Back-Saving Tips for Chronic Lower Back Pain
Can I Help My Own Back?
Yes! If you have chronic, mild to moderate, lower back pain, aching, or stiffness, you may be able to improve your lower back by incorporating the tips below into your daily life.
What is chronic, mild to moderate, lower back pain?
- Duration of the pain is over three months.
- The ache or pain is mostly mild to moderate with episodes of more severe pain.
- Pain can increase or decrease depending upon activities.
- Pain doesn’t usually interfere with work or day-to-day activities.
- Typically, rest and lying down relieve the pain.
- Pain in hips, groin, and/or legs can accompany lower back pain.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, consider incorporating the following Back Tips into your daily life. See for yourself if your focused effort can make a difference.
PAIN MEANS STOP!
Please be careful. If any exercise, activity, or body position increases your pain, stop immediately. Always use your common sense and listen to your body’s signals, such as pain. When it comes to lower back pain, the “no pain, no gain” slogan is NOT applicable.
**CAUTION: If you have acute, constant, incapacitating lower back pain, DO NOT proceed with the back tips below. They are not for you. Call your doctor of chiropractic or MD now. You need help. Certain exercises, movements, and positions may worsen your condition.**
Take Care of Your Back, and It Will Take Care of You.
Just ten minutes a day of abdominal exercises can make all the difference. If you do them first thing in the morning, then the busy-ness of your day won’t get in the way.
Exercising the most important muscle in your body, your heart, pumps nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body, including lower back cells and tissues. All the cells and tissues in your lower back and surrounding areas reap the healing benefit of a good blood supply promoted by exercise.
Walking is a convenient cardiovascular exercise. Just put on a pair of sneakers and go! At first, walk a short distance, even ten minutes, to see if it increases your back pain. Gradually, increase the time. Following through with your commitment to exercise every day can help strengthen and stabilize your lower back, decreasing your pain.
And when you don’t think you have time to exercise, remember:
“Exercise doesn’t take time, it gives you time when it counts – at the end of your life.” – Dr. Leslie Martin
- Exercise routine. Exercise at the same time every day. Make it a habit, just another part of your day, like eating, sleeping, and working.
- “I hate to exercise.” If this sounds like you, find an exercise or a group of exercises that you “hate the least.” When you start noticing the rewards from daily exercise, maybe you will learn to at least tolerate it—for the sake of your lower back, heart, and your health.
- Exercise buddy. An exercise buddy can help make exercise more fun. You can hold each other accountable and cheer each other on!
- Off Track. When (not if) you get off track, no big deal. Just hop back on track. It takes many years to stay in the daily exercise groove. And remember, “The only slip up is to give up.” – Dr. Leslie Martin
Your body, including your back, heals while you sleep. Furthermore, by lying down, you are getting your body weight off your lower back, also critical for your lower back pain to get better. Sleep on your side or back. If more comfortable, put a pillow between or underneath your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
During the day, take advantage of a moment or two to rest your lower back. For instance, if your young children are playing quietly in the living room, lie down on your couch. In the evening, instead of relaxing in a recliner, lie on the couch. Whenever you can, get your weight completely off your lower back.
If your back is supporting too much weight, it’s more difficult, but not impossible, for your back to get better and stay better. Daily abdominal and cardio exercise can help. Begin thinking about the foods and drinks you’re consuming. If they are high in calories and low in nutrients, then gradually transition to eating more foods that are calorie-low and nutrient-rich—fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Get the most nutrition for your calorie buck—fresh fruits and vegetables.” – Dr. Leslie Martin
Speaking of nutrition, your tissues and cells require good nutrition to heal and stay healthy, including those in your back. If you fill up on nutrient-dense, calorie-low fresh fruits and vegetables, then you will not have as much room in your stomach to eat those high-calorie food faves, devoid of nutrition.
“Fill up on the best-for-you foods first.” – Dr. Leslie Martin
Your Lower Back Protection “M.O.”
Be Aware of Your Lower Back and Protect It!
- Don’t sit too long.
- Don’t stand too long.
- Don’t bend and lift heavy objects. Use your knees and legs. Get someone to help you.
- Don’t bend, twist, and lift. That’s a huge lower back killer. Stand square to the object so you don’t have to twist.
- Don’t reach and twist.
- Avoid any position, activity, or exercise that increases the pain.
- Avoid work that increases the pain. If an activity or work cannot be avoided, take every opportunity to lie down and rest your lower back. Whenever possible, get in the best possible positions to protect your back.
AND, of course, exercise your back, heart, and body! Work, as hard as it is, is not exercise. It’s work! Unlike exercise, work tends, over time, to wear you down, not build you up.
Be Back Conscious at ALL times!
The most effective way to help eliminate or manage chronic, lower back pain, is to team up with your doctor of chiropractic. Often it takes a focused, committed team to beat the back-pain beast. Doc Martin would love to be invited to be part of your team.
Talk to Doc Martin Today.
“You are the master of your own choices and either the beneficiary of or the slave
to the consequences.” – Dr Leslie Martin