How many hours are you glued to a chair or stuck in front of a computer each day? The average American sits upward of 12-hours a day with little movement. Sitting too much causes disc herniations and overstretches ligaments that provide support. Make a goal to stand and move every 45-50 minutes to undue what sitting is doing to your lower back. Walking for 10-minutes, climbing a few flights of stairs or perform some gentle backward extension at your desk. Use your smart phone to set a timer as a reminder.
Strengthen and Stabilize
Flexible joints and muscles can help relieve pain, but without strength and stability, healthy alignment will be a challenge. Especially helpful for lower back pain are movements that build stability in the abdominal core, which plays a vital role in holding the lower back in place. Core stability exercises will improve your posture, heal your back and tighten your tummy!
Sleep and Heal
Exercise will no doubt be a part of your recovery from back pain. As you exercise you will rebuild new muscle and tissue. Sleep is a vital part of the recovery process and even more important as you heal. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to reduce stress hormone production, and enable growth hormone to repair connective tissue.
Meditation can help you modulate pain. Meditate or practice deep breathing techniques to lower stress hormones, which can help decrease pain and muscle tension. A 10-minute mid-day meditation is an effective intervention for those who suffer with chronic pain. Focus on one word or image that brings you joy or comfort.
Maintain an anti-inflammatory diet, which is optimal for healing. Incorporate ginger and turmeric, which have been proven to decrease pain. Make a fresh pot of Paleo bone broth, which will provide the essential nutrients vital for healing connective tissue such as ligaments, disk and cartilage. Prepare a nightly cup of ginger tea with a pinch of turmeric. This will aid in healing your gut as well as your joints!
For more on back health, click here for Dr. Joe’s great videos!