Nearly 83 million working days are lost each year due to severe back pain in working American citizens. Aside from affecting one's financial livelihood, back pain can also decrease motivation, ultimately, affecting a person's quality of life. While the reasons one can incur back pain are many, most symptoms stem from improper posture, arthritis, poor sleep quality, and excessive spinal strain caused by heavy lifting with bad technique. Regardless of the cause, we take you through five ideal techniques that help relieve back pain symptoms.
1. Learn to Maintain Good Posture
The way you sit and stand can significantly affect your spine's condition. Slouching or hunching your back shifts all your body's weight onto your spine instead of evenly disrupting it across your skeletal system. In turn, this causes your spinal ligaments and discs to strain well beyond their healthy position, causing backache symptoms and poor posture. Furthermore, this could lead to detrimental effects, such as herniated discs, which can be agonizing.
To protect your back from susceptible injury, maintain a proper posture, which isn't only crucial for your back but also your well-being. Be sure to sit upright when working and engage in frequent physical activity, such as sports, exercise, walking, or stretching. These activities will help correct poor posture and alleviate back pain by aligning your spine into its rightful place.
2. Use Heat or Ice Therapy
Cold packs and heat therapy are ideal ways of combating chronic back pain symptoms. Ice features pain-relieving properties and can reduce swellings due to its cooler temperatures that help shrink inflamed blood vessels. Heat is also a great stimulant that can reduce backache. A nice hot bath or heat pack can boost blood circulation, causing vital nutrients and oxygen to reach your triggered back muscles. This helps speed up the regeneration of damaged tissue fibers and alleviates stiffness, all of which are the common causes of pain. When applying heat or ice therapy, limit the time to prevent damaging or numbing your skin.
3. Improve Your Sleeping Conditions
A good night's sleep can drastically improve your back condition, especially when coupled with a plush mattress and cozy bed. For better posture, consider sticking to a bed that fits your build. You could opt for customizable options such as the dm9000s adjustable bed, which allows users to fit their ideal mattress into their bed frame without limitation. You could also change your sleeping posture to a more neutral position that helps straighten your spine, such as sleeping on your back or placing a pillow near your abs when sleeping on your stomach.
4. Frequently Stretch Your Muscles
Spending hours hunched behind your computer screen or work desk will only harm you further. Instead, consider occasionally stretching for better blood circulation and muscle stimulation to relieve acute back pain. One effective way of stretching is twisting your spine from side to side while gently rotating your shoulders from the pivot. This motion helps straighten your spine and loosen any tight back muscles. Other stretches that help combat back pain include:
- Locking your hands behind your head and rocking your elbows left to right
- Intertwining your fingers together and pushing your hands high above your head repeatedly until your shoulders and upper back feels relaxed
- Standing with your legs apart and touching your left toe with your right hand and vice versa
- Pulling your knees to your upper chest as your lay flat on your back
- Spinal twists are performed by lying on your back with one bent knee and arms on the ground as you try to touch the opposite side with the floating knee
- Тhe "Superman" stretch is done by lying on your stomach and stretching your arms overhead while lifting your legs and chest simultaneously as if flying
5. Wear Fitting Shoes
Your footwear can directly affect your body posture and sufficiently support your ankles and spine; thus, relieving the pressure exerted on your back when standing or walking upright. Loose-fitting shoes will affect your walking style and could potentially aggravate your back alignment, causing pain and discomfort with time. While it's not recommended to rock sandals or flip-flops all the time, ensuring you wear shoes that feel comfortable can indeed relieve pressure on your lower spine and muscles.
Dealing with acute back pain can be an excruciating affair. However, by adhering to our guide, we help show you how to combat lower back pain effectively without much effort. If your condition doesn't improve after trying the above recommendations, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance, and obtain an evaluation from your nearest healthcare facility.
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