Making wise lifestyle choices and health decisions can help alleviate chronic lower back pain and sometimes eliminate it completely. Millions of Americans suffer from debilitating back discomfort that limits daily activity and takes much of the joy out of life. So, what can you do?
Surgery is invasive and comes with many risks and long recovery time. Taking OTC NSAIDs and prescription opioids have dangerous side-effects and can be habit-forming. However, there are some steps you can take to strengthen lower back muscles so they are better able to support your body and you will not have to rely on masking symptoms or having surgery.
More than half of the population of the U.S. is overweight and almost half are obese. One of the many unwelcome results is lower back pain. The added strain on the back muscles and spine that hold the body upright contribute to discomfort and limits range of motion. While it is often difficult to achieve, losing even a few pounds can control back pain.
Take a yoga class
Yoga stretches and strengthens tight muscles and offers sciatica pain relief, as well as promoting relaxation and reducing symptoms of a backache. According to a study in the July 2017 Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga participants who practiced for 12 weeks had less need to take pain medication and had comparable results to patients who had physical therapy.
Spinal manipulation can relieve stress on the joints and realign the spine to improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. Restoring function and preventing additional injury are an important part of chiropractic care.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation is a major cause of back pain and eating a diet that takes advantage of anti-inflammatory foods can significantly reduce back pain symptoms. Beneficial anti-inflammatory foods include fatty fish; green, leafy vegetables; monounsaturated fats; vibrant fruits and vegetables; seeds; and nuts. Avoiding processed and high-fat foods, refined carbohydrates, and fast food can also help reduce back pain.
It can be tempting to skip exercise when your back hurts, but this could increase pain levels. Strength training that focuses on the core muscles of the back and stomach, aerobics, and flexibility exercises all contribute to a stronger back and less discomfort.
Adequate amounts of calcium contribute to strong bones and teeth. Strong, healthy bones lead to less pain. Calcium intake for most adults should be from 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily. Foods that have a lot of calcium include dairy products; green, leafy vegetables; tofu; soybeans; and canned salmon and sardines with bones.
An ancient Asian technique, acupuncture has been used for centuries to relieve pain from a variety of health problems. During this specialized procedure, tiny needles are carefully placed at specific points on the body to restore energy flow and circulation and decrease pain.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness can relieve anxiety and stress. These strategies can also reduce the severity of back pain.
A technique that utilizes electrical sensors to help the mind control body functions has become a popular way to manage back discomfort and other health complaints.
Smoking decreases blood flow and keeps needed oxygen and vital nutrients from getting to places where they are needed in the body, which can weaken back and spinal muscles. There are many tools available to help individuals quit, from smoking cessation programs to nicotine patches and gum.
Say no to high heels
While fashionable, high-heeled pumps, stilettos, and sandals cause misalignment of the spine, hips, and lower back. The result is overuse of back muscles and pain. If you can’t completely go without heels, limit the time wearing them, or choose a smaller heel.
Let Drs. Adam and Amanda Apfelblat help bring you better health and a better way of life through chiropractic wellness care by calling and making an appointment today.