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9 Tips to Reduce Back Pain Holistically

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    back pain can be debilitating. And according to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans1 suffer from back pain at any given time.

    back pain can have any one of multiple causes, and the best treatment for you as an individual will be unique. Here are 10 suggestions which may help reduce or eliminate the issue.

    Every Back Has a Front. Low back pain is often caused by or associated with weak core and abdominal muscles. Strengthen your abdominal muscles and you may reduce your back pain. While you're exercising, make sure to strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, increase your flexibility, and boost your aerobic capacity

    Lose weight. Fortunately, by engaging in #1 (Exercise!) you'll start to do this. Obesity changes your center of gravity, which will change your posture. This, in turn, can trigger back pain, particularly in the lumbar (lower back) area.

    Lift objects - particularly heavy ones - with your legs, not with your back. This means when you lift objects, bend at the knees and use the powerful quadriceps muscles in your thighs as you straighten, rather than bending at the waist and dead lifting weights.

    Wear good shoes. Make sure you sufficient arch support. Limit or avoid wearing high heels - they may make a woman's legs look good, but they affect your posture, gait, and balance. All of these lead to a shift in spinal structure, which can cause your back pain.

    Ergonomics and posture count in the office. If you have a desk job, take short breaks to stretch and sit straight when you are working. Check to make sure the ergonomics of your computer screen and keyboard are correct.

    Get a good night's sleep. Your body repairs itself during sleep. Start with a firm mattress, and experiment with sleeping positions. According to the National Institute of Health2, by sleeping on your side you limit the curvature of the spine that can trigger or worsen back problems. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees may also help you sleep more comfortably in a side-lying position.

    Use bodywork. Chiropractic treatment, massage, physical therapy or specialized bodywork such as Feldenkrais and the Alexander technique will likely reduce back pain that is mechanical in nature.

    Try the 'hot & cold' technique. Icing your painful back will help limit inflammation. Applying a heating pad or hot pack may loosen sore or tight muscles. Or use alternating hot and cold - this will allow blood vessels to expand and contract, helping to flush toxins out of the affected area.

    Yoga! This can be therapeutic for patients with back pain. It reduces back pain by releasing tight muscles and surrounding connective tissues, improves breathing, and increasing flexibility, strength and body awareness. In addition, it triggers a relaxation response, which can limit pain.
    Be sure to consult with your physician prior to starting an exercise program!



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