Having a shooting or stabbing pain in your back is a horrible feeling. It might be caused by little things we do while going about our daily activities such as taking on a bad posture, lifting shopping bags, bending over to vacuum, or other activities that apply regular strain on our back. Sudden injury or trauma may also lead to pain in the back, but it isn’t as common as the ones caused by our daily activities.
This is why it is not surprising that back pain is a common problem affecting us all. Statistics even suggest that four out of five people experienced back pain at some point.
Back pain happens in two main types, including upper back pain and lower back pain. Upper back pain usually happens after doing yard work, slouching, slumping, or lifting something too heavy. You’ll usually feel a burning, pulling, or shooting sensation between the base of the neck and bottom of the rib cage. You may also feel the pain in one spot, usually the location of the strain or injury.
On the other hand, lower back pain happens when we move too suddenly while standing up, lifting heavy objects, or any activity that causes strain in our lower back.
Regardless of the type, it can be awful and restricting. Now we check out many ways to prevent and manage that back pain.
Fortunately, there are ways you can stop your back from hurting and keep them from coming back. However, it would be helpful to gain insights into what causes back pain.
How Stiff And Tight Muscles Result In Back Pain
When we sit for too long in an unfavorable posture, go without exercise, or lift heavy things frequently, it causes inappropriate mechanical stress on the muscles in our back. As the pressure increases, we begin to feel “tightening” or “stiff” sensations in particular areas around our back.
This is because the contractions in that unfavorable position tend to make the muscles around particular areas rigid. Slowly, the pain becomes a reality, and in no time, unbearable.
If left untreated, we unconsciously develop a posture that provides some sort of help to the pain. Because the posture is still wrong, it merely increases the symptoms and shortens the tendons in our back in the long run.
Therefore, the moment you begin feeling signs of stiffness or that “tightness” in your back, you must deal with the pain immediately.
How To Prevent Back pain?
Because back pain is caused by the habits we form, we must undo them. Here are some significant lifestyle changes to make.
Extra pounds can increase pressure on our midsection, which alters our center of gravity and may lead to pain in the back. If you are already over the line, lose some weight and fill up with more protein, fruits, and vegetables to improve your muscle strength.
- Use Your Body Properly:
Small movements such as slouching, slumping can make your back hurt. Therefore, you need to maintain good posture when standing or sitting. Avoid lifting heavy objects on your own. If you must, allow your legs to do most of the work while maintaining a straight back, without twisting.
Exercise can also help improve the strength and endurance in your back. Use regular low impact aerobic activities with a focus on abdominal or back muscle exercises to strengthen your core.
- Avoid Sedentary Behavior:
Sitting for too long or prolonged lying down weakens the back muscles. When at work, take long breaks and stretch your back. Go for walks to also free up your tight muscles and improve their strength.
- Quit smoking:
Smoking reduces the flow of blood to your spine, which limits the number of nutrients entering your disks. Smoking may also limit healing from back pain. Talk to your doctor about what you must do to quit.
Exercises For Back Pain
As we said earlier, exercise has tremendous benefits to your back. With stronger muscles, your joints and disks are supported that your body can fully accommodate our daily activities (as long as we don’t go overboard). Although you must incorporate a comprehensive exercise plan to gain tremendous benefits, exercises like Pilates, yoga, swimming, kickboxing, and tai chi are beneficial for improving your spine health.
However, you can begin with these four stretching exercises, from Ian Hart the man behind “my back pain coach” program:
- Hip Flexor stretch
Knee on one leg, with the other leg, bent forward at 90 degrees. Now, keep back straight up and slowly move forward, making sure pressure is on the knee at 90 degrees than the knee currently facing the ground. Repeat these three sets for about 15 to 20 seconds. Do that on both sides evenly.
- Glute Stretch
Lay with your back on the ground. Now step on your left leg so that your foot is completely aligned forward. Now put your right leg over your left knee. Cross your hands over the left knee and pull towards your chest, and hold that position for about 15 to 20 seconds. Relax and switch legs. Repeat this three times.
- Piriformis Stretch
Lay with your back on the ground and left leg flat on the ground. Stand on your right leg, so your knee is 90 degrees from the ground. Now cross your hand over the right knee and pull towards your chest. Hold that position for about 15 to seconds.
- Hamstring stretch:
Sit down on the ground with your legs straight in front of you and knees locked firmly together. Now stretch out your hands and reach for your toes, so your hands touch the tip of your toes. While doing this, push your forehand down towards your knees and hold the position for about 20 seconds.
You can do these exercises in minutes, and they ease the pressure on your spine and bring instant relief to that aching pain. Nevertheless, make sure you warm up before you do these stretches by taking a hot shower, moving around a bit on a treadmill, or taking a walk.
Ways To Relief Back Pain (Upper Or Lower Back Pain)
So, what if the pain is already there, what can you do about it – simple, do not stop moving. Sure, it’s going to feel really awful to move around, but complete immobilization does nothing but weakens your muscles.
You can use over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen to deal with the pain. Your doctor may also recommend prescription muscle relaxants or opiates if all else fails. Simple ice or heat application can also help loosen and relieve some tension in your back.
You must always include exercises to deal with the pain. Begin with the four stretching exercises we listed above and improve the number of aerobic exercises you do.
But, those are just preambles to getting rid of all kinds of back pains permanently. You can check out Ian Hart’s comprehensive back pain relief program called “My Back Pain Coach” if you care for a natural long-lasting solution to all kinds of pain in the back.
Back pain sufferers from accidents, childbirth complications, and others with various back pains with varying degrees of pain have gone back pain-free.
Formerly known as “back pain relief 4-life program”, it provides robust physical therapy, which includes targeted exercise and diet plans for preventing and managing back pain. We highly recommend the program for anyone seeking to prevent or manage back pain. Check out the presentation here.
How Should I Sleep Or Lay With Back pain?
Besides the exercise and diet plans, you also need to change your sleeping position. Sleeping wrongly may also increase the pressure on your already sore muscles, which worsens them.
Therefore, no matter what you do during the day, what you do at night has a role to play. Try not to sleep flat on your back or stomach. Your best position is on your side. When sleeping on your side, place an orthopedic pillow under the lower part of your legs to support your back muscles.
If you also prefer sleeping on your stomach, also use a pillow under your lower abdomen to help take the pressure off your back.
Overall, the type of mattress and pillow you use is also important. We recommend using a firm mattress, but we all have our different preferences about the degree of firmness.
For instance, stomach or back sleepers would preferably use a medium-firm mattress. Overall, you should look for foams that offer some level of support and use hybrid materials. Some foam manufacturers also offer up to 100 nights of testing, so take advantage of that trial period to understand the best foam for your back pain.
Dealing with back pain is a terrible experience. However, you can now prevent pain in the back by using the exercises and simple lifestyle changes we’ve outlined in this article. You can always use OTC medications, heat or cold compresses, and stretching exercises to soothe the pain, but your lifestyle changes matter a lot.
Therefore, you need to undo those habits that make your back hurt and improve your lifestyle. A good way to start is by joining our back pain relief program, which provides access to exciting ways to get that pain out for good.
There, you’ll receive personalized information because each one of us has different symptoms and lifestyle needs. Therefore, generic guides may only do so much. Why not join thousands of people like you who have embraced a pain-free and joyful existence.