4 Essential Lifestyle Habits For Back Pain Management
Most of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. It’s not a disorder but rather a symptom of an underlying issue. Common medical problems that cause back pain are usually associated with ligaments, muscles, nerves and the vertebrae of your spine.
Back pain can be very debilitating and if not managed properly can cause further damage to the spine. Fortunately, 90% of back pain cases can be managed without surgery. It is commonly managed with over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen, however, other options include topical ointments and alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments may provide long term solutions.
What Healthy Lifestyle Habits Should You Implement?
Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to back pain management, reducing symptoms and avoiding the need for treatment in the first place. If you suffer from back pain – especially ongoing, chronic back pain — you may benefit from making adjustments to your day to day lifestyle habits.
Below are a few lifestyle habits to assist with back pain management.
Maintain a healthy weight
Did you know that if you lose 10% of your body weight, you can improve your back pain symptoms by up to 50%? Carrying excess body weight places additional stress on the joints and muscles of the back, contributing to ongoing back pain. Sticking to a healthy diet and maintaining a level of activity that supports weight loss can be an excellent lifestyle habit for anyone experiencing back pain.
Keep your core strong
A common cause of back pain is weakness in the core leading to the strain of muscles and joints in the back. Your core is made up of several muscles that support the spine. I recently wrote a blog about the McGill Big 3 exercises which have been used to improve core strength and assist with back pain. Check out the blog for more information on some exercises to add to your exercise routine.
If you suffer from ongoing back pain, there are several stretches for key muscle groups in the spine that can provide some relief. Three stretches I recommend are hip flexor lunge stretches, child’s pose and figure 4 glute stretches. Hold each stretch for 2 minutes per side for maximum benefit.
Practice good sleeping posture
Finding a good posture when sleeping can make a big difference for back pain sufferers. Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night with poor posture can either lead to back pain or prevent it from healing.
My main recommendation is to sleep in a way that keeps the spine in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back is fine but if you sleep on your side make sure you place a pillow between your legs to keep your hips and pelvis in good alignment. These postures should be comfortable and you shouldn’t wake up in the morning stiff and sore.
Strong Back, Happy Body
If you can implement these lifestyle habits for back pain management, the positive benefits will start to show up in all aspects of your life. Remember that consistency is key — it will take time to overcome chronic pain for hours of sitting down or an injury. But it will be worth it!
Visit Dr Miki Humphrey Chiropractic
If you need back pain management or advice concerning rehabilitation, do not be afraid to seek help. Chiropractic treatments use spinal adjustments, exercises and stretches that strengthen muscles, release tension and improve wellbeing. We also educate patients on strategies to incorporate healthy habits into their lives.
Book a consultation with Dr Miki at her Brisbane CBD chiropractic clinic today!