Chronic back pain plagues millions. Students carry around 40 pound backpacks, while adults hunch over a computer monitor for eight or more hours a day. The familiar sound of mothers reminding their children not to slouch and keep their elbows off the table seems to have been left somewhere in the ’50s. Instead, we kick back on the couch, watching TV or surfing the web while we eat. It’s no surprise that so many Americans suffer from back pain.
Back pain can be caused by a multitude of things. If you have back pain, it’s always best to see a doctor first. However, often the cure for back pain is simply a healthier lifestyle. We can’t be surprised when our backs give out after forcing them to take on so much abuse. The back is meant to support the neck and head, while our abdominal muscles and quadriceps are usually meant to tackle the rest.
One question you can ask yourself if you’re puzzled about your back is: how many sit-ups can you do? The lower the number, the less weight your stomach is supporting each time you bend over, lift something heavy, or even slouch. So, in most cases (not all, don’t forget about your doctor), a painful back is a sign of bad posture and weak muscles.
To repair the damage done, it’s best to do three things. The first being the one we all avoid the most: exercise. Exercise is the best way to build new muscles, such as sit-ups and lunges. If traditional exercises are too difficult, a weighted hula hoop is a wonderful way to build up your core muscles slowly.
Second, it’s important to relax and repair the damaged muscles. You can do this with various back stretches, or by laying on a heated mat or bio mat. In fact, doing both together is even better. Stretching helps both to strengthen muscles and alleviate pain, while heat therapy loosens the muscles, increases blood flow, and promotes faster healing.
Finally, it’s important to get plenty of water. Eight cups a day is a minimum requirement. Any caffeinated or sugar based drinks, any exercise, or any excess heat that might make you perspire will increase the amount of water you need on a daily basis. Water helps to detoxify your body, replenishes the water in your cells, and speeds up every process your body undertakes, be it muscle building, repairing, etc, The toughest thing to admit when it comes to back pain is that it’s something we do to ourselves on a daily basis. The habit of slouching is a tough one to break.
If you’re experiencing back pain, don’t panic, and don’t force yourself to sit straight all day long and do 100 sit-ups a day. Start slowly. Sit on the ground with your back straight for one minute a day if that’s what it takes to get started. Do a single sit-up, or 30 seconds on a hula hoop. Just lay on a biomat for a few weeks before you begin attempting stretches as well. Your back didn’t begin hurting over night, and it won’t stop overnight; however, with a little bit of effort, you can put a stop to back pain naturally, and put a stop to it for good.