Low-back pain is one of the top reasons that Americans see their doctors. If your lower back is a weak spot for you, here are four ways to help relieve that chronic pain. here are four ways to help relieve that chronic pain.
1. Get more exercise. Before rolling your eyes that a gym is suggesting you get more exercise, consider how much exercise you were getting when your back issue started. Most people have issues that started with a single event where we lifted more than we could handle and then twisted or awkwardly arched our back during the movement. Lots of people get hurt while moving heavy furniture – think carrying a loveseat around a corner and down a flight of stairs. While a day or two may help with acute pain, any more rest may cause more harm. Regular physical activity eases muscle inflammation and tension.
2. Lose weight. Extra weight, especially around our stomach, worsens back pain because it shifts our center of gravity forward. This shift puts pressure on our low backs.
3. Stop smoking. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the spine.
4. Sleep on your back or side. Sleeping on your stomach may help with snoring, but there are many downsides to sleeping in this position. It flattens the natural curve of your spine. Plus sleeping with your head to one side can cause neck strain.
When we think about living longer, happier, healthier lives, then we need to consider nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress-management.