How to live without chronic back pain

How to live without chronic back pain

A fitness expert shares a plan of attack for living without back pain

All too often, after fruitless searches for a single magic measure to eradicate chronic back pain, people decide that living with discomfort is a normal part of life. But living with back pain is neither normal nor necessary. This last part of our back pain series will give you the power to create your own personalized long-term strategy for maintaining back health and living an active, pain-free lifestyle.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that, in the first article, we discussed how back pain is a very personal experience, with different causes and different treatment options, but that research has shown that exercise is the most effective to achieve lasting relief. I also explained the importance of establishing a mind-body connection and harnessing the power of the breath, not only to suppress your pain response, but also to restore proper alignment of your rib cage, pelvis, and spine, to take pressure off your back. .

In the second article, we looked at why your body needs movement to heal and outlined a variety of exercises to try to determine which ones work for you. For those who suffer from sciatica, in the third part, we specifically mentioned exercises to calm sciatica.

Finally, it’s time to come up with a long-term, exercise-based plan to keep you pain-free.

Trust in yourself

In previous articles and videos in this series, I’ve shared more than a dozen exercise options, encouraging you to try them all while listening carefully to your body to determine which ones helped you get relief and begin to regain strength and mobility.

To design your long-term back care strategy, you will need to continue to trust your instincts and develop them. Don’t be afraid to trust your mind-body connection to guide you in selecting the right exercises to incorporate into your daily routine and to address specific needs, as your back occasionally sends you signals that require extra attention or approaches lightly. many different.

These signs can be as strong as the temporary return of sciatic symptoms or as mild as a whisper of a feeling of a slightly dislocated back muscle. As you have invested the time and energy to get to know how your body responds to different exercises and techniques, in each case you will simply have to go back to what has worked before.

You should be encouraged to be proactive and confident in your own self-care!

exercise daily

There is no passive approach that will keep your back healthy. Because your body is designed for movement, daily exercise will work as your most effective preventative medicine. In fact, in addition to keeping you pain-free, just 11 minutes of moderate exercise a day can also help you live longer, according to research.

There are many ways to get your 11 minutes or more of exercise daily. As we are focused on the health of your back, you should choose three of the exercises from the previous articles that helped you get relief and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Because of the role your breathing pattern plays in maintaining posture and alignment, I strongly advise you to include the bridge breathing exercise as one of these three.

Your three back care exercises should only take a few minutes to complete, so you’ll need to incorporate some other daily exercise to help you reach that minimum threshold. Consider this ten-minute bodyweight workout routine, or, if you’re new to this exercise, restarting your workout set can help.

Practice mindful walking

Whether it’s your daily allotment of exercise, or an addition to it, I highly recommend at least eight to ten minutes of mindful walking a day. As you take each step, be aware of the timing of the movements involved and your ability to breathe well as you walk.

Walking is an alternating and reciprocal pattern, which simply means that while one side of the body is doing one thing, the other is doing the opposite to create a complete movement. This includes the upper and lower parts of your body and incorporates all the supporting muscles of the spine. Proper foot position and heel support allow you to absorb shock and move your body weight with balance and control. Arm swing is essential for a functional gait pattern because it creates healthy movement of the rib cage in coordination with each step, facilitating necessary core, hip and trunk strength, which helps prevent stress on the spine. .

Perhaps walking has been painful for you in the past, but it’s likely the muscles that have contributed to your back pain are the cause. By consciously training your walk to be a symphony in motion, you will be able to initiate and maintain healthy movement to prevent future pain.

For some simple-to-follow tips for proper walking technique, see the video at the top of this article.

remain responsible

Living pain free doesn’t mean limiting your activities or numbing your pain with medication. It’s important to keep moving forward proactively! Be careful, when you’ve been sitting for an hour or more, to stand up, stretch and move proactively to counter the impact of sitting on your back muscles and posture.

Once you find the right daily exercises to keep you pain-free and start to feel consistent benefits, you’ll find yourself getting more and more motivated to exercise. This is because his body is designed to reward you for giving him what he needs to be healthy and strong. Exercise impacts our physiology, increasing the production of hormones that make us feel good and decreasing our stress response. And like anything that tastes good and produces positive results, you’ll want more.

I encourage you to read every article in the series and find exercises that will allow you to create an effective self-care program that will take you away from pain and help you prevent it in the future. My goal with this series was to provide you with the education and resources to proactively care for your back and live better.

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