Steps to care for a sore back

The 5 steps to care for a sore back are:

1. Lose Weight.
Carrying around too much extra weight, especially around the midsection, puts additional strain on the lower back. Eating properly, and exercising (discussed below) are two great ways, which, taken together, can reduce lower back pain.

2. Exercise.
Exercise is a universal “elixir” which is named in reducing the probability of a number of possible ailments such as heart disease. Cardiovascular work can help by reducing and maintaining weight. Weight lifting should also be a part of any exercise routine. Specific areas to focus on in order to help reduce back pain are: stomach, which helps take some of the strain off of overworked back muscles; legs, which can help by allowing you to keep and maintain proper alignment when squatting or bending to lift objects; back, the muscles in the back can be strengthened as well. It’s best to consult with your Doctor and, perhaps, a licensed physical therapist or trainer before beginning any workout out routine in order to ensure you do things properly. There are a number of back stretching exercises you can do to ease the stress and pain in your back. Your Doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor will have more information.

3. Not overusing your back.
Learn not to use only your back when lifting objects. It’s best to squat, keeping your back straight, and using your legs to lift an object from the floor. Other “tricks’ include: using your “off hand” to brace yourself while you lift with your “strong hand”; leaning on your knee or other object when bending over so as not to have your back do all the work; and getting help if needed, don’t try to do it all yourself.

4. Back Treatments.
There are a number of treatments you can do to help ease the pain in your back. You can have a chiropractor manipulate the muscles and bones in your back. You can apply heat, or in some cases, cold. You can get a massage. There are a number of massage devices on the market, some of which are pretty good. Not all work the same for everyone so it’s best to experiment. Make sure you can try before you buy one of these products or at least make sure you understand the store’s return policy.

5. Having a comfortable bed.
Poor mattresses are one of the biggest factors in the cause of back pain. If you sleep on an uncomfortable mattress, you’re sleeping in a poor position for long periods at a time. To help alleviate those problems, mattresses should be flipped or turned every few months. If your mattress is older than 12-15 years old, you should consider replacing it. Some alternatives to traditional box spring beds are: foam padded; mechanical adjustable; and air beds and mattress. Air beds and mattresses are good because their firmness is adjustable and they conform more properly to your shape; helping maintain proper spinal alignment while you sleep. Air mattresses have matured over the years. Some even come with dual controls where each side of the bed can adjust the firmness independently.

These are just a few suggestions to help ease mild to moderate back pain. I can’t stress enough, however, that you get the opinion of your Doctor before beginning any type of treatment or exercise program. Also, a bed is an important part of helping reduce back pain, consider air beds as an alternative to traditional box spring beds.

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