To paraphrase a poem by Jack Prelutsky, “Back pain! Oh, Back pain! I hate you! You stink! . . .” (Prelutsky, 2015). I think we all feel this way about back pain. In fact, back pain is the leading cause of disability; it prevents people worldwide from getting their jobs done and doing everyday activities with their families (ACA, 2019). So the question is, what can we do about it? With all the technology in the world, you’d think there would be a solution to daily health problems like back pain from leading experts on the subject. Well, there is. Sometimes their advice is just ignored.
1. Exercise and stretch.
Don’t stop exercising and stretching when you have back pain. Light activity like walking or swimming and other aerobic activities can help get rid of your back pain. Treating your pain naturally through exercise will benefit you in more ways than one. Exercise releases endorphins that help stop pain (Berry, 2019). However, if you feel more pain from movement, you should rest until you feel you are ready to ease into exercise and stretching again. For most though, exercising and stretching will help relieve back pain, especially core strengthening exercises and stretches (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Just like core strengthening exercises will help ease your back pain, core strengthening exercises will also help prevent back pain from coming.
If after several weeks of a consistent core strengthening exercise routine with no pain relief, see your doctor about your options for dealing with chronic back pain (Mayo Clinic, 2018).
2. Practice better posture.
Good posture simply means keeping your spine in its natural position during whatever activity you are doing, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, or lying down. The more you practice good posture wherever you are, the less likely you are to have back pain. One of the easiest ways to practice good posture is to maintain the natural curvature of your spine (Mayfield Clinic, 2019). See our previous blog post on posture to learn how to make better posture a habit.
3. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
There are a lot of foods that can help relieve inflammation, which can in turn help relieve back pain. High levels of inflammation are positively correlated with back pain (Berry, 2019). While over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation, a more natural and healthier way to reduce inflammation is by eating anti-inflammatory foods. Foods such as beets, berries, broccoli, beans, salmon, nuts, spices, and teas are anti-inflammatory (Appold, 2016).
You may also consider staying away from foods high in inflammation, such as fast food, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
4. Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight can cause extra back pain for a few different reasons. As you gain more weight, your center of balance changes, often causing you to compensate with poor posture. Being overweight also adds additional pressure on your spine and strain on your muscles (Berry, 2019). One of the first things doctors do when someone goes to them for a solution to back pain is suggest the patient loses weight. Losing weight can provide relief to your spine and muscles. If you are already at a healthy weight, don’t try to lose weight. There is likely another reason for your back pain.
5. Get spinal manipulation.
Visiting a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, or osteopathic doctor can significantly reduce your back pain. While spinal manipulation is not healthy for all (due to arthritis, osteoporosis, or spinal cord problems), many who experience back pain find it beneficial for back pain relief (Berry, 2019).
At Chirp, we are friends with a lot of chiropractors and other health specialists who say that using the Chirp Wheel+ can assist a doctor in the treatment of your spine. Because the Chirp Wheel+ helps loosen up the muscles around your spine, chiropractors have an easier time making adjustments to your spine. One Dr. Levy said, “People don’t come in as often because they’re getting better! It works. Getting results is the only thing that matters. The more effective I am as a doctor, the better it is for my patients, and the wheel helps them get better. I’d rather have people come in a few times than have them come in over and over again because you know you’re actually helping them.”
The bottom line is to do something about your back pain. Many people just sit there and think that it is something they have to live with, but you do not have to live with back pain! Do something to get rid of it and have a happier life.
American Chiropractic Association. (2019). Back Pain Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Health-Wellness-Information/Back-Pain-Facts-and-statistics#:~:text=One-half of all working,back pain symptoms each year.&text=Back pain accounts for more,time worker in the country.&text=Experts estimate that up to,some time in their lives.
Appold, K. (2016, December 20). What You Eat May Help Beat Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/can-good-diet-fight-back-pain/.
Berry, J. (2019, June 28). Treating back pain without surgery: 11 alternative treatment options. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325609.php#exercise.
Mayfield Clinic. (2019). Posture & Body Mechanics. Retrieved from https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-posture.htm#:~:targetText=Using correct posture and keeping,other portions of your spine.
Mayo Clinic. (2018, August 4). Back pain. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369911.
Prelutsky, J. (2015, March 17). Homework! Oh, Homework! Retrieved from https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/homework-oh-homework-2/.