Roughly one out of every four people suffers from chronic lower back pain along with the debilitating and disabling symptoms it can cause. Lots of problems can cause recurring lower back pain, including injuries, diseases, and degenerative changes that occur along with aging.
Because lower back pain is so common and involves so many different factors, treating it can be challenging. Prompt and ongoing medical treatment can help, and so can simple changes to your lifestyle and your habits.
The team at Superior Pain Relief helps patients in Spring, Houston, Baytown, Willis, and The Woodlands, Texas, manage chronic lower back pain with custom therapy solutions combined with lifestyle changes aimed at supporting a healthy back.
Here are seven lifestyle strategies that could help you manage your nagging pain.
1. Lose those extra pounds
Being overweight can interfere with normal healing, but for your lower back, those extra pounds pose other challenges, too. Carrying extra weight throws off your normal center of gravity and places more strain on your lower back. Over time, that strain can lead to pulled muscles, herniated discs, and joint wear-and-tear, each of which can lead to chronic lower back pain.
Losing even a modest amount of weight can yield substantial benefits for your lower back and for your overall health. When it comes to your diet, you can do your back an extra favor by eliminating processed foods and refined sugars that could be exacerbating painful inflammation.
2. Get up and move
Regular physical exercise can help you lose weight, and it can keep your back flexible and strong, too. Avoid sitting for long periods, and take plenty of breaks during the workday to stretch your back and relieve muscle tension. Combine low-impact aerobic exercises, like walking or swimming, with modest strength training focused on your core muscles.
3. Learn to manage your stress
Stress naturally causes your muscles to tighten up, which in turn can make your symptoms a lot worse. Try deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness exercises to relieve stress and improve your overall physical and emotional wellness.
4. Focus on posture
Mom was right when she told you to sit up straight: Slumping and slouching put a lot of uneven strain and stress on muscles, ligaments, tendons, and discs in your back, leading to irritation, inflammation, and pain.
Use proper posture when performing any sort of exercise, or other activities like heavy lifting, to avoid straining your muscles or discs. If you spend a lot of time sitting at your job, invest in a chair with good lower back support, take frequent breaks, and adjust your desk height or computer monitor to avoid slumping or bending.
5. Make sleep a priority
Sleep is the time when your body does a lot of healing. If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, your back doesn’t have time to recover and heal.
Invest in a good mattress and pillow, set a regular sleep schedule, and take other steps to optimize your sleep routine. If back pain is interfering with your sleep, ask our team for tips that can help.
6. Quit smoking
If you smoke, your risk of lower back pain almost triples. Smoking damages blood vessels and interferes with circulation, which aids in healing. Smoking also increases your risk of osteoporosis, or porous bones, which can lead to stress fractures in your spine.
Quitting isn’t easy, but there are plenty of resources that can help. Talk to our team, or check out online resources through the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get started.
7. Seek treatment early
One of the simplest things you can do to ease lower back pain and prevent it from getting worse is to listen to your body. At the first sign of worsening symptoms, schedule an evaluation so you can begin effective treatment as early as possible.
After your visit, follow your doctor’s advice, and don’t skip scheduled follow-up visits. Most importantly, let your doctor know if you’re not getting the expected relief so they can adjust your treatment.
Don’t ignore your lower back pain or think that you just have to live with a chronic pain condition. There are many medical treatments that can help. To find relief for your painful symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Superior Pain Relief today.