Do you love taking on home improvement projects or recreating restaurant recipes at home? If so, you are certainly the do-it-yourself type. You should be happy to know that when it comes to preventing back pain from herniated discs or sciatica symptoms, you can also engage that ‘can-do’ personality and try some of the following tips that will keep your spine strong, flexible and pain-free:
Tip: Get Active
Maintaining an active lifestyle is the best thing you can do for your body, mind and soul. Swimming, walking and jogging are all excellent ways to stay on the move. Yoga and Pilates are great for improving core strength and promoting flexibility. Choose a program that is appropriately suited to your level of fitness and physical limitations. The instructor should be qualified and experienced in teaching adults with back pain. As with any exercise, over challenging yourself with strenuous poses can lead to muscle strain or herniated discs, causing more harm than good. When beginning any new exercise routine, be sure to get your doctor’s thumbs up.
Tip: Early to Bed, Early to Rise…
Getting enough quality sleep is critical to helping your body stay healthy and strong. Specialty pillows and the right mattress can help maintain good sleep posture. Sleeping on your side, with your knees slightly bent may ease or prevent pain from sciatica. In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Pain Research found that sleep deprivation was a significant factor among individuals with chronic back pain. Keep your bedroom tech-free and engage in soothing activities at least one hour before bedtime to promote restful sleep.
Tip: Mind Your Posture
As you were told since you were little, stand up straight! It’s not a pain to stand properly, or sit up straight. However, it is a pain to live with chronic sciatica. So, if better posture has been proven to strengthen back muscles; protect the spine; and alleviate excessive vertebral disc pressure, why would you continue slouching?
Tip: Achieve Your Healthy Bodyweight
Research abounds with evidence that obesity is linked with chronic low back pain, along with many other health woes. Adding regular daily exercise and improving your nutrition will help shed excess weight that puts stress on your spine. The December 2013 issue of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons journal NOW reports that obesity is linked with a fourfold increase in the likelihood for developing low back pain.
Prevention is truly the best medicine. While it’s a reality that an ageing spine undergoes inevitable and natural changes that could lead to pain, there is still a lot you can do to prevent your own back pain and sciatica from conditions like muscle strain, connective tissue damage and even herniated discs. Think of it as nurturing nature and tricking time!