Among the most common pain people feel is on their back, especially when they are tired or have been sitting, standing or lying down in the same position for so long. But beyond that, many other factors can cause back pain, including age, physical health, habits, and lifestyle.
Back pain can cause great discomfort throughout the day, and if it worsens, it can significantly affect a person’s life as it can indicate or cause more serious health issues. It is best to address back pain early rather than too late before it leads to bigger problems like the need for surgery or chronic pain.
Here are simple ways to address back pain from the start.
1. Identify the Source
Before you treat your back pain or take any medication, the first thing to do is to find out the root cause. This is the most important part of addressing back pain or any type of pain.
If an injury occurred from a specific incident, identify the best way to heal from the injury and try to get a doctor’s input as soon as you can. Sometimes, back pain might be an emergency and can lead to serious effects, like damaging your spine and nervous system, so have it checked right away.
However, if you haven’t been injured but can feel pain on your back, address it appropriately through a simple self-assessment first. Look back on your activities, habits, and even your diet. Do you have poor posture, sleep on a bad mattress, or are you too immobile? Many things may seem mundane and not damaging but can cause back pain when done constantly.
2. Keep Moving
A sedentary lifestyle has been called the new smoking. Technology and digitalization have kept people on their screens and phones, sitting and looking down for an extensive amount of time daily without them noticing. Such habits lead to inactivity, which may increase the probability of health problems like obesity, diabetes, health disease, and pain in the body. If you have been sitting or lying down all day, it will certainly cause you back and neck pain.
Reducing sedentary behaviors and maintaining an active lifestyle has proven beneficial in many aspects, including physical and mental health. Exercise regularly and find ways to move your body throughout the day, even if it is a short walk around the block every hour or two or stretching even inside your own home. Adopt daily healthy habits that can help avoid back pain, like being mindful of your posture, eating healthy, strengthening your bones, and sleeping in a comfortable position.
If you have back pain and it is not caused by injury of any kind, try not to stay still. Find ways to continue moving, as lying for too long will only worsen the back pain.
3. Stretch and Strengthen
Relative to the need to move and exercise, stretching and focusing on your back muscles can help ease and avoid back pain. If you are active but still feel like your pack aches, try to do movements that focus on strengthening your back. Improve flexibility to avoid injury and continued pain.
There are many exercises that can help back pain, specific types of push-ups that you can do even at home. If you are not a fan of fast-paced exercises, other workout formats like yoga and pilates work great as well. Whichever you go for, be sure to tell your instructor of your back pain so they can best help you address the issue.
4. Get a Good Mattress
Back pain can be caused by a bad sleeping position or an uncomfortable mattress. You can try to switch up sleeping positions to reduce back pain, like laying on your side, back or stomach. If these positions do not seem to change anything, inspect your beddings.
Your mattress should support your body weight and must fit your sleep needs to help you rest more comfortably. If your sleeping area is too hot, getting a cooling mattress helps. You can also try a mattress for back pain that caters to back, side, or stomach sleeping positions. Additionally, note that mattresses last about 7-10 years, so be sure you replace them if it is past this point in the lifespan.
The back is an area that holds a lot of stress. Anxiety and worrying too much can cause changes in your breathing and tighten your shoulders, leading to strain and tension in the muscles, especially in your middle back.
Try to practice proper breathing, especially when amid stressful events. You can also find ways to relieve stress and get rid of knots through massage or a sauna session. Have a regular relaxation routine to help you unwind and avoid tension building up in the back. Practicing meditation and yoga can help you adopt proper breathing, plus the latter aids in your back muscles’ flexibility.
6. Improve Your Posture
Posture impacts many people and they aren’t even aware of it. The back holds the majority of the body upright, and without proper posture, it can be difficult for the back to support the body weight, leading you to uncomfortable sensations and pain.
A big culprit of bad posture is hunching over a computer all day and slouching in your seat. Consider an ergonomic chair that allows you to improve posture or a standing desk. Also, be mindful of your sitting position and make sure you are not slouching for too long. There are also simple exercises to improve your posture, like practicing imagery where you align your body in an imaginary straight line that passes from the floor to the ceiling. Some upper body stretching and core exercises can also help.
Watch Your Back Because it is too common, especially among adults, many shrug off back pain or wait until it’s gone without seeking medical attention. However, it is important to note that pain is the human body’s signal that something might be wrong. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and consult a healthcare professional as needed to best address your back pain and get appropriate treatment. Always be mindful of your back and practice habits to keep your back muscles and bones in the best health.