People experience back pain for a variety of reasons. Everything from your age to your activity level, or even your posture could play a factor in how your back feels on a daily basis.
If you do have regular back pain, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, about 16 million adults have some type of backache on a regular basis. We could go on and on about the various potential causes of back pain, but wouldn’t you rather know how to treat that pain?
Now, if you’re really suffering from chronic pain and it’s hard to get through your day, the best thing you can do is see your doctor or a specialist. You may have a more significant back or spinal issue that needs medical attention.
But, if you’re just dealing with annoying backaches on a regular basis and you want a few effective ways to alleviate that pain, we’ve got you covered. Let’s look at a few tips you can use to find relief each day.
1. Stay at a Healthy Weight
We probably don’t need to remind you of the importance of weight management. Unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done. That explains why over 40% of the adults in the United States alone are considered obese.
Weight management is important for a variety of reasons. It can reduce your risk of certain illnesses, including diabetes. It’s better for your heart, your muscles, your joints, and your overall health and quality of life.
But, did you know that being overweight can actually have a negative impact on your back? Extra weight causes extra stress on your back, adding pressure to it that can increase pain and make you feel like you’re always sore.
Thankfully, weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated. By exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, you can lose the extra pounds and reduce the pressure on your spine. Even losing just a little bit of weight can make a big difference in how you feel. Plus, if you lose weight through exercise, you can actually strengthen the muscles in your back, which will make it less likely for you to experience aches, pains, and soreness.
2. Strengthen Your Back Muscles
Speaking of keeping your muscles strong through exercise, you should devote some time and attention to specifically focusing on your back muscles and getting them in shape. One of the most common reasons people experience back pain is because they overexert themselves. They might try to do something that requires back muscles they haven’t “used” in quite some time.
If you keep straining your back, you’re going to end up causing spine degeneration, and that’s something that can’t be undone. You can help to prevent it by strengthening the muscles in your back that protect your spine. Some of the best exercises to get a stronger back include:
- Bent-over rows
- Dumbell rows
Whether you’re new to exercising or just these particular moves, one of the most important things to remember is that you’re using the correct form. Lifting too much weight when you’re not ready or using improper form can actually do more harm than good. So, take things slowly in order to make sure you’re doing them the right way.
3. Stretch Every Day
Whether you decide to work out each day or not, you (and your back) will greatly benefit from regular stretching.
Stretching will keep your muscles flexible and will help you to avoid injuring your back. Additionally, if you’re currently recovering from any type of back injury, it can help to speed up the process and alleviate your pain faster.
You can either choose to stretch before you exercise or do any type of heavy lifting throughout your day. But, you’ll get the biggest benefit from it if you choose to make it a part of your daily routine. Do some stretches when you first wake up in the morning or try them right before you get into bed at night. You don’t have to put together an elaborate routine in order to benefit from stretching. Simple side bends or bending forward and backward can make a big difference in how you feel.
If you do decide to include stretches in your routine, listen to your body. Stretching should feel good, not painful. If you’re going too far and feel any pain or discomfort, stop right away.
4. Don’t Carry Too Much
If you carry a purse or a bag with you almost everywhere you go, you could be contributing to back pain without even realizing it. Carrying that kind of weight can cause extra strain on your back. We already talked about how being overweight adds extra pressure. When you carry a bag over your shoulder, you’re essentially doing the same thing.
But, carrying something can actually be even worse. Most people favor one shoulder when they’re carrying a purse or a bag. So, if you continuously swing your bag over that shoulder, you could be doing more than just straining your muscles. You might actually be causing imbalances and abnormalities in the curve of your spine.
If that happens for an extended period of time, it could lead to issues resembling scoliosis. In that case, you might need to see a medical professional, like the experts at the Southwest Scoliosis Institute.
Even carrying a wallet in your back pocket can make a difference in how your back feels. It can lead to pain in your sciatic nerve. So, try to avoid carrying a bag as often as possible, or carry things in your hands.
5. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Everyone experiences stress. It’s a fact of life, and it can be impossible to avoid completely. A little stress can actually be a good thing. But, when you’re overly stressed or you feel overwhelmed every day, it can lead to a lot of tension all over your body. Stress can cause your muscles to feel constricted and tight, and many people feel that kind of tension in their back.
By doing different things to reduce your stress every day, you can also ease the tension in your back and you’ll end up feeling less pain. Stress impacts everyone differently, so it goes without saying that how you deal with it could be different from someone else. But, there are a few common practices that can help to keep your stress levels at bay, including:
- Spending time outside
- Taking breaks throughout the day
- Unplugging from social media/technology
- Staying active
Don’t be afraid to try different things to reduce your stress. Even getting more sleep can help you to find some comfort and alleviate back pain. Find what works for you, and your body will thank you for it!
You Don’t Have to Live With Back Pain
Because so many people deal with back pain on a daily basis, finding ways to alleviate it is important. Again, if you have severe pain or you’re worried you may have an underlying condition, don’t hesitate to see a medical professional. Many times, the earlier a doctor is able to detect a problem, the easier it is to treat.
Otherwise, keep these tips in mind to manage your pain every day. By putting them into practice, you can greatly reduce the pain you feel on a daily basis. In many cases, you’ll also be making your back stronger, so you’re less likely to get injured or experience prolonged pain in the future.
Most people don’t have to live with back pain if they make smarter, healthier choices for their overall back health. You can do the same thing, and find relief quickly.