It’s Wellness Wednesdays! Let’s talk about simple lifestyle changes that prevent back pain. About four out of five Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. It can take many forms, but lower back pain is the most common. Fortunately, there are many simple lifestyle changes you can make to avoid an aching back.
Daytime Lifestyle Changes
1. Maintain a healthy body weight.
Being overweight strains your back and disrupts your balance. Abdominal fat is especially problematic. Spot reducing is a myth but your midsection will usually slim down along with the rest of your body when you lose excess pounds.
2. Exercise regularly.
Yoga is a great way to improve your posture and flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Any physical activity can help fight inflammation by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to your back.
3. Eat more calcium.
Strong bones help protect you from osteoporosis, a leading cause of back pain, especially for women. Eat your yogurt and leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale.
4. Follow safety guidelines at work.
Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injuries. Talk with your employer about job design features that will keep you productive and safe.
5. Practice good posture.
Make it a habit to press your lower abdomen against your spine. Keep your shoulders held back and relaxed. Hold your head up.
6. Sit correctly.
Try to use an adjustable chair that will give you all the support you need. Prop a pillow against your lower back if needed. Keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Change positions or take a brief walk frequently.
7. Lift safely.
Bend down at the knees and lift with your legs to avoid putting the whole load on your back. Carry heavy objects close to your body. Get help if an object is too heavy for you to lift alone.
8. Dress comfortably.
Stiletto heels and heavy handbags can cause knee and back pain. So can overstuffing your pockets or wearing anything two sizes too small. Enjoy dressing up for special occasions but ensure your everyday wardrobe allows a full range of movement and your tote bag stays under 10 percent of your bodyweight.
Nighttime Lifestyle Changes
1. Select the right mattress for you.
A moderately firm mattress usually works best because it adapts to the natural curves of your spine. If you have a firm mattress, an inch or two of padding on top may help.
2. Sleep on your side.
Sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent helps protect your back. Even better, put a small pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.
3. Sleep on your back.
Sleeping on your back is also good. Stick a small pillow under your knees to maintain the curve in your lower back.
4. Stop sleeping on your stomach.
Lying on your stomach puts extra stress on your back. To break the habit, lie on your side and use pillows that will make it harder to roll over.
5. Avoid alcohol.
You may fall asleep faster drinking alcohol but it impairs the quality of your sleep and you’re more likely to wake up with aches and pains. Some prescription medications may also interfere with sleep.
6. Apply heat.
A heat pack is an easy and safe way to keep a little ache from growing into a big one. Get a hot water bottle or a pack that you can microwave and apply to any spot that needs a little extra care.
It’s important to see a doctor if you feel any numbness or tingling, or if you experience severe or chronic pain. For most backaches, these self-help techniques will give you effective relief and keep the pain from coming back.
I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your overall wellness. Click the button below to receive your gift.
I really wanted to talk about this topic today because over 30% of Americans suffer from some kind if chronic or severe pain, according to the IOM, CDC, and NIH. Specifically, 116 million Americans are in pain! The number of individuals who live in pain is far greater than the 30.3 million Americans who have diabetes, 25.4 million people who suffer from cancer, and 14.7 million individuals who are ill with heart disease combined. Chronic pain affects more people than major chronic illnesses do, and the economic cost and complexity of chronic pain are vast.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases and chronic pain. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases and chronic pain (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health and improve your pain and inflammation, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
Is Supplementation Right For You?
Dietary supplements can be a great way to promote better health and manage chronic pain. They can provide the essential nutrients your body needs but may not be receiving from food sources alone. For those dealing with chronic pain, dietary supplements can be useful as they help to reduce inflammation and support healthy joint function while providing relief from discomfort. Depending on your individual needs, some beneficial dietary supplements for managing chronic pain include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, turmeric, curcumin, magnesium, vitamin D3, and CBD oil.
But don’t think that just popping a few pills will solve all of your problems! Dietary supplements are meant to supplement an overall healthy lifestyle—they cannot replace medication or other treatments prescribed by your physician. Additionally, make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement routine, as some supplements can interact with certain medications or conditions. So if you’re dealing with chronic pain, dietary supplements may be worth a try—just remember that they are not miracle workers! With the right plan and an overall healthy lifestyle, dietary supplements can help support better health and ease discomfort associated with chronic pain.
My Pain Support Bundle is excellent for chronic pain, muscle pain, and spasms. Designed to calm and support the nervous system, support a healthy immune system and a healthy inflammatory response. This formula supplies a powerful synergistic blend of nutrients, enzymes and herbs clinically shown to support a healthy inflammatory response.
These are my favorite Pain Relieving Superfoods and Supplements to use! This Pain Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important foods to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while naturally relieving pain.
Tools For Pain Management
A Tens Unit can provide drug-free pain relief for sore or aching muscles of the lower back, shoulder, arm, leg and more. This electrotherapy device is widely used for rehabilitation after injury and for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.
TENS Electrotherapy at Omron Healthcare
Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is often used for pain management. This gel pack provides a moist therapeutic heat when heated, while soothing cold feeling when used cold. It is also designed to prevent trauma to the skin or nerves.
Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use.
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.
Minimize Medications. Maximize Health.
Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.