Whether it’s from an injury, constant heavy lifting, or just aging, back pain is inescapable. Most often, the whimper-triggering ache starts from the lower and seems to spread from there.
Movement is necessary for pain management, however, some exercises can be too stressful for your back. The cause and intensity of the pain should be considered when choosing a physical activity. In this case, a doctor must be consulted before performing any heavy exertion.
The following are surprising ways to strengthen your back and to keep pain at bay.
1. Be Conscious Of Your Sleeping Position
Getting quality sleep can be difficult if you have back pain. The cycle can be vicious because insufficient sleep can worsen the pain.
Sleep Like a Baby
Your sleeping position can exacerbate the suffering; a sharp backache can wake you up in the middle of the night or ruin your morning. The fetal position is believed to be the best sleeping position because it prevents pressure from concentrating on the back.
You can do this by sleeping on your side with knees drawn up to close to your chest. Keep the spine in a neutral position by placing a pillow between your knees.
Choose Your Mattress Carefully
Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too hard can aggravate the pain because your spinal column cannot align properly. Make sure that your mattress is comfortably firm to prevent this from happening.
2. Re-organize Your Workspace
Back pain is common among people who spend long hours seated in their workstations. While there isn’t much that you can do about the schedule, according to Natural Med Doc, re-organizing your workspace is effective in work management:
Here’s how you make your work environment more ergonomic:
Keep Important Objects Close. Your back muscles can be stressed if you’re always reaching too far from your arm’s reach. Determine the things that you always need within easy reaches, like phones, pens, and papers. Place larger or heavier objects where you have to get up and to access it to prevent twisting of muscles.
Invest In a Modern Office Chair. Nowadays, chairs designed for workstations are designed with ergonomic features. Make sure it has enough back and lumbar support and allows your feet to rest flat on the floor.
Reposition Your Computer Monitor. The monitor must be at least an inch below your eye level, and an arm’s length away from you.
3. Use Hot and Cold Compress
Hot and cold compress is used to alleviate various sorts of body pain. If the back pain is due to an injury, apply cold first before the heat.
If you’ve pulled your back muscles, it is advised to use cold temperatures during the first 24-48 hours. Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a cool pack or a clean plastic bag and fill it with ice cubes. Wrap it in a cloth to prevent the skin from getting burned by the cold temperature.
2. Apply to the site of pain for not more than 10 minutes.
3. The applications should have an interval of 10 minutes.
4. Repeat the procedure throughout the first 24-48 hours.
Wait for 24 to 48 hours after the injury before heat application. Heat should be avoided during the first 24-28 hours because it can trigger the cascade of more inflammatory compounds to the site of injury.
Similar to the cold application, the heat pack must be wrapped in a cloth first and there must be a 10-minute interval per application.
4. Enroll in a Yoga Class
Numerous studies reveal that yoga can beneficial to one’s health. One of its benefits is relieving back pain.
Yoga is an activity that involves slow and controlled stretching that can relax muscles and release tension. It also relieves stress, which can be a contributing factor to your back pain.
The Child’s Pose is a yoga pose that is achievable even for beginners. It is particularly beneficial for back pain sufferers because it stretches the muscles, discs, and joints of the back. Promoting blood circulation, this pose can also speed up recovery from any injury.
How to Perform the Child’s Pose:
1. Kneel on the floor. Keep your toes together while your knees are apart (hip-wide apart if possible)
2. Put your palms on your thighs.
3. Exhale and move your upper body down between your knees.
4. Extend your arm and rest your palms on the floor.
5. Keep this position for 30 seconds and then go back to your original position.
6. Repeat 5 times.
5. Include Back-Healthy Food in Your Daily Meal
Strengthening your bones and muscles is essential in preventing back pain. Additionally, if you eat healthily, you can avoid gaining excess weight that can put extra strain on your back. Here are the key nutrients to a stronger back:
Calcium and Phosphorus: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are common sources of calcium and phosphorus. If you’re intolerant to these food items, beans, broccoli, kale, and other greens are your non-dairy alternatives. There are also commercially-prepared, non-dairy food products fortified with calcium and phosphorus.
Vitamin D: Aside from spending a short time under the sun, eating salmon, sardines, egg, and mushrooms. Soy milk and orange juice can also provide a good dose of this nutrient.
It is important to understand that these simply for back pain management. If the pain persists, it is strongly recommended to consult a health care professional.