2019 has arrived and with it, lots of people making resolutions of one kind or another. Most resolutions involve self-improvement but what if chronic low back pain is making your life a misery? Does this mean you should just sit on the sidelines and hope for better days?
Absolutely not! Even those with low back pain can take steps towards finding relief and finding the perfect lower back pain treatment for their situation.
Start off your 2019 right by adding a few of the following 7 resolutions that can put an end to your back pain for good!
Resolution #1-Exercise More
Right about now, some of you are shaking your head and rolling your eyes thinking, “I have chronic low back pain, how can I possibly exercise at all, let alone do more of it?!”
If that sounds like you, we have good news for you. You CAN do more exercise, you just need to know what type of exercise works for you.
The following is a list of terrific exercises that almost anyone can do:
- Take up yoga or tai chi. Tell your instructor that you have back problems and they will help you by modifying certain poses. Tai chi is part of an overall treatment plan recommended by the American College of Physicians for stopping back pain.
- Water Aerobics. If you have access to a pool, you can do water aerobics or even just swimming laps, to get in exercise. Most gyms offer water aerobic classes, as does the YMCA or YWCA.
- Walking is a little appreciated form of exercise that has tremendous benefits. Start off walking just 10-20 minutes each day, gradually increasing the time spent walking to 60 minutes.
- There are a wide variety of videos online or for sale that offer stretching and strengthening exercises you can do at home.
Don’t do any type of exercise that makes your back pain worse. Your chiropractor can offer some very valuable advice in this area regarding exercises that will strengthen your back and core muscles.
Resolution #2- Modify My Lifestyle
This is the resolution everyone knows they must make but let’s be honest- it’s not easy! Some of the top lifestyle changes you can make that will cut back pain dramatically include:
- Losing weight. Dropping just 5% of your body weight will make a huge difference!
- Stopping smoking. Nicotine is well-known for delaying healing and accentuating pain
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep most nights
- Eating a mainly plant based, anti-inflammatory diet
- Taking anti-inflammatory supplements
Know your limits and pay close attention to the signals your body is sending you. If your back begins to ache when mowing the lawn, stop and take a break, stretch for a few minutes, then see if you can continue.
Don’t forget that your diet should also be high in calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong. This is especially important for women. A lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, which is a common problem as we age, especially for women.
Resolution #3- Sit Smarter Not Longer
Sitting is the new smoking and while a “cushy” desk job sounds nice, it isn’t very nice to your body, especially your back. Long hours spent sitting in front of a computer screen at work, then more sitting at home watching television or looking at our smart phones makes sitting a big problem for many people.
While you can limit the number of hours spent sitting at home, this isn’t always possible at work. When this happens, it’s time to sit smarter.
- Sit with the proper posture. Your back should be resting on the back rest of the chair, not slouched over the keyboard. Keep your legs hip-width apart and your knees just slightly forward of your ankles.
- Take frequent breaks. Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to get up off your behind every 30-60 minutes. Take a walk down the hall and back or do a few stretches right there in your cubicle. Anything will help, just get up for a couple of minutes every hour and move!
- Change your chair. If it is at all possible, consider changing out your typical office chair for a yoga ball, an ergonomically designed chair, or what is called a kneeling chair. Experiment with different styles until you find one that feels great.
Resolution #4- Get Regular Chiropractic Massages
We weren’t kidding when we said this resolution is SO good! How to fix back pain fast? Get regular massages at your chiropractor’s office.
Studies have found that massage, especially when combined with chiropractic care, is the best way to not only relieve back pain but prevent it from returning.
Your chiropractor is the perfect place for a massage, too. The doctor will work with the massage therapist to find the right technique for your health issues and direct the therapist as to any areas that need special attention or that need special care because of an injury.
Massage has multiple health benefits and should be considered a health measure, no different than vitamins, flu shots, or dental exams, and not an expensive indulgence.
Resolution #5-Seek Chiropractic Treatment
You might have been putting off seeing your local chiropractor and hoped that your pain would go away on its own but make this your must-do resolution for 2019! If you choose no other resolution from this list, this is the one to pick. Why?
Because if you want lower back pain relief, there is nothing better than chiropractic care. Systematic reviews of studies clearly show that chiropractic adjustments are an effective treatment for low back pain, especially chronic low back pain.
Also, since back pain can stem from any number of reasons, it’s important that you discover the root cause of your pain. It could be something as simple as overuse and poor posture, but chronic back pain could also be from degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis. Getting the proper diagnosis is an important first step towards getting rid of back pain once and for all!
After the doctor makes a diagnosis, they will set up a treatment plan designed especially for you. Chronic back pain treatment takes different approaches since everyone is different. You will be amazed, however, at how quickly your pain begins to subside and you will wonder why you took so long to take this step towards healing!
Resolution #6- Find Physical Therapy Modalities
Depending on your situation, your chiropractor might decide to use other types of physical therapy modalities to relieve pain and speed healing. Some of these might include:
- TENS device. This small, battery operated device sends small electrical currents through the muscles and other tissue to relieve pain and stimulate healing
- Ultrasound. Most people think of this as a means of imaging, but ultrasound also sends heat and energy via vibration deep into the tissues. This also reduces pain and speeds healing.
- Cold laser. Low level laser therapy, sometimes called cold laser, uses a single wavelength of light to speed healing and reduce pain.
Your chiropractor might also decide to incorporate a program of strengthening exercises, stretching programs, or other types of exercises designed to improve your core, back, and abdominal muscles to help support the back.
Resolution #7- Take Up Mindfulness and Meditation
While this might sound like some new age mumbo jumbo to some, it’s hard to deny facts.
Multiple studies have found that meditation can teach you to refocus your attention away from back pain. In fact, mindfulness-based meditation can be more effective than medication when it comes to back pain.
Meditation is a form of psychotherapy that trains the mind to modify specific thoughts and behaviors, including responding to pain. One study out of Seattle, Washington, in 2016 found that not only did the group that practiced meditation have less pain, but they also reported that they also had improved range of motion.
If you are suffering from low back pain, neck pain, or other types of musculoskeletal pain, we can help. Our unique program, The Alaska Back Pain Protocol, has helped thousands of people with low back pain. Call us at Better Health Alaska Chiropractic and Rehab to see if you might be a candidate for this procedure. You can also click here to make an appointment online.
Dealing with back pain has a profound effect on your quality of life. Don’t let back pain put the brakes on your life, let one of our helpful chiropractors set you on the road to recovery!