Back Pain Relief: 5 Key Practices For A Happier Back
If you are one of the 70% of Australians who has experienced back pain, you’ll know how debilitating it can be. Back pain can range from a minor strain or ache, to much more serious injuries like an Intervertebral Disc Bulge or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
While most people tend to experience minor back tightness and find it resolves itself quickly, it is worth trying to practice a few simple exercises regularly to keep your back happy.
Let’s dive straight into them!
Integrate These 5 Practices Into Your Daily Routine
1. Stay Active Throughout The Week
Staying active is a great way to keep not only your back happy but your whole body! As humans, we are designed to move but often our modern lifestyles can make us inactive, which can create a whole range of health problems. The muscles, ligaments and joints of your spine are designed to move and can end up stiff and restricted without regular movement. You don’t have to do much to keep your back happy — a couple of 30 minute walks each week can be enough physical activity to make a noticeable difference.
2. Practice Building Your Core Strength
Your core is made up of several muscles which surround and support your spine. These core muscles are specifically designed to stabilise your back when you move, so unsurprisingly when these muscles are weak it can lead to back pain. I’ve found the easiest way to build your core strength is with pilates.
Pilates classes focus on activating your very deep core — transverse abdominals — which are the muscles that provide the most support to your spine. If you don’t have access to a gym or time to go to a pilates class, you can jump on YouTube. There are many amazing channels with beginner, intermediate and advanced pilates tutorials that you can do in 20 minutes at home!
3. Be Mindful Of Your Posture
Being mindful of your posture is very important for keeping your back happy. Your spine has three curves that all work together to provide support. When you lose one of the curves with poor posture, other areas of your spine will suffer as well.
As a chiropractor, I hear many patients telling me they struggle with maintaining good posture. Setting up an ergonomic workspace can help but many people struggle to accomplish it.
To help you get started, here are a few ways to improve your posture at work. When you’re sitting down, keep your lower back in a neutral curve as this will help support the areas higher up. For neck and shoulder posture, set up your computer monitor or laptop to eye level with a stand and position your mouse in a close position to avoid stretching forward. Break up the day by moving around and if you can, split time equally between sitting and standing — standing desks are a great way to do this. drinking plenty of water. By changing your posture position throughout the day, you’re keeping those muscles active and will help keep your spine happy.
4. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Another common cause of back pain is carrying extra body weight. Extra weight places stress on the joints and muscles of your spine, causing strain in the back. Start by using a BMI Calculator to see if you are within a healthy weight range. If you are overweight and struggling with back pain, working towards that healthy weight range can make big difference in finding back pain relief. A weight-loss journey is a very individual pursuit and the resources out there may be overwhelming. Start with small lifestyle changes such as eating healthier snacks and finding a way to move your body that you enjoy such as walking or joining an exercise class for motivation. As you start to lose weight, your spine will thank you — and likely the rest of your body will feel better too.
5. Get Help From A Chiropractor
You may have heard about chiropractic care as a solution for back pain relief. Chiropractors are professionally trained to adjust the spine in specific areas where muscle tension is present and help your spine to move and function as it should.
Chiropractic is non-intrusive and natural back pain treatment that takes a holistic approach to your health. In addition to spinal adjustments, we can help create personalised exercise and stretching programs, as well as offer nutrition advice to help you along the way. It’s a well-rounded treatment option centred around physical therapy.
If you are seeking gentle and friendly chiropractic care, Dynamic Chiropractic can help. Our Brisbane-based practise is led by experienced practitioner Dr Miki Humphrey, who has over a decade of experience and is qualified in a whole range of techniques.