Millions of people suffer back and neck pain every day. You don’t have to be one of them. These 11 spine and back care tips will help get rid of your pain and have you feeling better in no time.
Does your back hurt all the time?
We bet it does. You and about 80% of Americans are in the same club. Back and neck pain can be caused by aging, or they can be the result of your daily routine, stress levels, or genetic conditions.
The good news is, you can take simple steps every day to better your overall health, reduce pain, and live a happier life.
This is first and foremost. Staying active and increasing your strength will take the stress off your back muscles and improve your overall health. Many spinal issues are caused by weak abdominal muscles, so any core strength training will go a long way.
30 minutes of mild exercise 3 times a week is a great start. Focus on your core but also do cardio and resistance training. When walking, be sure to maintain an upright posture and wear a good pair of training shoes. Any type of cardio impact puts stress on your joints, so reducing the impact and protecting your body is important.
2. Go ergonomic
It’s the 21st century, and just about everything can be customized to fit your exact preferences.
You can customize your workstation, home seating, and just about everything else in life. Switch to a custom-fit mattress and work chair, and be sure to change positions as often as possible when sitting.
3. Get a standing desk
Standing desks are proven to burn more calories, increase productivity, and improve spinal health in offices across the world. By alternating between standing and sitting, you take stress off of your spine and help stretch out your discs.
Sitting at work all day is one of the key causes of back pain, so any efforts made to reduce that stress will provide immediate returns.
4. Try inversion therapy
Inversion therapy is a technique that utilizes an inversion table to suspend your body upside down. This shifts your body’s gravity and stretches out your spine and joints, creating more space for discs, nerves, and ligaments.
This revolutionary technique is being used by everyone from athletes to seniors in an effort to realign the spine and improve joint health. Research supports short inversion therapy sessions which help to relieve short-term pain and combat the chronic causes of backaches.
It also helps clear the mind and relaxes the body.
5. Optimize your mobile reading
You’re addicted to your phone, don’t lie. Chances are, you’re reading this on a mobile device or a tablet right now.
If you are, there are a few techniques you can use to reduce the strain on your neck. And yes, mobile reading can cause neck pain.
6. Be smart when driving
Most driver’s seats are not made to fit your back. If you’re behind the wheel for long periods of time, make sure to employ lumbar support to keep your back in the right position. Recline your chair ever so slightly to create a good balance between back support and clear sight of the road.
7. Don’t hurt yourself when cleaning around the house
Mopping or vacuuming? Try to stand as upright as possible and don’t hurt yourself going for those hard to reach nooks and crannies.
If you ever have to bend over, arch your back and lift slowly. And remember, always take frequent breaks (but not for a drink until you’re done!).
8. Sleep on your side
Sleep is absolutely essential to your health. Your body needs sleep to repair itself and your mind needs sleep to keep itself mentally sane. In fact, lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of psychological issues.
However, sleeping on your stomach puts too much strain on your back. Research shows that sleeping on your side is by far superior to any other position, at least for back health.
Investing in a good mattress goes a long way, too.
Stretching in the morning and evening is a great way to give your ligaments and spine some room to breathe.
Dynamic stretching, which is basically just active movement, is a good way to warm your muscles up, improve flexibility, and give your joints a wider range of motion. Lunges, squats, and holding certain yoga poses are all good ways to start and the day off right.
Inverting is one of the best ways to stretch, as it stretches out the most important areas of your body with more force than you could generate standing upright. Inverting in the morning, after exercise, and before you sleep has shown to relieve back pain and improve recovery.
10. Lose weight
You don’t have to be rail thin, but if you are holding more weight than your body frame is intended to, it will cause extra strain on your back, spine, hips, and knees.
In fact, many obese people that lose weight still have spine and joint issues that must be corrected once they reach a healthy weight. If you are noticing new back pain, it might be due to weight gain. Staying active and eating better will help you melt the pounds away.
11. Stop smoking
The scientific evidence isn’t conclusive, but it’s theorized that smoking reduces the blood supply to your disks and leads to degeneration over time.
Regardless of whether it is 100% confirmed or not, quitting smoking is never a bad thing!
A healthier back and spine are within reach, and it only takes a bit of effort each day. Many of these tips overlap one another, so getting rid of back pain is only a few simple steps away. Get active, maintain good posture, stretch regularly, and live a healthier lifestyle.
Your back is precious! Treat it well!