Do you wake with a horrific backache each morning? Or even wince with pain when you stand up? Back pain is more likely with age, poor nutrition, obesity and stress.
Adjusting your lifestyle is one of the best ways to manage chronic back pain
Hong Shen, MD
Standard chronic low back-pain treatments include medications, physical therapy and steroid injections. "Injections may not be as effective or long-lasting for chronic pain and do carry some risk" notes Dr.Shen.
Long term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can damage your kidneys and liver causing internal bleeding or leaky gut syndrome. Acetaminophen can damage the liver and slow liver detoxification. Opiods may then lead to anxiety, endocrine problems, dependency and addiction, muscle relaxers are often sedating. With that in mind, here are 5 top tips to help with your back pain!
#1 Use Food As Medicine
"Inflammation is the root cause of many types of chronic pain. Eating lots of sugars, refined carbs like flour and processed foods increases inflammation and pain"
Step away from the standard diet, high calories with low micro-nutrients. Embrace a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients instead. Choose a variety of color in vegetables and fruits. Different colors indicate a variety of nutrients. You can eat unlimited leafy greens and vociferous veggies without gaining weight.
Eat beans in moderation. Whilst beneficial, beans can add pounds and increase glucose levels when you eat too many. Limiting portion sizes will result in lost weight. Choosing high-quality lean meats or more plant based proteins is another great option to pump yourself full of valuable nutrients which do a doctors job for you.
Eliminating processed foods is an obvious must. Prepackaged and fried foods are often high in pro-inflammatory sugars, refined carbs, food additives and bad fats. Wheat and casein are another contributor to bad health causing chronic pains that amasses over time. Healthy fats are a great solution to solving any cravings you might have. Small wild fish, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and avocado all contain healthy fats.
#2 Stress Management
Pain triggers the release of stress hormones that make muscles tighten up. Muscle tension reduces blood flow to tissues, bringing them less oxygen and fewer nutrients. When this happens, you feel pain. Obviously you can't simply avoid stress. But you can learn to manage it.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy and meditation are excellent tools. Skilled therapists can change the way you perceive stress. Meditationan is an excellent tool. Skilled therapists can change the way you perceive stress. Meditation can reduce anxiety, provide a calm sense of focus and reduce pain.
#3 Don't Short-Change Your Sleep
Sleep is extremely - it helps your body heal. Lack of sleep releases more stress hormones, lowers pain tolerance and worsens your existing pain. Sleep loss can complicate other health issues, making it harder to control glucose levels when you have diabetes.
Practice good sleep hygiene. Avoid blue light from smart phones or TV for one hour before you go to bed. Go to bed at a regular time each evening where possible and the same when getting up to keep your internal clock regular.
Meditation is a great tool for a better night's sleep. There are many meditation apps available both on the Android store and on the IOS store. Start with 5-10 minutes before sleeping and gradually increase it to 20-30 regularly. This will be great for your productivity during the day too!
#4 Make Physical Activity A Habit
Motion is lotion for your back. Exercise even when you're in pain is critical to recovery. Start with an activity you like, and see yourself gradually progress from a less to more active lifestyle. If you can't move easily, try chair yoga, walking , biking or swimming! Even a small increase in daily activity can bring major improvements in overall health.
Acupuncture can help you resume the activity that you back pain has limited. Used for thousands of years in China for everything from pain relief to stroke rehabilitation, acupuncture is now used in the United States and other Western countries for a variety of chronic pain.
The outpatient procedures for acupuncture is suitable for most people. It is important to tell your acupuncturist if you are on blood thinners or have spinal cord stimulators or a pacemaker. The acupuncturist will the adjust your treatment plan.