Here's the truth. I got sick of complaining to the blockchain about my low back pain every day, and how much it was holding me back, so I decided to do something about it. And as a way to keep myself accountable to my personal creed of “Leave everything in a better state than you found it”, I’m going to share what’s been working for me to get me out of daily pain and PERMANENTLY recovered.
Call it my karmic way of balancing out all the bitching. If you struggle with back pain I hope the following tips help you…
But first a quick disclaimer…
Of course PLEASE PLEASE consult your doctor and do your own research to find out what works best for you. The following tips have been based on my personal experience and should not be taken as medical advice
Cool? COOL! Let’s go!
First We need to get out of pain. That’s always job 1. When I used to work for a Chiropractor, he’d bring new patients in to three phases of care
- The first was designed to get you of immediate pain and repair the damage
- The second was to help bring your body back to it’s optimal place
- And the third focused on maintenance
+ Turmeric & Cod Liver Oil +
I had been hearing ALL THE THINGS about Turmeric (it’s kind f all the rage at the moment), and a few of you steemians have even suggested it to me when I’ve posted about my SI joint pain. Its been about a week and so far, I’m really loving it.
”A number of studies have found that turmeric appears to have a powerful ability to reduce inflammation in the body. This anti-inflammatory action is thought to be due to an active ingredient in the spice called curcumin which blocks inflammatory pathways which trigger swelling and pain. This compound is thought to work by inhibiting a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation in the body.” SOURCE
Some studies are even claiming that Turmeric can be as effective as prescription arthritis medication for pain and inflammation, so while it’s not a cure, it can definitely provide relief. SOURCE
We also started taking Cod Liver Oil a few months back to help with our focus and brain function, and I can also report it’s been great for my joints and I believe it’s helping with inflammation as well. There’s even a weird clicking in @teamhumble ’s shoulder that’s mysteriously disappeared! I’d say that’s a win!
+ Yoga +
Surprised? Haha I know you probably aren’t coming from me, but this one has beenHUGE. There’s a specific class that’s helped my specific pain SOO much, but the key here is that you want to be focusing on not only stretching and loosening those mucsles and tendins that are keeping you tight and in pain, but also stregnethning the muscles in that core.
Strengthen Your Core and Back (Free Yoga Class)
So much of my yoga practice has been focused on keeping loose, which feels great in the moment, and does help relieve tension but if you don’t have the strecnth to support yourself while standing, sitting, lifting and basically living, your core clocks out early and your back ends up pulling overtime, and trust me YOU'LL PAY for that overtime.
+ Swimms! +
*I'm positive I was either this dog or this dolphin in a past life...
You may know how much I love swimming, so everything in the world seems better after I’ve been in the water, BUT, (and I know it’s tricky this time of year) swimming is a great way to get exercise while you’re recovering from an injury because of it’s low impact nature. It’s easy on the joints but the resistance the water provides makes it perfect for aerobic exercise and building up core stregnth.
“Swimming recommended in the recovery of lower back pain and is a good resistance training exercise for increasing strength and tone. The nature of swimming helps to increase blood circulation, thereby increasing the nutrients and oxygen supply to areas of damage, aiding in the healing process.” SOURCE
+ Heat +
Yes the movie with DeNiro and Pacino, but also actual hot-heat. It’s important not to over do it, because heat can also add to inflammation, but in moderation, it’s a great way to soothe aches and pains, and help seized muscles to relax.
My preferred ways to get heat on the ol back are, hot showers/epsom salt baths (when I can) and keeping the hot water bottle handy while I’m sitting at my desk. I mean if you have a personal mesuer who does hot oil and stone treatments at the ready.. by all means. Just get some heat going!
+ Sleeps! +
I’m not your Mom. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how important proper sleep is to injury recovery, I’m not going to tell you that..
“HGH is the hormone that builds and repairs many tissues in the body. After an injury, the damaged tissues need extra time and sufficient levels of HGH in order to repair and heal themselves. When a person does not get the right amount of sleep, they do not reach the proper HGH levels to adequately repair damaged tissues, thus prolonging the healing time.” SOURCE
Of course the amount and quality of sleep is important, everyone knows that, but it’s just as important that we’re sleeping in a way that doesn’t further aggravate our pain as well.
“The two ideal positions to sleep in are on your sides or on your back. We want to avoid sleeping on our stomachs to avoid torsion. Torsion in the neck and lower back can create compression of the discs, degeneration and muscle strain.” SOURCE
+ Breathing & Proper Posture +
A big tip that yoga has taught me is that combining breath and movement is SO important, because we can use the air in our lungs, and the tightening in our cores that happens naturally with breathing, to help support us during tricky movements. ESPECIALLY when we’re recovering from an injury.
Personally I think this is why when I’m having a hard time with my back it feels like it takes AGES to bounce back fully. We still have to move, and work and go about our daily lives with or without back pain, so it’s important that we’re moving safely and in a way that’s supported, so our back isn’t working harder than it should and holding unneeded tension or strain.
Here are the general rules of breathing and movement.
- Inhale when moving into back bends.
- Exhale when moving into forward bends.
- Exhale when moving into side bends.
- Exhale when moving into twists.
Also, if you're a keyboard warrior like I am, invest in a proper chair damnit!! One that supports your spine and helps you sit up straight, if you can, a standing desk setup is awesome as well.. At the moment I have neither of those, but what I Do have is one of THESE, and it's awesome.
and makes for a killer meditation cushion and yoga block as well ;) (link)
I feel like I’d be writing an inauthentic feel-good puff piece if I didn’t include this final fact:
If you’re overweight and carrying extra lbs around your midsection in particular, the laws of physics dictate that there is going to be more unnecessary force that your back has to support every day. I am certainly one of those folks, and I’m working on it, so if you are too, it’s OK! We’re not body shaming here, but you’ll be shocked what even 5 or 10 lbs will make in terms of a difference for your back pain.
I hope these little tips give you a starting point in terms of places to research and begin to look into if you’re experiencing back pain. Of course, please speak to a Chiropractor you trust and your doctor before beginning any treatment or attempting self diagnosis.
<3 Much love and well wishes from and ever improving