If you have back pain for three months or longer, it’s considered chronic. Common causes include disc problems, arthritis, myofascial pain syndrome, and spinal stenosis. Symptoms can come and go, often leading to temporary relief before bouts of frustration. But your back pain can get better, and stay that way.
This is thanks to the many lifestyle strategies that you can implement to effectively manage chronic back pain. These simple everyday habits are easy to follow and proven to make a noticeable difference. From physical therapy to breathing exercises, here are 6 things that will help.
Often considered the foundation of chronic back pain treatment, physical therapy is one of the first things you should try. Different exercises work for different people, so it’s important to create a routine based on your specific condition and symptoms.
Physical therapy includes retraining your posture, identifying the limits of your pain tolerance, aerobics, core strengthening, and stretching exercises. If you’d rather not consult a professional, you can head online to learn about the types of physical therapy that best suit your circumstances.
Defined as being in the present moment, mindfulness can take on many forms. The most popular are deep breathing exercises and meditation. These techniques relax the mind and body, which can reduce pain. A simple approach is to focus on your breathing, ignoring thoughts and – if you want to – repeating a certain word or phrase (mantra).
While they might be mental processes, feelings of stress and anxiety have physical implications as well. For instance, they are known to increase your sensitivity to pain. Learning to take control of negative emotions can help. Some techniques that promote relaxation include listening to calming music, taking a walk and spending time in nature.
That said, prevention is better than cure. If you frequently suffer from stress, it’s worth looking into the root causes and identifying ways to eliminate them from your life. Sometimes, it’s as simple as blocking a phone number or switching to another television channel.
Does your pillow support your neck and back? Is it suitable for your specific body weight and sleeping position? You can ask the same questions about your mattress. Without knowing it, many people have one that harms their posture. That’s why it’s a good idea to look into a more suitable mattress for your needs – this is a great source.
It should come as no surprise that among its countless benefits, a balanced diet also helps with chronic back pain. This is due to numerous reasons. For instance, eating healthy aids in your digestive process, as well as keeping your weight in check and improving blood sugar levels – all things that reduce pressure on your back and prevent the onset of pain.
Aim to consume foods that are low in sodium, trans-fats and refined sugar. This includes virtually anything that is unprocessed and natural, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and wholegrain bread. Cooked and dried peas, as well as lean meats and plain yoghurt are also good options.
Let’s end things off with an interesting one – biofeedback makes it possible to control certain bodily functions using only your mind. It may sound like science fiction, but there’s sufficient evidence to back it.
It essentially works by wearing sensors that bring certain functions to your awareness. In doing so, you can learn to consciously control them and after a few sessions, you’ll be able to repeat the process without wearing the sensors, since your mind has been trained for it.
One or any combination of the above methods is bound to make a difference. Practice them daily and you’ll quickly notice a major reduction in your back pain.