10 Hacks for Managing Your Back Pain

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10 Hacks for Managing Your Back Pain

Back pain can be incredibly uncomfortable and even debilitating. Your back is involved in almost every movement you make, so pain can make it very hard to do everyday tasks and movements. Back pain affects the quality of life for millions of people, since it can be caused by so many things. Poor posture, the way you sit at your desk, repetitive movements and lifting, and staying still too long are all possible reasons.

Living with back pain can take its toll over the long run, so it’s important to manage it as best as you can to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Luckily there a few tricks you can use to keep your back in check.

1. Use those legs and get low

One of the more common ways for people to hurt their backs is to bend over when picking things up. Doing this puts strain on your back, and can cause problems. Even if you are lifting light objects, repetitively doing so can tire those lower back muscles and cause them to start barking. It’s always a good idea to bend your knees and use your legs to help lift. Your legs were made for carrying loads, and they aren’t shaped like pistons for nothing. You might feel silly squatting all the way down to pick up that laundry basket, but your back will thank you later.

2. A curved spine is the devil’s rollercoaster

Good posture is key to not only preventing back pain, but also combating it. The goal is to keep your spine as straight as possible. This will ensure that your weight is always evenly distributed, which avoids strain on any particular group of muscles. Posture also comes into play when you are sitting at your desk. You should not slouch or sit on the edge of your seat. A good suggestion is to keep your seat at a 110 degree angle.

3. Pump some iron

Exercise, especially strength training, is vital for preventing back pain. The fact is that the stronger your muscles are, the more strain they’ll be able to take. Stronger back muscles don’t take as long to get tired, and they rebound from fatigue more quickly. Plus, exercising is good for your overall health anyway, so get to the gym. 

4. Take a few minutes to stretch it out

Along with strength training, it’s never a bad thing to do regular stretching exercises. This will help keep your muscles flexible and prevent stiffening, which can cause pain and cramping. The good thing about stretching is that it can be done almost anywhere, and it can take only a few minutes. Why not stretch yourself out on a break or at lunch time? For a deeper stretch, yoga is a great way to keep your muscles strong and flexible. Yoga also relaxes your mind, which can alleviate stress, which leads us to our next point.

5. Take a deep breath and de-stress

While you may think that the seeds for stress are sown in your mind, the fact is that stress can cause a whole host of problems. Not the least of which is the tensing up of muscles. Your lower back muscles are especially susceptible, which leads to pain. Try some de-stressing techniques, such as the aforementioned yoga, or even a support group if it is getting unmanageable. 

6. Get toasty and loosen up

If you’re lying awake at night and you can’t seem to get comfortable due to pain, then a nice heating pack might do the trick. You can also use a water bottle filled with warm water. Heat will loosen the muscles and hopefully provide you with some much needed relief.

7. Wind down with a massage

Massages aren’t just to make you feel pampered. They are also great for working out stiff muscles and alleviating pain. Regular massages can be valuable for preventing pain as well, since it can help keep things nice and loose.

8. The snooze button is your friend

Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many of us are having trouble getting the proper rest we need. This can cause your muscles to get tired more easily. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to let your body recharge and re-energize.

9. Soak yourself

As long as you’re using good posture, a long soak in the tub can do wonders for a sore back. The warmth will help soothe the muscles. A great idea is to put epsom salts in the water as well. Epsom salts have natural healing properties that help reduce swelling and pain.

10. Whip your body into shape

Everyone wants to lose weight, but those few kilos could mean the difference between crippling back pain and living free and easy. The extra weight will put a strain on your back. Just like carrying a have backpack for a long period of time can leave you feeling sore, the same effect takes place when your body is carrying excess fat. Dedicating 30 minutes of your day with a brisk walk and being mindful of keeping a balanced diet is the simplest, and most effective, way to lose weight and in turn alleviate back pain.

Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and if it’s not handled correctly, it can keep getting worse. By using these hacks, you can help prevent and ease any back pain that you might suffer from. If you’ve tried everything and you still have pain, then consult your doctor for further advice.

Ben has a passion for health, fitness and wellness. A healthy life is a happy life.

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