Back pain? 9 Tips to take care of your spine
Back pain is such a common injury and quite often we try to live with the pain to a certain point. The problem with trying to live with back pain, is that it can prevent you from being able to accomplish even simple, everyday tasks, diminishing your quality of life.
It can make you miss activities that you usually enjoy.
Taking care of your spine, your back and neck, will help you lower the chance of having back pain.
How can I take care of my spine?
Keeping your body moving helps maintain a healthy spine. I’d suggest having regular visits to the gym, go for walks or cycle, or play with your children. Being active or physical fit will really decrease the chance of experiencing lower back pain. The best exercise is one that combines strengthening, stretching and aerobic activity.
Pay attention to any warning signs
Don’t ignore any problems or pains you are having.
Listening to your body is so important.
It can be common to have back pain once in a while, but there is usually an underlying problem which, if left untreated, can worsen and become quite serious. Don’t self-medicate to relieve the systems, or don’t overdo it at work or at the gym. I’d suggest having a sports massage or seeking other medical care to learn about your spine, what muscular issues are going on and how you can prevent further systems and issues.
Maintain a healthy weight
Doing exercise, combined with a healthy diet, helps you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or quickly gaining a lot of weight are risk factors for low back pain.
Up to 60% of an adult body is made up of water. Staying hydrated is important to maintain soft tissue elastic and fluidity in joints, along with other really important benefits. You may find that you have more headaches and migraines when you’re dehydrated. There are also studies that drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight by slightly increasing your metabolism. I wrote a post with 7 ways to make sure you’re drinking enough water which you can find here.
Be aware of your stress levels
Stress, anxiety and depression can really affect your back and shoulders and can cause you to tense up, consequently creates aching and painful shoulders and back. Try and find something to do every day which will relax you or make you feel calmer and happier, is so important.
Starting your day with a couple of stretches can really help your back and neck, and it’s really invigorating. A couple of stretches you could do are:
✮ Childs pose. Hold for 5 breaths.
✮ Cat / Cow. Do 5 each way.
✮ Lower trunk rotation. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
I also wrote a post on 8 exercises for lower back pain and you can read it here.
Be aware of your working from home posture
Make sure that your workspace is set up for your height and functionality, it doesn’t matter if you work with a laptop, on a phone or at a computer desk, as it still applies.
It’s very important to plan regular breaks to get up and walk around.
Staying in one position for too long will cause our back muscles to tighten up. If you’re sitting down a lot, your gluteus muscles are inactive which can cause our hip flexors to tighten up and can cause back pain.
✮ Pay attention to your posture whilst sitting. Sit up straight, shoulders relaxed but upright and your elbows should be level with your desk. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your lower back supported against your chair. Your screen should be around eye level.
✮ If you’re unable to have regular breaks, you can activate your glutes just by squeeing them in your seat. This doesn’t replace getting up and walking around but will definitely help.
Back pain relief
Sports massage, physio or other medical help
As a sports massage therapist, my aim is always to look at what is going on at a muscular level. Back pain may be a consequence as something else going on in your body, a muscle imbalance for example. The pain you feel in a certain area can be also called as referred pain as the cause of it could be in a different place. Message me through the contact us page if you’d like to see how I can help your back pain.
Applying heat to your shoulders, lower back, bottom or area of pain for 10 to 30 minutes can be really soothing. The heat will allow your muscles to relax and help temporarily relieve the pain. You can use a hot water bottle, wheat pack or warm shower or bath.
I’ll be adding Hot Stones Therapy to my services very soon and it’s a fantastic way of soothing your tired and aching muscles.