People with back pain are regularly seeking the help of a St. Charles chiropractor. According to statistics, 31 million people across the United States will experience back pain at any given time. The financial weight of ongoing back pain is also shocking. Americans spend more than $50 billion each year on back pain health care.

For many people, their back pain may come out of nowhere, or so they would think. More often than not, there are various day-to-day factors and habits which contribute to backache and discomfort. Here are the eight tips to quickly relieve your back pain:

1. Avoid Prolonged Sitting

In this day and age, most jobs and lifestyles require people to spend a lot of time seated.  As more medical research comes out, more people realize just how damaging for the health too much sitting each day can be.

Sitting for prolonged periods can result in muscular imbalance. Some muscles can become over contracted, and others can become over-lengthened. The spine gets forced to arch forward and support more force on the discs when in a seated position.

Extended time spent sitting has also been correlated with the risk of early mortality, even if you are actively exercising. In a study done on almost 8,000 adults, those who sat for 30 minutes at a time had the lowest possible risk of early death. For this reason, every St. Charles chiropractor recommends that you take a break every 30 minutes. Stand up and do some stretches to help reduce the stress and pain from your spine and muscles. By doing these 30-minute breaks, you are also reducing any associated health risks you may encounter from too much sitting.

2. Consider Ergonomics in Your Workplace Setup

When your career requires you to work in front of a computer seated all day, it is essential to at least have a proper workspace. A functional workspace is ergonomic. In other words, you may opt to have an ergonomic chair or a stand-up desk. Arrange your computer monitor to be at eye level to prevent you from craning your neck downward or upward.

Make sure your chair gets configured in such a way that your knees are level with or slightly lower than your hips. Your feet should be resting firmly flat on the floor. Elbows bent and should be at a 90-degree angle with your keyboard and mouse, so you don’t have to strain while reaching out for them. A workplace with good ergonomics ensures your body posture is taken care of, so it will reduce stress build-up on the spine, back, neck, and muscles.

3. Stop Carrying A Bag That’s Too Heavy

Carrying heavy stuff is a common issue that everyone is guilty of doing. From kids carrying their cumbersome backpacks to school to grown-ups carrying heavy purses, or briefcases to work, they are all part of the issue.

When you move around, weighed down by your bags containing various unnecessary items, it adds up and contributes to your back pain. It is especially true for bags carried over one shoulder instead of being evenly distributed on both shoulders using a backpack.

Remember to clean out your purse or work bag so you can eliminate carrying unnecessary weight in your daily routine. Doing so will help keep your back and spine healthier and free from pressure and stress from carrying excess weight.

4. Have a Balanced Diet

A poorly-balanced diet causes inflammation, which can easily contribute to chronic back pain. Inflammatory foods include highly processed food, refined sugars, and carbohydrates. Bring an excellent balance to your diet by combating inflammation with food like salmon, sweet potatoes, ginger, walnuts, and certain herbs and spices. Eating good food helps your digestion while keeping your back also feel much better.

5. Practice Positive Stress Coping Mechanisms

Chronic pain and stress often go hand in hand. How can this be? When you’re stressed out, your muscles become tense. As a result, you may experience sleep problems, and your digestion suffers too. These factors can contribute to your back pain. Remember to take some quality time to include stress-reducing activities into your everyday routine.

What activities would that be? Every St. Charles chiropractor suggest these:

  • Going for a short walk
  • Practicing yoga
  • Trying a meditation practice 
  • Do a hobby that makes you happy

Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol to cope with stress. 

6. Work Out Regularly

Underused and weakened back muscles can be contributing to your chronic back pain. You don’t have to run in a marathon or be an Olympic-class weightlifter to build your strength. Taking a brisk walk in the park, riding a bicycle around the neighborhood, or attending a yoga class are enough to help strengthen your back. Strengthening your back muscles through exercise also reduces the intensity of your back pain.

7. Change Your Pillows Or Mattress

Your pillow and mattress should support your spine correctly, not hurt it. Your cushions should not be too thick that they force the head to fall forward. Ideally, a good sleeping position would be with your head slightly lower than your neck. Your mattress should neither be too firm or too soft. A bed that is firm enough to keep your spine in a straight and neutral position is a good thing to have. If you wake up with an ache, sore, or tight back in the morning, then consider getting a better mattress soon.

8. Quit Smoking

Smoking is an obvious health risk. It can be the main reason why your back is giving you trouble. How? Smoking can prevent the body’s ability to distribute nutrients to the discs in your spine.  The discs in your spine work as the shock-absorbers between each of your vertebrae. If these discs do not receive the proper level of nutrients, they will begin to degenerate, herniate, or bulge, which can cause extreme pain and discomfort.

Longer-Lasting Back Pain Relief Through Unique Therapy

Chiropractic has a lot of promise in helping people get relief from back pain problems, particularly upper cervical care. Upper cervical chiropractic addresses spinal misalignments that happen in the upper part of the neck. You might believe that this does not help if you suffer from a middle or lower back pain. However, the truth is keeping the upper cervical spine healthy also keeps the whole spine well-functioning, and that also extends to the whole body.

The upper cervical spine is consists of your atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae. These vertebrae support the weight of the head, and are also responsible for the majority of the head’s movement. If there is a misalignment in this part of the neck, it will tilt the head. In addition, it will cause a series of compensations throughout your back as the spine works harder to balance the head properly.

There was a clinical study involving a 27-year old woman who complained of rib and low back pain. After experiencing upper cervical chiropractic care for three weeks, the patient reported improvements in her pain symptoms.Here at 1st Place Chiropractic, a St. Charles chiropractor can help find and address any misalignments in your upper cervical area to give you long-lasting back pain relief. You may call us by phone: (630) 584-5200. You may also click here to contact us and schedule an appointment.