Here are the 7 most effective ways to ease back pain without slowing down or missing a workout
1. Avoid wearing certain types of footwear.
Footwear such as high heels, sandals, flip-flops and fashion footwear may look good, but are not especially helpful when trying to protect your low back
area. Consider wearing shoes that fasten tightly and have a soft cushion base. It’s important to have a strap around the heel of the foot to make sure the shoe stays on your foot while walking and doesn’t add any unnecessary strain to the muscles in your feet.
Pro tip - When possible, go barefoot! The human foot has over 200,000 nerve endings on the bottom of each foot. When we wear socks and shoes all day long, those nerve endings lose contact with the ground. Going barefoot helps your brain reestablish connection with the ground and is great for your low back!
2. Avoid Sitting Cross-legged.
Your spine isn’t designed to twist and turn in this manner. Sitting in a cross-legged position ends up putting a lot of pressure on your hips and also into your low back. Your joints become twisted, your muscles get stretched and in this position, your low back is weak. This position leaves you vulnerable to injury.
Pro-Tip - Try a squatting position! As you see in the picture below, this is a full squat. This position helps loosen up your hips and over time, will help you gain more mobility in your low back too! Make sure you ease into this position, it may take you a few times to get all the way down into the squat!
3. Change your mattress every 5 years.
Most people want to know about their mattress and what type of mattress they should sleep on. It’s almost impossible to answer this question because it’s too generic and it depends on each person. But I can tell you this, if you’re waking up with back pain and you haven’t changed your mattress in several years then it’s about time you did!
Pro Tip – How to choose a mattress? While I can’t give you a specific recommendation for brand, my suggestion is to take your time searching. When you got to a mattress store, spend 15-20 minutes lying down on your top 3 choices.
Often times, people will sit or lay on a mattress for just a minute or two then decide that’s the one for them. I would suggest lying down for longer to make sure the softness/firmness is good for you after a longer period of time!
4. Don’t sleep on your stomach
You should avoid sleeping on your stomach at all costs – every part of your spine is twisted and in the wrong position. If you sleep like this, it’s no wonder you are suffering from back pain.
Pro Tip – Try sleeping on your side and using a pillow between your legs. This will keep your spine aligned and will reduce the tension at your lower back. The pillow lowers the amount of rotation/twisting in your spine.
5. Daily low back exercise program.
In the same way that you brush your teeth twice per day to keep them clean and avoid pain, you need to look at working on your back in a similar fashion. One of the most common causes of low back pain is sitting all day at a desk. This creates weakness in the low back, leaving the area
open to pain and more dysfunction. Exercise classics such as Yoga and Pilates are helpful if you want to try and avoid low back pain.
Pro Tip – A very common response we get in the office is “I’ve tried stretching my back and it helps but then it just gets tight again!” This is usually because the low back muscles have become “inhibited” and don’t fire enough. One of my favorite exercises to engage these muscles is called the Bird-Dog.
This is an easy one! Breathing deeply helps expand the lungs and bring more oxygen into your muscles. When we are in pain or discomfort, we tend to stop breathing as freely and the breaths become shorter and shallower. You may notice different points throughout the day where you even stopped breathing for a minute!
Pro Tip – Try This! Lay on your back on the floor or a comfortable surface with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Now try to breathe so your belly rises up and outward. Only the hand on your belly should move, while the hand on your chest should stay relatively still!
7. Try chiropractic care
Most people don’t realize how easy it is to access chiropractic care. You don’t need a referral from any doctors. Chiropractic care has been shown to greatly reduce low back pain.
We offer many different techniques for an adjustment and we do a lot more than just “crack your back”! If you’d like to hear more about how our office can safely and comfortably reduce and eliminate your low back pain and get you back to working out, give us a call at 717 503 9454!
Pro Tip – All of the pros already use chiropractic care!