Affecting approximately 80 percent of the population at one time or another, back pain can range from mild to debilitating. While some causes of back pain are clear, as is often the case with disc herniation and issues with specific joints or vertebrae, potential contributing factors may not be on your radar. Awareness of some of the uncommon sources of back pain could provide a better focus for your treatment.
Posture refers to the way you sit, stand, stretch, pull, reach, and bend throughout your day. The bones of the spine should remain properly aligned when making most of the movements you make during a typical day. Whenever spinal alignment is off, there is added pressure placed on supporting bones and joints that may result in nerve irritation or inflammation. Improve your posture by:
- Keeping your ears, shoulders, hips, and knees in a vertical line
- Getting in the habit of sitting up straight in chairs
- Periodically shifting sitting and standing positions
- Avoiding excessive neck bending when using a smartphone or tablet
Long-term wearers of high heels may find themselves experiencing more than just occasional foot pain. Any elevation above an inch has the potential to throw off your alignment enough to change how pressure is placed on certain parts of your spine. If you insist on wearing high heels, avoid excessively elevated heels, make sure they fit securely on your feet, and consider bringing a comfortable pair of shoes with you to the office that you can slip into off and on throughout your day, or at least during your lunch break if you plan to be walking around, to avoid excessive back stress. To learn about a great new all natural remedy for pain check out this article on CBD (Cannabidiol) from hemp HERE. It’s proving to be a natural pain reliever and it’s legal in all 50 states.
An argument can be made that sitting is the new smoking it terms the impact it can have on your overall health. Sitting for long periods of time can place added stress on joints and muscles supporting the lower portion of your spine. If you have to sit to do your job for long periods of time, consider using an adjustable workstation desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout your work day. If this isn’t a possibility at your workplace, make an effort to get up and walk around or, at least, stand up now and then to take phone calls or stretch.
The way you sleep may contribute to the back pain you feel when you are awake. This is especially if true if you sleep on your stomach, considered the worst position for your spine. Ideally, you want to sleep on your back or side. If you really can’t sleep in any other position, place a pillow underneath your knees and a thinner pillow — or no pillow at all — under your head to retain your spine’s natural alignment.
The Journal of Applied Ergonomics reports more than 60 percent of respondents surveyed reported enjoying better sleep after switching to a more supportive mattress. The Better Sleep Council recommends mattresses of medium firmness for optimal comfort and support. When selecting a new mattress, do more than just a polite “sit down” in the store and really take the time to try it out before making a purchase.
Prolonged periods of stress and anxiety can lead to muscle tension that can affect the tendons and muscles that either directly or indirectly support your spine. Stress can also change you interpret your back pain and how you react to it. For instance, your stress may be based on a fear of doing anything that will cause you more back pain.Avoiding activities can lead to increased muscle weakness. If back pain stems from stress, physical treatments aren’t going to be effective, which can lead to more stress. Effective stress management techniques typically include:
- Learning controlled breathing
- Voicing your concerns to friends
- Keeping a journal or diary
- Knowing when to take a break
- Natural Supplements like CBD (Cannabidiol)
Lack of Exercise
Not getting enough exercise can have a negative impact on all aspects of your health, especially your back. Your spine is supported by many muscles, including some on the “other side” of your backbone, such as the abdominal muscles. When these muscles are weak, your spine isn’t getting added support, which means it’s more vulnerable to injury. The World Health Organization recommends either up to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or up to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. If you’re just starting a fitness plan, check with doctor first and consider:
• Low-impact aerobics
• Water-based exercises
• Daily walking at a brisk pace
An Unbalanced Diet
Like all bones within your body, the 33 bones that make up your spine need certain nutrients to remains strong and healthy. When bones and soft tissues aren’t getting sufficient nutrients, there’s an increased risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends a balanced diet that include a mix of lean proteins like poultry, dry beans, and nuts, low-fat dairy products, green, leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach, and brightly colored fruits. Red meats and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries should be avoided or minimized. Back pain can be eased by incorporating some anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, including:
• Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
• Blueberries and strawberries
There are numerous studies showing a correlation between foods you eat and how your body handles pain. Not getting enough calcium, for instance, can make bones of the spine more susceptible to injury. Making an effort to balance your diet with multiple source of essential vitamins and minerals is one way you can naturally reduce back pain and minimize reliance on medication. According to the U.S. Department of Agricultural, a proper diet is one including:
• Lean proteins, including fish, chicken, soy foods, and nuts
• Leafy, green vegetables
• Bright-colored fruits
• Low-fat dairy products
CBD from hemp
CBD from the hemp plant is helping thousands with chronic pain of all types and in many cases even “cures’ the problem. CBD from hemp is legal in all 50 states and you can have it shipped directly to your home. CBD from hemp may be the biggest breakthrough in natural healing we’ve ever seen and many report getting relief just as good, if not better, than they do from medications. You can read a report we did on hemp CBD HERE.
The spine is a complex structure supported by many muscles and joints, so it only stands to reason there could be some unexpected sources of discomfort. Successfully managing back pain often involves a combination of efforts, including over-the-counter and prescription medication, physical therapy, and taking proactive steps to make positive dietary and lifestyle changes — and don’t forget to watch your posture and opt for a comfy pair of shoes.