by Emily Bartels
Back pain is something that affects many of us. It could be due to lifestyle choices, pregnancy in women, or even diet and movement changes. The way that you sit also is a big part of it, but, if you’re struggling a lot, here are some ways to treat back pain naturally with some physiotherapy techniques, along with some helpful tips to make it easier on you.
Consider Your Movements
If you’re sitting for long periods of time, you’re actually potentially causing harm to your spine health. One part of physiotherapy is to make sure that you get up, and you move around a bit. If you’re sitting in the same position, for 15 minutes each hour, get up and move about. It might take you longer to finish work, but it’s worth it.
When you are sitting down, you don’t want to be hunched over, and if you need back support, get one of those pillows to put behind your back in order to stabilize the body. Another important thing to do too is making sure that if your job involves driving or sitting for long periods of time, you don’t do that all day, and if you need to take breaks, don’t hesitate to do so. It’s better to limit your time sitting than to continue to irritate the area.
If you’re not moving period, that’s a big part of it, because a constant sedentary life where all you do is sit around isn’t going to help you whatsoever, and you’re going to feel worse over time. So yes, do take some time to start fixing your movements, and work towards making sure that you get moving as much as possible.
Fix Your Diet
While you may want to consult a dietician for an in-depth look at your diet, if you’re not eating healthy, you’re already going to have a hard time. When it comes to your diet, you’ll want to make sure that you have a healthy one and one that includes lots of vitamin D in there. This is good for overall bone health, since vitamin D is often lacking, and it will help with bone and muscle growth as well. Plus, if you’re overweight, a proper diet will help you with improving your ability to handle movements more, and sometimes, back pain is caused by having too much weight, so this is one treatment to consider.
Stretch it out!
While touching your toes may not be the best one for your spine, since it can irritate that area, proper stretching is a great way to help get the correct range of motion for your muscles, and also give relief to muscles that are suffering due to atrophy, and it will help to engage the muscles. If you have muscle spasms as well, you’ll want to consider using this too. You should try to do certain stretches such as a knee to chest, since this, in turn, will help to stretch out the hamstrings, and the back as well. You should make sure to focus on stretching the lower back muscles, hips, abdominal muscles, and legs, and you should never bounce when doing this, but instead make it slow and gradual.
Strengthen the Lower Tummy
When you’re trying to improve your back pain while at home, doing abdominal and lower tummy strengthening is really good. You should do knee to chest exercises and stretching, along with half crunches, but you’ll want to make sure that, when you do this, you’re also taking into consideration how your core is engaged. You should make sure that it’s fully engaged, and if it hurts at all, you should definitely not do this right now, and work your way gradually up.
It’s not suggested to do leg lifts or leg drops. Usually, these exercises cause the core to not be fully engaged if it’s weak, resulting in back pain. Sometimes, even just going from the floor up, using planks, and small twists of the pelvis are good options if you need some core engagement in your exercises.
When working on this, you should make sure that you strengthen the transverse abdomens, which is where you have a lot of support for your back, and it’s usually very weak in many people. You can put a cushion under the head, bend the knees shoulder with apart and on the floor. You should then breathe in, bringing everything to the belly button near the spine, and then gently contract for 10 or so seconds. From there, breathe out, and relax the tummy. This is a slow exercise, but it can help you really feel better and relieve back pain.
Yoga is probably your best friend with lower back pain. It allows you to mobilize the back, and that, in turn, will help you with improving the way that you’re able to handle your body. The cat stretch, going from the floor to your elbows, helps with core engagement, but one of the best is bird dog for this.
With bird dog, what you do is that you get on your hands and then your knees, and keep your hands right beneath where your shoulders are, and the knees right below where your hips are. Keep the spine as neutral as you can, and keep the head in place. Breathe in, and then breathe out and extend the leg to keep it in line with the spine. You should make sure that you don’t let it sag, and then continue this.
As a note, with any of these, if you do feel lower back pain, stop there and let it rest. If you do these wrong, you’ll feel more pain. Sometimes, yoga videos and tutorials help with this and make it better for you.
Your footwear does play a part in this. You should make sure that if you need orthotics or insoles, you get those, especially if you have low arches, but for women, in particular, try to avoid wearing heels for long periods of time. Lots of times, people don’t realize how bad heels can be, and it can be quite detrimental to your back if you’re not careful, and you should, if you feel pain, consider your footwear and change as needed.
Wall sits are great for the quads, hamstrings, and also to help engage the core and the lower back. You should get right up against the wall, keeping your spine neutral and core engaged. From there, just sit. This brings attention to the glutes, hamstrings, and quads areas, which are key areas if you’re having back pain. Hold this for as long as possible, and do make sure that, if it does become painful, you stop.
Your bed might affect this
Your bed does play a part in this. Beds with bad mattresses cause pain and improper support within the body, and it often is why you might have lower back pain. Look at how old the mattress is, and do invest in a better one as needed if you do desire that. If you have a new one, look at how it sits against your body, and if you need a pillow under your lower back when you sleep, use that.
Consider Mild Weight Training
Now, this doesn’t mean go out and lift 300 pounds, but if you’re having back pain, getting those at-home weights and working on some areas in order to build muscle will help. Muscle helps with back pain, and often, if you have a strong upper body and quads/hamstrings it can help with back pain. You can get some simple 10-pound weights to do this, and even just strengthen the back in this way can help. Doing low rows, shoulder presses, and other upper body exercises can help you improve your strength, and it can make it easier on you.
Get some Cardio In!
Finally, get cardio in! Aerobic workouts, or cardio as the common name, are important cause they can strengthen the whole system, from the lungs to the heart, to even your blood vessels. Having this, in turn, will help with keeping your body strong, and you can build some muscle from this too. Plus, if you are overweight, you can do this to help shed a few pounds, making your back pain lessen in many cases.
So, what type of cardio do you want? The truth is, you should do something that elevates the heart rate, whether it be biking, swimming, walking, or whatever. It doesn’t always have to be jogging. Start off slow an then go for longer sessions, helping you improve your stamina.
The best exercises at home for lower back pain in terms of cardio are swimming and walking, especially with engaging the core. The water supports your body in swimming, so it won’t hurt the back, but you should avoid tristing the body. If you ever need assistance, evacuation diagrams Sydney can help you if you’re in trouble in the pool or wherever.
Seeing a physio gold coast is your best option, but these at-home exercises are great if you feel like you’re struggling and need help with back pain. It doesn’t replace seeing a physiotherapist, but this can help relieve the pain that you’re in, whether it be temporary or chronic. If you do feel like the back pain is getting worse with the stretches or any of the exercises listed here, you should make sure that you stop doing them, and refrain from doing anything that will hurt your back.