An appointment with your chiropractor gives you a major reason to smile if you've been nursing a sore back, but you don't have to live in unbearable pain between appointments. Of course, no one is suggesting that it would be wise to attempt to adjust your own spine, but it's often possible to reduce your aches and pains without the use of drugs. If you're among the 80 percent of U.S. adults who suffer from lower back pain at one time or another, some simple lifestyle adjustments can provide a degree of relief until the next time you step through the chiropractor's clinic doors. Here are some strategies to adopt.
Build Your Core
Strengthening your core muscles such as your abdominals and obliques doesn't happen overnight, but improving your strength in this region can have a dramatic effect on reducing your back pain. Stronger core muscles can counteract a slouching posture by essentially pulling your body into an upright position. There are a multitude of ways to improve your strength in this region, but the American Council on Exercise reports that bicycle crunches are the best way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, and captain's chair lifts are the best workout for your obliques.
Change How Your Sleep
When you're in pain, it can be tempting to stay in bed for as long as possible, but remaining in bed for too long can lead to further discomfort by the time you rise in the morning. A 2007 study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that test patients reported increased pain when sleeping for fewer than six hours and longer than nine hours per night. Keeping your average sleep length within this span isn't just good for your back -- it also suits your body's internal clock. When you sleep, hold a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side and under your knees and midsection, respectively, if you sleep on your back or front. Doing so reduces back strain.
Limit Your Sitting
Many people spend virtually all day sitting at their desk at work and then sitting on the couch at home. This sedentary lifestyle, in addition to being detrimental to your waistline, can also worsen back pain. Set your phone's alarm to beep every half hour to remind you that it's time to stand up and stretch. Pretty soon, you'll develop a healthy habit of getting out of your seat and it will become second nature to you.
A few months ago, I realized that it was getting progressively more difficult to move around like I used to. Lifting was a chore, sleeping was difficult, and bending over was absolutely grueling. My back hurt when I did just about anything, so I decided to seek help. I contacted a chiropractor in my area for help, and it was amazing how helpful the chiropractor was. I was able to get in for an appointment the same day, and my problems melted away as the doctor worked on my back. My blog details my journey, so that you can see how helpful the right care can be.