Do you suffer from chronic back pain? If so, you are not alone, with an estimated 90% of people suffering at some point in their lives. There are so many different causes that it’s easy to consider back pain as a consequence of modern life. Constant discomfort can make life incredibly restrictive, but, fortunately, there are ways to ease the pain to give you the chance to keep doing the things you enjoy.
One of the best ways to ease back pain is to improve posture, and there is nothing quite like yoga for reaching this goal. Practicing yoga regularly for around 20 minutes a day is enough to reap incredible benefits. Not only will this help your back, but yoga has been shown to improve several aspects of health from digestion through to mental health. There are plenty of courses online, but if you are doing yoga to combat pain, it is probably best to talk to a professional so that you don’t end up making the problem worse.
2. Sleep Position
If you’re waking up in the morning with a bad back, the chances are that you’re not sleeping in the correct position. First of all, try to elevate the head of your bed slightly. You could put something under the feet of the bed, or use extra pillows to raise your upper body while you sleep. Even a slight elevation reduces the strain gravity puts on your back. If this doesn’t help, consider changing your sleeping position so that you lie on your back, to evenly distribute your weight.
3. Start Swimming
You still need to exercise to keep yourself fit and healthy. A lot of exercises such as running, cycling, and weights, can aggravate back problems. However, the buoyancy provided when swimming has been shown to relieve pain, especially if the exercise is not too strenuous. Both breaststroke and butterfly help with upper back pain, but can exacerbate pain lower down. Conversely, the twisting nature of freestyle means it is more suited to easing discomfort in the lower back.
A lot of people would think of a massage as the first step to resolving chronic back pain. However, a massage can sometimes do more harm than good, depending on the exact nature of the issue. If you do choose to go down this route, make sure you pick a well-respected chiropractor and begin with the lightest treatment they offer. If you feel any pain afterward, the chances are that massaging is not going to help with the issue.
5. Hot Baths
While a hot bath will not have any long-term benefits, it can offer short-term relief if the pain is unbearable. The hot water allows your muscles to relax and reduces the symptoms you’re experiencing. However, make sure you’re comfortable lying down on the hard surface of the bath, and buy a specially designed bath cushion if you feel it helps.
Whatever the cause, there is usually something you can do to help alleviate the symptoms associated with back pain. Choose what you feel is best for you, and always be aware that some activities can make your back pain worse. If you have any doubts, speak to your chiropractor or GP before you commit to anything. The last thing you want is to make the pain worse.