Back pain: common causes and natural remedies
Back pain is one of the most common physical ailments in the United States. In fact, 80% of the US population suffers from regular back pain. Back pain can be a result from benign everyday activities such as sitting at your desk, driving in your car or putting on shoes. But these activities can actually have serious effects on your spine. Your spinal column is made up of 24 vertebrae, and these individual support systems are what allow us to bend, twist and keep our body in motion.
Besides enabling our body to move in certain ways, our vertebrae also have another important function of protecting the fragile nerve tissue that delivers all information from our brain to body (and vice versa). When the spine becomes misaligned through unhealthy habits, this communication line is disrupted, resulting in pain and discomfort. Due to the important role our spine has, chiropractors believe the first step to a healthy, active body is a healthy, aligned spine. Regular chiropractic treatments will have positive results on your spine; however, if you continue to participate in crippling daily habits, your back pain can return or worsen. Recognize the top back breaking behaviors so you can take action to change them with natural remedies and find relief.
Sitting at your computer
The average American sits at their desk for nine hours. Sitting slouched for this extended period of time is a huge contributor to neck, shoulder and back pain. The amount of pressure on our vertebrae from being sedentary at our desk is so much higher than if we were standing or walking, that it can create misalignment in our spine, causing pain and discomfort. Solution: Take frequent breaks and do neck exercises such as holding your head for ten seconds front, back, left and right five times a day. Also, investing in an ergonomic chair and adjusting the way you sit at your computer, will also help you find relief.
Skipping core exercises
It may seem odd, but by having a strong core, you will have a strong back. Your core helps aid several spine supporting muscles. However, adding more crunches to your daily exercise routine might give you a six-pack, but you won’t increase back strength. You shouldn’t focus on just one part of your core via crunches. In order to strengthen your back, you need to target different abdominal muscles that help support the back. Solution: Add more variety to your core workout! By targeting different areas of your abdominal muscles, you’ll start to strengthen muscles that help support the back. These exercises include squats, lunges, planks and side planks. Incorporate this five minute core workout to your exercise routine for a stronger abs and back!
Sleeping on your stomach
Unfortunately, if the only way you can fall asleep is on your belly, your back will pay for it in the morning. Sleeping on your belly creates unwanted pressure on your vertebrae, resulting in pain and discomfort. While sleeping on your side or back keeps your spine long and neutral with no compression and no pain. Solution: Place a thin pillow underneath your hips to alleviate spinal pressure. You’ll continue to have a restful sleep on your stomach without waking up with aches in your back.
Continuing to exercise (even though your back hurts)
It may sound contradictory, but continuing to exercise via low impact routines, will help you recover quicker. Staying sedentary for more than a couple days can prolong and worsen your back pain. Solution: Boost blood flow to your back while relieving stiffness via low impact exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga. The Archives of Internal Medicine study reported that after three months of weekly yoga sessions, 60% of back-pain sufferers reported less discomfort and 40% were able to cut back on back pain medication.
A healthy spine means a healthy you! Unhealthy habits can lead to an unhealthy spine. The crippling effects of an irritated disc or a sore back muscle can change the way you function on the daily. Recognizing harmful habits and changing them immediately will help alleviate some of the pain. Regular chiropractic adjustments will also keep your spine healthy. Talk to one of our knowledgeable chiropractors at Well Balanced and see how we can help you live a healthier life through a healthier spine.