Back pain is a common ailment among adults. In fact, approximately 60 to 80 percent of people in the United States suffer from lower back pain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Whether it is caused by an illness or lifting heavy weights at the gym, back pain can be debilitating. However, if you make the proper lifestyle changes, you can feel a lot better. Here are seven helpful tips for dealing with back pain:
Give Yoga a Try
Have you ever practiced yoga? If not, you should definitely give it a whirl. Yoga is a terrific low-impact exercise that has been known to treat many ailments, including back pain. When you do yoga, you can reduce tightness and imbalances in your muscles, making your back pain less severe. If you are new to yoga, it is a good idea to take a few classes with a certified yoga instructor. He or she can show you specific yoga poses for back pain and make sure you are doing these moves correctly.
Relax in a Hot Tub
If you have access to a hot tub, you should sit in it a few times a week. The heat will relax your muscles and increase circulation in your body, reducing back pain. After you get out of the hot tub, you should feel much more relaxed and comfortable.
If you are carrying around too much weight, it can make your back pain that much more severe. The extra pounds will put added pressure on your spine, resulting in more pain. If you work hard to lose some weight, you will love how much better your back will feel. Start out by cutting junk food from your diet and eating more wholesome foods, like whole grain bread, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables and legumes. These foods are packed with nutrients and will keep you full longer. You should also exercise a few times a week to burn extra calories.
Work on Your Posture
Proper posture is more important than you think. If you always sit slouched down in your chair, it can strain your back over time. If you work on your posture, you will be surprised at the difference it makes. Remember to sit up straight and keep your shoulders back. It may also be helpful to place a small pillow behind your back to provide extra support.
Watch How You Sleep
The way you sleep can also have an impact on your back pain. For example, if you sleep on your stomach, it can put unnecessary stress on your back. Instead, try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees. If it has been many years since you have bought a mattress, it is time to invest in a new one. Sleeping on an older mattress can strain your back.
Do not Smoke
Lighting up hurts nearly every part of your body, including your back. The nicotine in cigarettes prevents sufficient blood flow from reaching your spine, intensifying back pain. Quitting the habit will make a noticeable difference in your back and reduce your risk of other health issues. If you do not think you can quit on your own, ask your doctor for advice.
See a Chiropractor
If you can't seem to control your back pain, visiting a chiropractor, such as those at University Physical Medicine, is a wise idea. He or she can suggest different treatments for your back pain, such as mobilization or spinal manipulation.
Back pain does not have to control your life. If you follow these helpful tips, you can ease your back pain and feel so much better.