Back problems are nothing new to us but even in an age where we aren’t lugging heavy packs or doing much in the way of manual labor, our poor old backs still struggle. You would have thought that since we now spend most of our time sitting around that this would be good for us, but alas no.
One of the most likely reasons that your back hurts is that you are spending too much time being sedentary and not enough time stretching out and exercising more. But, there are two other very common reasons that you should consider too.
So, whether you have a dull ache across your lower back, a twinge that keeps flooring you between your ribs or the sensation that you need to wriggle your shoulder blades into a more comfortable position, this blog is here to help.
You Don’t Move About Properly
Yes, the sedentary lifestyle is killing us slowly and spending all day inside looking at a screen and sitting in an uncomfortable chair is simply not what our bodies have evolved to do. Your back takes a lot of the strain throughout the day and even though an ergonomically designed chair might help, it’s not the best thing you can do.
Movement is crucial for your muscles as it allows them to flex, stretch and release any tension that is building up. It might surprise you but walking is one of the best things you can do for your back as it is gentle, low impact and will help you to elongate your spine. If you work in an office, taking 10 minutes to walk around the block while you are on your break or even just offering to do the coffee round more frequently will make a big difference to your back.
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But, if you are starting to struggle, you should also think about going to see a professional to help you regain your natural posture and comfort. You could visit Peak Pilates and Physiotherapy. Here they offer all kinds of therapies that work for back pain and can lead you in pilates classes and movements that you can continue at home. Physiotherapy is one of the best ways to loosen your muscles and learn ways of stretching out to release tension too. It’s no exaggeration to say that physio could change your life.
Your Bed isn’t Supporting You Overnight
A real classic for people with backache is not realizing that it is your bed at fault. Even a really comfy bed may not be the best thing for your back and your pillows make a big difference to how you sleep too. As you spend around a third of your life in bed, it is well worth investing to get the best mattress possible and giving yourself that time to realign your spine ready for the following day.
Choosing the right mattress will require a lot of patience as you should ideally lie on each mattress for between 10 – 15 minutes to allow your body to sink into it. While you are in the showroom, you should also experiment with different pillows on each mattress you try. Depending on the type of sleeper you are, the right pillow could be the difference between waking up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed or dragging yourself out of bed with leaden feet.
Side sleepers should go for a pillow that fits exactly in the gap between your shoulder and your ear so that your neck is completely aligned, not tilted to either side. Similarly, front and back sleepers should make sure that your jaw is not tilted up or down and that your neck is flat with your spine. There are lots of different types of pillow to go for, so do take the time to get the best one for you; don’t assume that the more expensive it is the better it is either.
You are Stressed and Tense All the Time
Stress is no fun at all and we all have different coping mechanisms, from eating your bodyweight in ice cream to hiding under the duvet. While these might feel better at the time, it is always going to be a temporary feeling that won’t sort anything out and may lead to further problems down the line. A much better idea is to confront the thing that is causing the stress head on and decide on the best way to tackle the problem.
Since stress causes tension, your back is very likely to be one of the first victims of your emotion. This is okay because your back is also quite easy to soothe and as you do your exercises to relax the muscles, you will, by default, be giving yourself some time to think your problem through. What are the realistic solutions you could try? Is this stress something that you should simply let go of? Would seeing a therapist or counselor help you?
In the 21st Century, it seems that stress is everywhere and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you feel it too. Getting help isn’t about conceding to failure but realizing that you are stronger when you can admit that something is wrong and work towards a resolution. The more you can do to alleviate your stresses, the better your back will feel and life will resume its wonderful mundanity.
Back pain is incredibly common but putting up with it will only make it worse. As back pain can be a symptom of a few things, it is always best to see a doctor first to find out what the cause could be. In the meantime, doing some simple stretching exercises and going for walks in the sunshine is always going to benefit you.
If you can, finding a group to do pilates or yoga with is a good way to make your exercise more social and to find guidance to make sure that you are performing the motions correctly. Whether you practice on the beach, in your living room or in a school hall, just taking the time to love your back and your body is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.