Did you know that there are 4 things to do to help with back pain? You can also schedule an appointment with Dr. Anant Kumar at Colorado Spine and Scoliosis in Littleton. He has seen it all, including patients with low back pain due to degenerative disc disease, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or other spinal instability.
- Walking several times a week.
Yes, walking. Although walking isn’t easy when you have back pain, it really can help. Regular low-impact aerobic exercise, like walking, can help reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles, and provide healing by sending oxygen-rich blood to the painful back area.
If walking is something you would like to try, here are some helpful suggestions.
Invest in a well-fitting and supportive pair of walking shoes. You want to choose a shoe that matches your stride and will help distribute weight across your body evenly which will reduce the stress on the back. Look for stability, flexibility, and comfort, particularly in the heel, midsole, insole, and toe.
If you can, make walking a part of your daily schedule. Set a time and place, so you won’t easily change it. Sometimes you can just work it into your everyday life, like walking to the bus or the train every day or walking with your friends during your lunch hour or after work.
Some people find walking to be difficult because of their leg weakness or balance issues. If that’s you, try walking with a cane or trekking poles. Many people like to walk inside a building, like a mall because there are fewer tripping hazards and places to stop and rest if you need.
If walking on a hard surface is hard on your spine, try using a treadmill where the surface is more padded. You can also try walking in a swimming pool. The water can take the pressure off your spine.
Always start out slow and increase your walking depending on how you feel. A good schedule would be to walk a half an hour at least 3 or 4 times a week.
What do you do in the winter if you live in a cold weather climate? Well, you can use treadmills so you can continue your walking routine. If you don’t have a treadmill, you may want to get a membership to a local recreation center or gym. Some shopping malls also have groups where people meet and walk together before shops even open.
- No Electronics When You Want to Sleep
We know that a lot of people that suffer from chronic back pain also have trouble sleeping. If you use electronics like a smartphone, computer, tablet, or TV while in lying bed before sleeping, you can be distracted and have a harder time going to sleep.
Sleep experts recommend keeping all electronic devices out of the bedroom and use your bedroom’s darkness and quiet to get your body ready for sleep, because watching TV in bed encourages poor sleep habits, and that can make your pain worse.
Some suggestions for better sleep include going to bed and waking at a set time, enjoying a hot bath before sleeping, blocking out noise with a fan or white noise sound machine, and making sure your room is dark.
Some people take melatonin which is produced naturally by the pineal gland (a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain) and helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- Stop Smoking
It’s thought that smokers experience pain more frequently than non-smokers.
Quitting smoking is very difficult. It may be helpful to set a date and develop a plan to move you to stop smoking. Be committed and hold yourself to it. Quitting smoking is a necessary component to your personal rehabilitation from low back pain.
If you associate smoking with drinking coffee, then change that habit. Find a new habit. Don’t go out with people or particular places that will encourage you to smoke.
- Stand up every hour
Believe it or not, just standing up more can help you back pain. Sit less, stand more, that’s your new goal. Even if you travel a lot or sit at a desk in an office, you can increase the time standing.
You can always stand while you use your computer, talk on the phone, or participate in a meeting. The discs of your lower spine are compressed up to 3 times as much while you’re sitting. Standing can relieve the pressure on the spine.
If you can, stand up every hour. Walk to the bathroom, get a drink of water, discuss your latest project. This allows blood to flow to the muscles in your back and keeps you active.
If you commute on public transportation, you might want to stand for part of the time or take a short walk or do some exercises before you are done for the night. If you like to watch TV, just take breaks every now and then, maybe during commercials. You could put your treadmill in front of the TV and walk and watch TV at the same time.
Pain is never easy, but there are 4 things to do to help with back pain that can be as simple as taking a walk in the fresh air a few mornings or afternoons each week. If these don’t work or your back issues are more serious, you are more than welcome contact the offices of Dr. Anant Kumar at Colorado Spine & Scoliosis right here in Littleton. He specializes in adult degenerative cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine surgery, pediatric spine surgery, scoliosis, and complex spinal deformity. He’ll work with you to find the most effective treatment and provide a multidisciplinary approach with a focus on non-operative/conservative care and a minimally invasive approach.
Lastly, one last solution that recently has been very popular in the holistic health industry that has been effective is taking cbd oil for pain. CBD has proven to be a strong anti-inflammatory that can greatly impact any type of back pain you might have.
For help or to make an appointment with the doctor, please get in touch with us right away.