Nothing can ruin a mood quicker than lower back pain. I have been struggling with lower back pain for 6 years and the pain was often almost unbearable. However, during my illness I research, read about and tried many different methods until I have found something that works for me and really helps me with the pain.
Among these remedies I will include stretches, some meditation, a healthy diet and good sleep practices. All these together helped me with my condition and on a road to a healthy back. I can again perform all my daily activities without stress or pain and so can you, too.
Let’s start with stretching. Stretching can help alleviate back pain in a few ways. One is to loosen up the muscles in the morning as after sleeping for 6 to 8 hours one’s muscles can tighten up and be rigid. What I found working for me (and a good practice in general) is to have a quick walk in the morning for about 10 to 15 minutes, just to increasing the blood flow throughout the body and only start stretching after the walk.
This is very important – if a walk is out of the question, try doing some other warm up routine instead. If you stretch before warming up, it can be very easy to strain a muscle as the muscles are not loose. It is advisable to consult your doctor/physio for help in deciding what types of stretches are best for you specifically.
For an example of suitable stretches that will help to relieve back pain, check this article on back pain and sciatica. One particular stretch I remember that I practiced on a daily basis was lying flat on the couch – legs elevated on the arm of the couch and my stomach facing up pointing to the ceiling. You want to make sure that your legs are elevated above your heart. This easy stretch will help to safely stretch the muscles in your lower back and to help ease any kind of muscle spasms you might be having in the lower back.
The second practice I employ on daily basis is to have excellent posture when sitting down. If you just corrected your posture after reading this, you instinctively understand the importance of having correct posture for the health of your back and legs.
Poor posture and having your back hunched over will eventually lead to back damage and back pain that in the long run can even cause damage to other parts of the body, like the legs, feet, neck and head. Take it from me as I have had a poor posture since my childhood and needed to fix that before I could start working on my back health. My physio even mentioned that my poor posture, together with the long hours of sitting was the main cause for my back pain and if I it stayed untreated I could even have trouble walking in the future.
There are scientific studies why having correct upright posture can lead to a positive & healthy spine, something we can elaborate in a different article. When in the office or while working make sure to maintain correct posture and make a habit to try to catch yourself when you don’t. Doing so, you will be well on your way to having a healthy back & spine.
The third important practice for a healthy back is sleeping correctly, or adjusting how you sleep. Sleeping on your back is recommended, while sleeping with a pillow underneath your feet can really make a difference and further help your back.
An additional tip that the Mayo Clinic recommends is placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to support the natural curvature of the back. Another thing that works for me is to use a soft towel instead of a pillow. I adjust the towel to support my neck and wake up fresh and without neck or shoulder pain. The worst you can do is sleep on a big and fat pillow that cannot support your neck while you sleep. Finally, make sure to invest in a first-rate bed that has high quality material and soft foundation as this will help you sleep better at night.
Massage & Inversion table
If you’re experiencing lower back or sciatica pain like I did, make sure to go treat yourself on a weekend massage. When you get a good massage, the therapist will be able to stretch your muscle fascia to make sure it is loose and fresh blood flowing into the surface.
As the last resource that can allow you to quickly reduce back pain, I want to mention the inversion table therapy. I did careful research and found the best rated inversion table for me is the Innova inversion table or the ironman, as both are very high quality and durable, and will last you for years to come.