Oy! My aching neck and back! With the rise of technology and our automotive society, we have become far more sedentary than our body’s have been designed. We need to get up and MOVE! Dance! Go for an evening walk to decompress and reconnect to your partner! Shake it out people!
A sedentary lifestyle makes us more prone to back pain, neck pain, more aches and pains in general throughout our bodies. Other than incorporating more movement into your day, another way to turn your sedentary lifestyle around is to added some stretching exercises into your day. In the morning upon rising, and again in the evening after being at work, especially if you have been behind a computer all day. Stretching exercises can help relax your tight muscles and help loosen the compression of nerve roots which might be the cause of your back pain. When you engage in stretching workouts, avoid any twisting, bouncing or jerking during the stretch. Also when you do a stretching routine be sure to hold your stretching posture for at least half a minute. Try yoga or even simple stretching to your comfort level. Get the blood flowing!
Acupuncture or Physiotherapy
Having a back massage or having regular acupuncture for your back pain greatly helps in relieving back pain. These procedures not only help mitigate the pain but can accelerate the healing process of any back injury as well. If you are experiencing an acute flare up, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The quicker we get started with treatments, the sooner you will be out of pain.
Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods. The biggest offenders are : gluten, sugar, caffeine, soy and dairy. Try eating as a vegetarian one day in a week. This means solely eating vegetables and fresh fruits and/or juicing your own green vegetable juices with a small amount of fruit for flavor. This will help lessen the inflammation in your body, relieving pressure, aches and pains all over including your spine. If you have arthritis, is is especially important for you to eliminate highly inflammatory foods from your diet. Of course there is the occasional meal that will include something from the list, but strive to keep your diet clean 80% of the time. And then completely ENJOY that 20% without guilt. Pay attention to your body’s pain signals and get back on track the next day!
Patients with arthritis can also take cider vinegar, capsaicin, chamomile, honey and ginger to build back strength and battle back pain and swelling. Herbal supplements like turmeric capsules and green tea are very good antioxidants that have helped some in relieving body pain including back pain.
Sometimes a good rest may be all you need to remove body stress and pain in your body. If you can, lying down for a brief period during the day can help reduce discomfort or soreness in the back and can help quicken the healing process as well. Get a foam roller that you can line up along your spine and do some gentle rolling from side to side to loosen the muscles along your spine. And when was the last time you replaced your mattress? When you spend 8 hours a night in bed, you need to have a quality mattress with the correct firmness for your sleep position – AND good pillows to support your neck as well!
Heat and Ice
For acute back pain due to a recent injury or overuse, I recommend ice. But for chronic back pain, I advise heat instead. You need to warm and soften the muscles. The heat will flush the area with fresh blood, nourishing the tissues and is far more soothing. Some days call for a hot epsom salt bath before heading to bed. Use a high concentration of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to get its maximum benefit of muscle relaxation – 1 pound of epsom salts in a full tub of water.
If this is not enough to get you back into your groove, please give us a call to get you in for an evaluation right away. Acupuncture, myofascial release massage, cupping massage or electro-acupuncture can offer you instant pain reduction and get you on the road to recovery!.