To Your Health
February, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 02)
Get in Motion - to Prevent and Relieve Back Pain
By Editorial Staff
Most people know what back pain feels like, and whether you're pain free at the moment or in the middle of a painful episode, you probably wish you never have to feel it again. Chiropractic care is the mainstay for preventing and relieving back pain, but your chiropractor will also provide useful advice to supplement your spinal adjustments and keep you out of pain. Here's a big one your doctor is likely to mention: Get in motion.
Staying active is a great way to prevent and
relieve back pain. For example, according to the Mayo Clinic
, performing these and other exercises daily can help stretch and strengthen the back and supporting musculature:
- Knee-to-chest stretch
- Low back rotational stretch
- Shoulder-blade squeeze
- The cat stretch
Your doctor can show you how to perform these back-friendly exercises / stretches correctly, and also tell you about some of the movements you'll want to avoid because they increase the risk of back pain. We've published articles in To Your Health that discuss both sides of the equation: exercises to perform and exercises / movements to avoid. Click on the links to access even more information.
What about when you're in pain? The most common misconception is that when you're suffering back pain, you shouldn't move. Many people pop a few pain pills and then lie in bed, afraid to move for fear of exacerbating the pain. Bed rest is generally a no-no when suffering from back pain. Sure, a little rest is OK if the only other option is standing around all day, which can worsen the pain, but prolonged bed rest isn't helpful and may actually cause more problems. The longer you're sedentary, the tighter back muscles get and the more you may fear moving – and that's no way to get you out of pain and back to full activity.
We've also run articles in TYH on the right exercises to help relieve your back pain, which your doctor may suggest as complements to the spinal adjustments you're receiving.
And what about physical activity itself? In general, people who exercise are less likely to experience back pain, as are people who maintain a healthy weight. Lack of exercise and excess weight leads to poor posture, weak core muscles, etc., which can put back pain squarely in your future. The moral to the story is simple: Get in motion! Talk to your doctor for more information.