Most adults experience lower back pain at some point. In most cases, the pain is transient, lasting a couple of days to a couple of weeks. In others, it becomes chronic pain which requires professional treatment. While it may be impossible to avoid all back pain, there are steps you can take to make it less likely to happen to you. Incorporating these into your life can reduce the frequency and the severity of your back pain.
Steps to Lower Back Pain Relief
These are not steps for immediate pain relief. Rather, they are steps you can take now to help cut your chances of back pain going forward. A few things that can help:
1. Eat a healthy and varied diet.
Your body needs a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to get and stay healthy. Make sure that you are eating around the amount of calories you need for your current weight, age, and activity level. You should ensure that your diet is rich in lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Protein helps with healing when an injury occurs. Foods that are rich in vitamin C feed your muscles and support calcium absorption. Those rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, which helps cut back pain.
2. Exercise regularly.
Regular stretching helps increase flexibility and reduces the chance of injury. Exercises that build strength, particularly core strength, also protect against injury. Experts recommend that you should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day at least five days per week. We can help you put together an exercise routine that fits your schedule and your preferences.
3. Maintain a healthy weight.
Roughly one-third of Americans are overweight. A significant portion of those individuals are obese. Excess weight puts stress on our bodies, including the lower back area. Additionally, our spines can become tilted in an effort to support extra weight. Together, these factors make us more prone to injury. When your weight is within the healthy range for your height and age group, you are more resistant to back injuries.
4. Quit smoking.
Are you one of the nearly one in five American adults who hasn’t quite cut the habit? Smoking may be contributing to problems with your back. Smoking contributes to back pain in two ways. First, it hastens the rate at which you lose bone density. This puts you at risk for osteoporosis, which is a common cause of back pain. Second, it reduces the flow of blood to the discs in your back. When these discs are not properly nourished, they can’t function as well as their job of absorbing shock in the spine. Cutting out smoking is often easiest when it’s done hand in hand with an exercise program. This allows you to reduce two kinds of risk at the same time.
5. Practice better back care.
When you have to lift, push or carry, take care to protect your back from harm. If you carry a backpack, go through it regularly to reduce its weight. When lifting, always lift with the legs to prevent back strain. Stretch and move regularly if you are sitting or standing for a long period of time. Practice good posture to prevent strain.
These practices won’t cut your risk of back pain overnight. However, over time, they can help you develop a stronger back that is more resilient to potential problems. They’ll also make you healthier and less likely to develop chronic back problems.
When to Seek Professional Help
Most back pain resolves on its own without any additional treatment. However, sometimes a more serious issue is to blame for your lower back pain. When this occurs, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. We can diagnose the cause of your pain and help you find relief. A few signs that it’s time to see a professional:
- you have pain that keeps you awake at night.
- you have pain that prevents you from engaging in your normal day to day activities.
- you are experiencing weakness in your legs or back.
- you are experiencing significant numbness.
All of these can be signs of severe back issues that need professional care.
Every day, we engage in activities that can help our backs and activities that can harm them. By limiting the potentially harmful actions and putting more focus on the positive ones, you can cut your chances of developing debilitating back pain. It is also important to seek help when you have a back problem that goes on longer than it should. Catching issues early can help prevent long-term damage. By protecting your back health, you can remain active and engaged in your life instead of being sidelined by pain.