Back pain is something we all experience at some point in our lives. However, the problem lies when the pain becomes chronic and we face degenerative problems as we age. Busy Bee Fitness Experts work with our clients to alleviate chronic back issues through various modes of training including mobility, strength, flexibility, and focusing on strengthening posture and mindfulness when required. In this post, we provide some basic tips to help minimize pain and work on recovery.
Avoid too much bed rest. When we tell people this, sometimes it seems counterintuitive or strange. Some doctors tell them bed rest is the best remedy to heal lower back pain but often this is not the case. In fact, studies show that spending too much time lying down can slow recovery and cause more pain.
“Over the last 25 years or so, probably the one thing we’ve learned definitively about back pain and bed rest is that is not OK,” says William Lauretti, DC, an associate professor at New York Chiropractic College and a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. Instead, “you want to be as active as you can be with your back pain.”
Daily exercise. Getting in some form of movement and exercise every day can be very beneficial. Building up muscle and doing stretches have proven to be effective over time. The problem is that most people don’t feel the benefits right away and quit. Having a consistent strength and flexibility routine is the number one factor in recovering from chronic back issues that aren’t due to structural damage. Most lower back pain isn’t a very serious problem. However, it has a big impact on the quality of life when we have muscular weakness or other inflammatory conditions due to lifestyle consequences.
Work on your posture. In today’s world, especially during the pandemic, we’re used to sitting at home all day at our desks, watching tv on the couch or being slumped forward while using our cell phones. This leaves a devastating impact on our posture. Having a postural forward lean builds up over years and can have consequences on your entire body.
Lauretti offers some tips on maintaining and building posture:
- “If you must sit for a long time, use cushioned chairs. Hard seats won’t support your back and may prevent you from sitting up straight.”
- “Don’t sit up in your bed hunched over your laptop. That’s a recipe for back pain over time.”
- “Use a comfortable desk and chair if you need them while working.” Get an ergonomic chair that’s specifically designed with lumbar support.
Some simple basic tips to aid in your posture:
- Exercise your rear deltoid and trapezius muscles a few times a week. Exercises to build posture should be a priority.
- Sit upright and stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Find ways to reduce stress as noted below. Many of us carry tension in our shoulders, neck, and upper back.
Find a smarter way to sleep. For ideal sleep posture, Lauretti says on your side or back is easier on your back than sleeping on your belly. If you’re face down, your head will be turned all night and back arched in, placing strain on your neck and in your lumbar region. Some people find that tucking a pillow between your legs while you sleep can be quite helpful.
Stress coping techniques. There are many ways to cope with and alleviate stress in your life. Studies show exercise to be extremely beneficial in stress management. There are plenty of physical activities you can do, whether it be Yoga, Pilates, or working with a personal trainer. Deep breathing can also be very helpful. Spend a few minutes each day doing deep diaphragm breathing and using mindfulness.
For more information on how Busy Bee Fitness Experts can help you with your back pain, please contact us for a complimentary consultation. For the time being, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering Toronto virtual personal training at a new low flat rate until we are able to do in-home personal training again.