According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), eight in 10 Americans will experience back pain in their lives. For an unfortunate percentage, that pain can turn into a chronic condition. These 4 simple changes can assist in finding some back pain relief.
Sit Less, Move More
With desk jobs, commutes and couch time, Americans are averaging 13 seated hours daily, and it’s causing tremendous damage. According to the UCLA Spine Center, “Sitting for prolonged periods of time can be a major cause of back pain, causing […] tremendous amounts of pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs.” Stretching, and standing or walking for at least 5-10 minutes for every 20 minutes of sitting can help to relieve chronic back pain.
Catching Zzzz’s With Ease
Chronic back pain can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, but simple changes to your sleeping position and updating your mattress can make the difference between waking stiff and sore or well rested.
- Stomach sleeping flattens the natural curve of the spine, and strains the muscles in the lower back, causing pain. If it’s not comfortable to switch positions, then stomach sleepers can put a pillow under the pelvis to restore the curve.
- Side sleepers can put a pillow between bent knees, and maneuver them closer to the chest to put the back into a more neutral position.
- Sleeping on the back can cause pain because it introduces an unnatural curve into the spine. Back sleepers can put a pillow under the knees to raise them and neutralize that strain.
Also, upgrading to a medium-firm mattress, or a firm mattress with about 2” of padding, will provide the best support but also adapt to the natural curvature of the spine, helping to provide chronic back pain relief and some rest.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Proper joint alignment in the body starts with the feet, and if you’re regularly wearing heels, flip flops, or flats without arch support, you can be causing changes to your gait and back pain from strain on joints and tendons. If you’ll be walking long distances, wear comfortable, supportive shoes with a rigid midsole to help relieve chronic back pain.
Make Simple Dietary Changes
The typical American diet is full of foods that produce an inflammatory response in our systems, including refined grains and sugars, dairy, and processed meats, and a study published in the Journal Of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concluded that chronic pain may be a biochemical condition caused by a diet-induced pro-inflammatory state. Making simple changes like adding naturally anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables and whole foods to your diet will not only relieve chronic back pain, it will also help fight obesity, another cause of back pain.
Are you seeking surgical alternatives for chronic back pain relief?
At Health Star Clinic, we work to minimize the need for medications and surgery by using a comprehensive approach including medical pain management, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy to treat the underlying issues. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!