched and in this position your spine/lower back is weak and you're vulnerable to injury. Spending an excess of time in this position will catch up on you – usually aged 40-60.
Sleep with A Pillow Between Your Knees
Might be difficult at first, but if you can persist, it lowers the amount of rotation/twisting in your spine. Remember I said in principle number 4 that it was important to avoid sitting cross-legged? Well, it's the same when you're asleep. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs to keep your spine aligned and this will reduce tension at your lower back.
Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
There isn't a more effective, faster route to self-inflicted damage to your spine/lower back. Avoid this position like the plague. Every part of your spine is twisted and in the wrong position and if you sleep like this, it's no wonder you are suffering from back pain.
Change Your Mattress Every 5 Years
This is the bedroom question that I get asked every day. People want to know about their mattress and what type they should sleep on. Almost impossible to answer as the question is too generic. But what I can say is that if you haven't changed your mattress in the last five years then it's about time that you did! And invest as much as you can in finding the most comfortable one that works for you. After all, if you're going to spend a third of your life in it, might as well get the best one that you can. And the key isn't to finding a firm one or a hard one - finding the right mattress is about finding the one that works best for you and your spine.
Choose Sensible Footwear
Bizarre choices of footwear include high heels, sandals, flip-flops and plimsoll style trainers or shoes. Why bizarre? Because they're all proven to ADD to your back pain.
It's because there's a lack of cushioning to absorb shock with these types. So, your lower back has to take all of the impact every time your foot lands on the floor (not good for your knees and hips either). If you can absorb some of the shock by wearing nice soft, well fitted and cushioned shoes/trainers, then you could reduce your back pain by as much as 20-25%.
Get Physical with Physiotherapy
There isn't a faster way to END back pain than by going to see a physio. Getting to see a hands-on specialist physio means you're going to get very fast access to care that will soothe and relax those tight aching muscles, loosen and lubricate stiff, stuck and painful joints, and strengthen your body so that you can go back to doing the things that you love. You can often leave a good physio with concerns eased and physical pain reduced, inside 30-40 minutes. Combine all of the "tips" in this Special Report with a trip to see a hands-on private physio, and you will see a dramatic drop in the back pain and stiffness you are currently suffering from.
Daily Lower Back Exercise Rituals
Closely linked to going to see a good physio – because you want to be sure that any exercises you are doing are right for you and will work. If you can get into the routine or good habit of doing simple stretches and strengthening of your lower back muscles, you will benefit right through your 40's, 50, 60's and beyond. In the same way that you brush your teeth twice per day to keep them clean and avoid pain, you need to look at working on your back in a similar way. Particularly as you're now in the 40-60 age bracket where your muscles lose strength and flexibility.
Avoid Carrying Your Back Pack or Bag on One Arm, or in One Hand
For this, you're going to need to completely 'flip' everything you've likely done for years when it comes to carrying bags. This one is a very common mistake. Carrying a workbag or even shopping bag over one shoulder, means that the weight is not evenly distributed. And the result is one side of your spine is under more pressure than the other. Guess what happens to the side of your body carrying the extra weight all these
years? (Likely to be the side you're feeling the pain most). More, if you carry the bag over your left shoulder all the time, you could end up with a curvature of your spine and it would mean that your left side is working too hard taking the weight of the bag every day; certainly, much harder than your right side. This would cause tension and pain, not to mention a funny and unhealthy-looking posture.
This is the 100-year-old tradition that if you do regularly, can really transform your health. Pilates is number one on my list of the most important things that anyone can do to prevent back pain. And in case you were wondering, Pilates is a series of exercises designed to improve muscle tone and control. Understand that it's the latter (control) that is often missing from lower back muscles and the root cause of most people's back pain and stiffness. So, by joining a class, or doing these exercises every day on your own at home, you'll steadily increase your muscle control, and with it, slowly decrease your muscle tension and pain. We recommend all of our private patients to do these exercises and go so far as to create personal plans for each of them.
Stretch Yourself at The Beginning and End of Every Day
Another daily ritual that will transform your health. Along with Pilates, Yoga is a must! Now that you're in the 40-60 age bracket, every day you wake up your body is tightening and losing flexibility. So, you must do something to reverse it or at very least, slow it down. And its Yoga that you need to find - fast. It's a series of stretches designed to make your body more supple and more flexible.
This is the BIG Office worker mistake that could be zapping your energy. One really simple way to avoid this is to cut out the stuff that makes you dehydrated in the first place. Things like excessive coffee, tea, alcohol and energy drinks will make you dehydrated as consequence of drinking too much of them. And being dehydrated can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue and dizziness. So, it's important that you keep your water intake up in an attempt to ease off any extra or unwanted tension in your lower back muscles. My tip, drink water little and often throughout the day.
If you are interested in learning more about Ways to Ease Back Pain, then reach out to BodyFit Physical Therapy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Cindy at 860-507-7365 to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit-A Consultation with a Physical Therapist.