Back pain is the worst. Really. It’s the leading cause of disability worldwide, and more than half of the American workforce admits to having back pain symptoms at least once a year. As those of us who’ve lived with chronic back pain for years (or decades) know well, it can be a life-changer, but not in a good way. It’s exhausting and can prevent you from doing the things you want to, including living the life of a healthy, pain-free human being. The good news is there are several ways to reduce back pain, if you already have it, or prevent it altogether if you’re one of the lucky ones that don’t.
5 Tips for Back Pain Prevention & Relief
- Check Your PostureMany of us sit for several hours a day, which, to put it bluntly, just isn’t natural. Humans are designed to be upright and active most of the time. When we sit for prolonged periods, it can put considerable strain on the joints and muscles of the spine and hips.To make matters worse, many of us have pretty awful posture, often a result of leaning forward to use the computer. Over time, this can put even more stress on the spine, causing pain and other problems.
To address the first issue, consider investing in a standing desk, or at least an ergonomic office chair. Even putting your computer on a stand (or stack of books) so it’s at eye level can help you sit up straighter during the day. Also, try to get up and move every hour or so. Simply taking a few laps around the office (or the house) or stretching can help. Switch things up as well; if possible, split your time between sitting and standing over the course of the day to avoid fatiguing the same muscles and joints.
- Eat Anti-Inflammatory FoodsInflammation and pain go hand in hand. Often, by reducing inflammation, we can also relieve pain. Try incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, such as turmeric, tart cherry juice, blueberries, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, and nuts such as almonds and walnuts. CBD can also help support a balanced inflammatory response.
- Practice YogaYoga has been used for thousands of years for its mental and physical health benefits. Recently, research has backed up what many practitioners know: yoga can help prevent and reduce back pain.If you have chronic pain already, you might be hesitant to try something that requires physical agility. But yoga isn’t all about mind-bendingly complicated, Insta-worthy poses. There are plenty of beginners’ poses (like cat-cow, down dog, and sphinx) that are quite effective, and you can find several YouTube videos specifically designed for novices, including novices with back problems. In addition to stretching and strengthening the joints and muscles, yoga focuses on proper breathing and physical posture, which can also help you maintain a better pain response and prevent pain in the first place.
- Get a Good Night’s SleepResearch shows getting a restful night’s sleep can help reduce pain during the day. As those of us with chronic pain know, this can be somewhat of a catch-22. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for insomnia. But supplements, such as melatonin, l-theanine, valerian, vitamins C and B6, cherry juice or extracts, and cannabinoids CBD and CBG may help support healthy sleep patterns.Sipping chamomile tea and practicing meditation before bed may help as well, as can setting a regular bedtime and wakeup routine. Reducing screen time an hour before bed and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day may help too. Find more healthy sleep tips from the Mayo Clinic here.
- Visit a ChiropractorIf you have chronic back pain from a disorder like scoliosis or degenerative disc disease, or an injury, a chiropractor may quickly become your best friend. Chiropractors address the root cause of back pain by using techniques to restore balance to the spine. Depending on the issue and severity, this may include adjustments to move displaced vertebrae back into place and realign joints, and stretching and massaging muscles to relieve tension.
For support, you can try our Bespoke Recovery or Active products, both designed to get you moving and keep you progressing.