Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide!
Here at truMedic, we are devoted to providing safe and effective forms of pain management to those who steer clear of the pharmacy in favor of natural solutions. We believe that the holistic benefits of massage therapy, electrotherapy, and similar remedies should be readily available to anyone suffering from discomfort, especially back pain!
Experts say that as many as four out of every five people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Each year, about half of all working adults report suffering from symptoms of back pain. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor, more common than cholesterol and upper respiratory problems!
Below, we go through seven different ways that you can prevent and relieve back pain.
1. By Staying Active
When we have back pain, our first instinct is often to call in sick from our obligations and spend a few days sleeping it off. While this may appear to be a quick-fix, contrary to popular belief, staying in bed for longer than 48 hours does not help you get better faster and may even hinder your recovery. This is because when you lie in bed for extended periods, your body barely moves or bends, causing you to slowly lose the muscular strength and flexibility that is so important to maintaining a healthy, pain-free back. You can often beat back pain more quickly, and prevent it in the long-term, with effective, low-impact back-strengthening exercises than you can with standard bedrest. Low-impact exercise provides a range of benefits that bed rest does not including improving your range of motion, relieving tension and stiffness, as well as strengthening your muscles to prevent future pains.
Some different exercises to consider are yoga, light weight lifting, walking, and water aerobics. All of these exercises have several essential components in common; they are low-impact, low-risk, and work great for strengthening your back and core muscles that are so crucial to proper posture and back health.
Which brings us to our next tip...
2. Maintaining Proper Posture
Proper posture is paramount to maintaining a healthy, pain-free back. When we sit, stand, or lie down with perfect posture, the weight of our heads and torsos distributes optimally throughout our backs and core muscles. Conversely, when we don’t mind our posture, the load will often distribute itself improperly, putting excess strain on certain muscles while taking the necessary strain off of others. This is why it is essential to maintain a healthy posture as often as possible when sitting, standing, or lying down.
Furthermore, if you live too long with excessively poor posture, it can become an unbreakable cycle. Spine-Health writes, “Prolonged hunching while standing or sitting can cause your back, core, and abdominal muscles to become strained and painful, reducing their blood supply, and slowly developing stiffness and weakness in the trunk and lower back.” This gradual weakening of critical postural muscles can ultimately limit your range of motion and slowly take away your ability to stand up straight at all.
There are plenty of ways to remedy and prevent this gradual loss of crucial muscle tissues, like...
3. Via Regular Stretching
Regular stretching can work wonders in relieving aches and pains throughout the body. One reason why exercise routines like yoga are effective in preventing and relieving back pain is their emphasis on stretching and overall flexibility. Generally, stretching can help keep your muscles healthy by facilitating proper circulation and range of motion. When we neglect to stretch our muscles, they can tighten, shorten, weaken, and become unable to extend correctly. This may lead to debilitating muscle strain and joint pain that can severely hinder your ability to perform your daily activities.
For example, if you have a job that requires you to sit down for most of the day, your quadricep muscles (located on the front and sides of your thighs) can gradually tighten throughout the day. This, in turn, can cause your quads to pull down on the muscles surrounding the pelvis, leading to an unhealthy anterior pelvic tilt that may contribute to poor posture and lead to low back pain.
With regular stretching, you can ensure that your muscles are healthy, loose, and well circulated. Speaking of circulation, you can also beat back pain...
4. Through Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a fantastic way to increase blood circulation to your back muscles and ensure that they are loose, warm, and pain-free. A massage from a licensed massage therapist, professional-quality personal massager, or highly-effective massage chair can provide the body with a wide range of benefits that not only prevent and relieve back pain but also improve mood and sleep quality!
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of muscles to encourage blood and lymph flow to areas in need throughout the body. This can warm and oxygenate muscles to promote pain relief, healing, and an enhanced range of motion. Additionally, massage therapy can increase the body’s production of important endorphins like serotonin that regulate bodily functions ranging from digestion, to sleep, to overall mood. Your overall mood can have a profound effect on instances of back pain, which brings us to our next method of beating it...
5. By Minding Your Mental Health
You may have noticed during stressful times, especially when you do not mind your posture, that painful myofascial trigger points (“knots”) can develop in your trapezius muscle, located between your shoulder blades. This is a result of the body’s reaction to stressors, commonly known as the fight or flight response. One important element of the stress response is the body’s strategic redistribution of blood from the body’s surface to muscles and the brain. This diverts more oxygen than usual to muscles, thus tightening and readying them to give us maximum power to fight or flee. This stress-related tightening causes tension in our muscles and ultimately leads to pain, soreness, and of course, knots.
By minding your mental health and making a conscious effort to cope with and overcome stress productively, you can proactively prevent stress-induced back pain. Some great ways to deal with stress before it causes soreness are exercising, avoiding caffeine, and taking some time for yourself. Integrating these coping strategies into your life can yield shocking results. Speaking of shocking, you can also beat back pain with...
Back pain is not always easy to prevent. Life can get in the way. When we do not have time to exercise and stretch, we can develop nagging back pains that take days to subside. These pains can be exacerbated by life obligations like work, especially if you work at a desk job where you spend most of your time sitting in an unnatural position. Your first instinct may be to turn to pharmaceutical remedies like acetaminophen, but these drugs can have disastrous long-term health effects that may lead to kidney disease.
A great alternative to pain-relieving medication is TENS therapy. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS Units send low-voltage electrical currents to nerves through the skin, stimulating nerves and encouraging the body to produce pain-relieving endorphins. It is similar to the way opioids relieve pain without the sluggish side effects or risk of forming a habit. It is a fantastic, natural way to relieve pain quickly and effectively. When it comes to pain relief, truMedic always prefers to try the natural route before turning to the pharmacy. Another great natural way to relieve your back pain is...
7. By Applying Ice and Heat
Applying ice and heat is one of the easiest ways to relieve back pain or any pain. Alternating between hot and cold treatments can help relieve back pains caused by a variety of factors. You can get out ahead of acute back pain by quickly applying ice to the problem area. Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes can help relieve pain in multiple ways. The ice will immediately begin to lower your overall body temperature, which constricts blood vessels to reduce inflammation and results in a numbing sensation. After quelling the swelling, you can use heat therapy to stimulate the circulation of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood back to the affected area to facilitate healing. This method can also be useful in treating and preventing delayed onset muscle soreness.
Back pain is so incredibly common in the world today, and at truMedic, we aim to make it a thing of the past. We hope you can apply these tips in your daily life to help keep your back pain-free.