Back pain can be one of the most debilitating ailments to impact the human body. Not only does it affect you physically, but it could hinder mental performance as well. If you have chronic back pain there may be some quick fixes you can do at home to help strengthen and pamper your spine. We here at the Center For Spine Care, your friendly Dallas spine doctor, recommend trying one, a handful, or even all, of these methods if you have chronic back pain.
Get New Shoes
It’s often overlooked, but how we walk and what we walk on makes a great impact on the rest of our body, especially our spines. When we walk or run, shockwaves up to 3 times our body weight can shoot through our legs and up the rest of our body. If your feet aren’t properly supported by your shoes, your spine could be negatively impacted. Make sure your shoes fit well all over, especially in the heel. A well fitting shoe will prevent both overpronation as well as supination, which are the rolling of the ankle to one side of the foot or the other while walking. Over pronation and supination can often lead to ankle, leg muscle and back problems. Talk to your favorite local spine doctor to get an idea about what kind of shoes are right for your style of walking.
Be Mindful of Your Posture
Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for your spine, especially if you’re sitting with bad posture. While in a sitting position, the discs in your lower spine can hold up to 3 times more pressure than they do while standing. If you sit for a long time you can experience lower back issues. If you sit for a long time while slouching or hunched over the pain may be more severe and affect a larger area of the spine or back muscles. Sometimes the best way to combat both of these issues is to simply stand up. Get out of your seat at work, take a walk around the office, block, or park, or stand up and just move around. Your spine will thank you for it.
Invest In a Good Mattress
When you sleep, you aren’t the only one that finally gets to relax. Your spine, having literally supported you all day, gets to rest as well. If your mattress doesn’t support you properly though, your spine still has to work while you sleep. If you constantly wake up with lower back pain then it might be time to look into purchasing a new mattress. Get one that is firm enough to support you but soft enough for you to be comfortable. Pillows may also be a culprit, especially if you have middle or high back pain. If your pillow pushes your neck up too high or makes it sink down too low, your body’s natural alignment will be thrown off and ultimately cause back or neck pain. Consult with your doctor about ways your mattress or pillow could be hurting you, then treat yourself to a good night’s sleep on a bed that’s perfect for you.
When In Doubt, Massage It Out
It’s well known that massage is great for relieving stress, but what people don’t know is it’s also good for a number of therapeutic reasons. For instance, massages are great for releasing endorphins throughout our bodies. Endorphins are a natural painkiller your body creates and releases which make you feel great. It also helps increase blood flow which speeds up the healing process. If you suffer from spine problems or back pain, a good massage may be the perfect way to recover.
Strengthen Your Abs and Back
Your spine is one of the longest bone structures in your body, but that bone structure is held together by the muscles surrounding it. Your back and abdominal muscles are directly connected to the majority of your spine. Strengthening these muscle groups may just help get rid of chronic back pain and help you feel and look better. Consult with your doctor on what exercises are right for you before attempting or putting together a workout routine. In some cases, exercise may hurt more than it can help.
If these or other methods aren’t working to strengthen your spine health call your local spine doctor. At the Center For Spine Health, we have serviced and helped countless people in the Dallas area. Learn more about our Dallas spine doctors John Peloza and Matt Chapman, get to know some of our spine treatments, or contact us today to schedule an examination.