Have you ever woken up in the morning and rolled out of bed, only to be greeted by an agonizing jolt of pain from your back? It’s such an unpleasant way to start the day—but fortunately, there are many things you can do to heal your back pain, or better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place. If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from chronic back pain, take heart: You can start making progress towards an ache-free you straight away.
There can be many causes of back pain, ranging from your posture when you stand and walk, to whether you spend long periods of time sitting in a chair, for example, if you’re an office worker. Back pain can be caused by an acute injury, such as lifting a heavy object awkwardly, or by small repetitive strains over long periods of time that gradually build up and end up creating a problem. How your spine is supported during sleep can have a significant effect on improving or worsening back pain, too.
Once back problems start affecting you, they often become a vicious cycle. By trying to avoid your pain and “working around it,” you can end up throwing other areas of your body out of balance. Chronic pain is also a nightmare when it comes to trying to concentrate, it can drain you of energy and cause your mood to deteriorate.
But instead of giving up and simply trying to live with it, why not take the initiative to make a change and improve the situation? Sometimes, that can mean simply giving yourself plenty of properly supported rest when you sleep at night.
DIY treatments for back pain
There is no need to suffer in silence if you experience back pain. Take a proactive path by doing regular, targeted stretches, and paying attention to your posture. Just these two changes can bring results within as little as a week. Try the five tips below, and your back will thank you!
- Prevention is always better than cure. Don’t try to be a hero and lift objects that are too heavy for you. When moving furniture or clearing out the garage, get someone to help you. Face your load square-on with your legs shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and bend your knees when you lift; keep the weight’s center of gravity as close to your body as you can.
- Yoga and other forms of gentle exercise can ease back pain. Specific stretches such as a bottom-to-heel stretch or the classic downward-facing dog pose can be beneficial when done regularly. Swimming is another excellent form of high-resistance, low-impact exercise that can help to strengthen and balance the many muscles, joints and ligaments interacting around your spine.
- A great mattress can make a huge difference. You spend one third of your life asleep, so why not dedicate that time to healing your back pain instead of making it worse? Many people are surprised to find that when they choose a mattress that correctly supports their spine and the complex array of muscles, joints, and ligaments that work together around it, their back pain is significantly reduced. One study showed that proper lumbar (lower back) support plays an important part in spreading out the stress points caused by gravity while we sleep, which in turn had a significant effect on the prevalence of back pain.
- Give your back the best support you can while you’re awake, as well. If you work in an office, choose a quality chair with good lower back support. Take the time to set it up as ergonomically as possible, adding cushions or pillows to help maintain your spine’s natural curve.
- Take the stress off your back by strengthening your core. You don’t have to work up a six-pack, but just by doing “standing crunches” while waiting in a queue, for example, you can help build up the muscles of your abdomen and back.
If you’re one of the estimated 31 million Americans living with chronic low-back pain, you don’t have to remain a statistic. Make a plan of regular stretches and exercise with your physician, treat yourself to the high-quality mattress you deserve, and take care to be smart about the way you lift heavy objects. Before you know it, you are likely to see a dramatic improvement as your aches and pains ease up—because when they do, you will be free to stretch out into a much fuller enjoyment of life.
When I had neck and back problems I slept on our guest bedroom mattress and loved it so much we replaced our sleepnumber bed with a Nuvanna mattress. They are amazing! I recommend them to everyone!
Published on Friday, May 4, 2018
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