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How to cope with back pain

Updated: Apr 13


Are you tired of dealing with back pain that just won't seem to go away? You're not alone. Back pain is one of the most common complaints that people have, and it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with on a daily basis. But fear not, because there is hope! By incorporating some simple stretches into your daily routine, you can help alleviate your back pain and prevent it from coming back in the future.

So here are 5 tips to deal with that persistence niggle you keep ignoring!


Remember these tips are only useful for short term relief, you should see an Osteopath when the pain is not resolving on its own.

Tip #1 - Cold or Hot compress?


First step to this it defuse the trigger.
So if it is your bone that aches - key point is ache - apply warm compress.

Microwavable wheat bag or hot water bottle will work just great. Compress should not be applied directly on the joint, but around it.

Sometimes a quick fluctuation of hormones can create a shift to the autonomic nervous system and disrupt the cranial rhythm. Take things slower and allow the body to adjust to the change. Keep hydrated.
If it’s muscular/ or you see swelling - apply cold compress 10- 20 mins every other hour for the initial first few days. Gentle massage to the area with circular movement and apply cold gel.

 


"Stress can very easily build up in your joints, if you lead a stressful life" – Prof. Arun Ranganathan. Leading spinal specialist in UK


 

Tip #3 - Deep Breathing


Take a pause from the things that are triggering and aggravating stress.
Some things are unavoidable, and just out of our control. During these high stress moments in life, the sympathetic nervous system is over- working and over stimulates the vagus nerve. We take shorter breathes, and diaphragmatic breathing dysfunctions. The natural defence mechanism forces our bodies to curl up in fetal position, thus leaving our shoulders to become more rounded. Increasing the chances of neck and shoulder pain

So remember to pause, it is okay to take a minute to yourself.
Processing the right now is just as important as completing the task.
Take a minute to take longer breathes out.

Breathe in for the count of 5 - Hold for the count of 3 - Breathe out for the count of 7.

Got back to back meetings and appointments. Remind yourself to block your timetable to actively take breaks.
Centre yourself for the present moment.

Tip #4 - Stretch it out


Stretching is a crucial component of any back pain relief strategy. When you stretch, you help to improve the flexibility and strength of the muscles in your back, which can help to alleviate tension and reduce the likelihood of experiencing pain. Additionally, stretching can help to improve your posture, which is often a major contributing factor to back pain.

  1. Child's Pose: Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels while reaching your arms out in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  2. Cat-Cow Stretch: Start on your hands and knees, then alternate between arching your back up towards the ceiling (cat) and dropping your belly towards the floor (cow).

  3. Downward-Facing Dog: Start on your hands and knees, then lift your hips up towards the ceiling while straightening your arms and legs.

  4. Seated Forward Fold: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, then hinge at the hips to fold forward towards your toes.

  5. Piriformis Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent, then cross one ankle over the opposite knee and pull towards your chest.

  6. Spinal Twist: Lie on your back with your knees bent, then drop them to one



Tip #5 - Eat a well balanced enriched with essential vitamins and minerals


It may come as a surprise, but the food you eat plays a significant role in your overall health and well-being, including the health of your back. A diet high in inflammatory foods, processed sugars, and unhealthy fats can contribute to inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate back pain.
On the other hand, a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, support proper spinal alignment, and promote overall musculoskeletal health.

So, what exactly should you be eating to support a healthy back and reduce pain?
Here are some key nutrients to include in your diet:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

  • Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate back pain.

Vitamin D
  • Found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods like milk and orange juice.

  • Plays a crucial role in bone health and can help support the health of your spine.


Magnesium
  • Found in nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.

  • Helps relax muscles and can reduce muscle tension and spasms that contribute to back pain.


Antioxidants
  • Found in colorful fruits and vegetables like berries, cherries, and spinach.

  • Help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.


These tips are not a fix, it is important to resolve the cause of pain and not mask the symptoms.

Seek an Osteopath for guidance.


Although the tips provided can resolve the issue, for some it may not. Speak to Khush Mandaviya to help identify the source of pain and ways to combat this together.



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