Back pain is the most common complaint doctors have to deal with on a day to day basis. It plagues the vast majority of people during the course of their lives and if you have ever had a bad back then you will know just how uncomfortable and limiting it is.
When you look at it from an evolutional point of view, it’s no wonder we all have such terrible back problems. The human being was not designed to sit in a chair. Ever. We are meant to either stand up, or lie down. If that is all we ever did then there would be no such thing as back pain. Sitting in chairs is an awful strain on one’s back. Whether you are sitting at a desk, on a sofa or in a car, your back is in an unnatural position and the rest of your body will be compensating. It’s far too easy to hunch over a desk for hours without even noticing the discomfort until you stand up.
Here are some ways to take the pain away.
It sounds obvious, but we are all guilty of adopting bad postures when we sit. The right way to sit is with your back completely straight and upright. Your shoulders should be back and your feet should be square on the floor. Crossing your legs is terrible for good posture. Have a look at the way you sit in various situations. Then, have a look online for the ‘correct’ way of doing it. You can buy aids which help you to sit correctly, as well as ergonomically-designed chairs and back supports. Spend a bit of time assessing the way you sit and you will find that any existing pain is alleviated, and you will be far less likely to cause yourself new problems.
Many people are concerned about regular use of pain killers, and rightly so. However there are plenty of ways to medicate yourself without using traditional pain killers. For example, deep heat (available as a gel or in a spray) is great for taking the edge off pain. You can also try homeopathic remedies – it’ll take some research to know what is best but it can’t hurt to try. A little sea salt in a hot bath is great too – it’s well known for its healing properties so soak your pain away.
A sports therapist knows exactly how to manipulate your back in the right way. It’s always better to go for someone that is trained in sports therapy, rather than a beauty therapist (who will give you a lovely relaxing massage but just perhaps not targeted enough). Regular massage breaks down built up tissue and gets your back supple again – it’s a very pleasant experience. Make sure you drink loads of water straight afterwards to flush out all the toxins that have been released.
So next time your back is hurting don’t reach straight for the medicine cabinet – think creatively about how you can relieve the pain as well as how you can prevent it from getting any worse.
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Fred Jones is an avid blogger and a certified trainer of pilates in Melbourne. He shares fitness tips on his blog and advises people to stay in good health.