So you’re winning at life – except for that back pain. If back pain is getting you down and ruining your mojo, it’s time to set it straight.
Luckily, most back pain isn’t caused by serious underlying conditions, which means you can treat it with self-care remedies. Often, your back pain is the result of bad habits or stress – or both!
You’re not alone with your back pain problems either. Over 540 million people worldwide suffer from back pain. Today we’ll try to reduce that number by showing you some daily habits and tips to stop your back pain in its tracks.
1. Bust out your water bottle
First things first: you need to stay hydrated during the day. Your spinal discs are almost entirely made up of water, so you need to replenish your water content throughout the day. By keeping your discs hydrated, they’ll better cushion your back and fuel it for success. Experts recommend at least 8 glasses of 8 oz. per day, so drink up! Pro tip: invest in a high-quality water bottle so that you feel motivated to carry it around.
2. Power up your workstation
Before you dig into your work every day, check that your desk is well-adjusted. Just like you check the driver’s seat and rear view mirror when you get into the car, be sure to do the same for your workstation. Your chair should be at the right height so that your feet just touch the floor. Your screen should be at eye level – if not, adjust the monitor – and your keyboard should be in loose reach. You should feel comfortable sitting all the way back in your chair and ready to get to work!
3. Swap salt for spices
As it turns out, salt is a highly inflammatory food. It spikes your blood pressure and causes your joints to swell up. On a daily basis, try to cook with spices instead. There are some super nutrient-rich spices that can make your food flavorful, yet healthy. You’ll save yourself a world of pain by investing in a complete spice rack, with turmeric and ginger in particular.
4. Use a back pain app
Mobile apps have new creative ways of helping you cope with back pain. For example, you can use Yoga for Back Pain Relief, which will give you guided yoga sessions for back pain. This is a great way to motivate yourself to stretch in the mornings before work! If you want daily tips on your back pain, you can also try out Backache, which has lots of self-care advice as well. You decide what’s best, but an app can help you stay focused on improvement.
5. Get a sleep support pillow
You should use a second pillow every night, and not under your head. A sleep support pillow is a solid investment in your back health. This type of memory foam pillow can be used between your knees, under your back or under your neck to create better natural alignment when you sleep. If you’ve never used more than one pillow at night, getting a sleep support pillow will change your life.
6. Lighten up your backpack
These days, we’re stuffing our backpacks with gym clothes, our work laptop, some library books – and oh yeah, our lunch. One thing’s certain: our backpacks are way too heavy and adding extra pressure to our backs. Lighten up your backpack by taking out unnecessary items. Or use a second handbag to better distribute the weight between two bags. You can also help your back by getting a backpack with padded straps, so that you don’t feel the weight as intensely.
7. Do a daily posture check
Got text neck? Slouching in front of the computer all day? If you need to become more mindful of your posture, create a daily posture check so that you’re aware of how you’re sitting and standing. The way you spend your day at the office can affect your muscle tension and back pain. If you’re afraid of forgetting, you can even set an alarm on your phone that will remind you to take a good look at your posture.
8. Relax with an essential oil car diffuser during your commute
On your way home from work, turn on your essential oil car diffuser. This is an amazing way to get real pain relief through essential oils during a moment of your day that’s usually stressful. Using a car diffuser will get you in the mood to relax and help you unwind after work. It’s also great for your back, as essential oils are packed with anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Snack on avocados
What you eat can make a huge impact on your back pain. Instead of a salty snack, opt for one that will relieve your back pain. Specifically, avocados are a “superfood” that can keep inflammation down. Avocados are special for a reason: they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, folate and vitamin C. These nutrients can keep your muscles running smoothly and soothe your back pain. Try putting avocados on toast, or make guacamole as a dip for carrots or cucumbers. It’s pretty much delicious on everything.
10. Cross-train with kettlebell exercises
If you’ve never heard of kettlebell exercises, get ready for them to change your workout. Kettlebell exercises involve lifting a kettle-shaped weight as you do aerobic exercise. The swinging motion of the kettlebell works your muscle strength, as well as your range of motion and muscle movement. It’s high-impact exercise that works your core, back, glutes, legs, and even your arms. Celebrities use kettlebell exercise because of its full-body impact. Best of all, kettlebell exercises improve your core and lumbar strength, as well as boost your posture and increase your bone density. It’s an A+ exercise for getting your back muscles in shape.
11. Put away the painkillers and take white willow bark instead
Instead of taking painkillers whenever your back pain flares up, you can try natural supplements. These supplements are all-natural and have been studied by researchers and are shown effective to be effective. For example, white willow bark is often called “nature’s aspirin,” as it gives effective pain relief, including for back pain. You can take white willow bark regularly for best results. In recent studies, 39% of patients with back pain were pain-free after taking white willow bark for four weeks. Start taking white willow bark to see if it helps with long-term relief.
12. Take a nightly herbal bath
A regular bath is great for your back pain, as the hot water can reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation. However, an essential oil bath is even better. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil – for example, peppermint – will double your relief. Essential oils are all-natural extracts with certain anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint, for instance, is loaded with menthol, which is known for its “cooling” properties. Try taking a regular nightly bath with essential oils. It will also have the effect of helping you get better sleep.
13. Swap your coffee for green tea
It’s tough to give up the coffee, but teas are actually better for pain relief. All teas have anti-inflammatory properties, but green tea is the best. That’s because green tea is filled with antioxidants, which are known to reduce stress and swelling. Instead of reaching for the coffee machine in the morning, see if you can switch to green tea. It’s super relaxing and will make your joints feel great.
14. Get your stretch on
You can build up your back strength in order to prevent back pain in the future. One good way is to stretch often, especially before exercise. You should always do warm-up and cool-down so that you’re able to prepare your back muscles for exercise. There are also back-friendly stretches you can do to promote stretching, stability, strength and movement in your back as well. You can do these as part of your warm-up or have a separate stretching routine. Either way, find the time to stretch on a daily basis. If you’re not sure what stretches to do, you can try Injury Map, which has specific back pain stretches with video instruction. Incorporate these stretches to relieve pain and improve your back function.
15. Sign up for a water aerobics class
If you want to strengthen your back, but you’re worried about high-impact exercise, you can try water aerobics. Water exercise is extremely good for pain relief. For one, the water is soothing and can help reduce muscle tension. At the same time, it’s completely low-impact, so you don’t have to worry about injury. Many back pain patients find that water aerobics can help them stay fit while healing from back pain.
16. Whip up a smoothie
If you’re not big on fruits and vegetables, you can try smoothies as a source of antioxidant-rich foods. Smoothies are just plain fun – plus, you can add specific fruits that can help with back pain. The best back-friendly fruits include blueberries, blackberries, cherries and strawberries. If you’re feeling brave, you can also add leafy greens to your smoothie, such as spinach or kale. These anti-inflammatory foods will fuel your back for success, so your muscles don’t get tense or inflamed during the day. You can even motivate yourself by looking up new flavor combinations, so that your smoothie is never a dull experience. Get creative and use your blender to create fruit smoothies that will boost your immune system and keep your back healthy.
17. Incorporate yoga poses at the office
We know you don’t have much time to spare, but if you’re looking for back pain relief during the day, try yoga. Yoga uses a mind-body approach with relaxing poses that stretch the body and promote relaxation. It’s been shown in studies to reduce stress and strengthen muscles. For back pain, it’s an excellent choice. Yoga is known for decreasing pain and giving your body the calm it needs to stay pain-free. You can even try doing some poses at the office, as many of them can be incorporated while you’re sitting in your desk chair. Or, you can use your lunch hour to do some yoga and help release your back pain.
18. Take lots of breaks
One rookie mistake when it comes to back pain: sitting in the same position for too long. This an easy mistake to make, given that we spend so much of our time at the office or lounging in front of the TV. It’s important that you don’t spend too much time in the same spot. This can cut off your circulation and stiffen your muscles. You should never spend more than an hour sitting without a break. Even getting out of your chair and taking a quick walk around the office can get your blood circulation moving and release tension in your muscles. If you forget to take breaks, you can even set reminders so that you don’t forget to stand up and stretch your legs!
19. See a chiropractor near you
If you’re struggling with back pain for longer than a week, you should consider seeing a chiropractor. A professional chiropractic clinic will take a look at your medical situation and create a back pain plan using all areas of your health. Typically, a chiropractor will make recommendations for adjustments, therapies, supplements, diet and exercise, so that all your bases are covered. This kind of comprehensive care is great for creating long-term habits that will get rid of your back pain for good. Contact a chiropractor near you for personalized care.
Stop Back Pain Dead In Its Tracks
At the end of the day, your back pain doesn’t have to take over your life. By creating these good daily habits to stop back pain, you’ll find that you no longer have those aches and pains after a long day at the office. Now that’s what we call winning!