One of the most mind-blowing statistics in the world is the number of people that will experience back pain – a whopping 80%. Think about it. The next time you’re sitting in a conference, meeting, or even a party, chances are the majority of people you’re looking at are silently suffering from back pain.
If you’re one of those fortunate 20% that lives a life that’s lower-back-ache-free, then you can click into one of my other vlogs/blogs and enjoy! But, if you’re one of the masses – the 80% that can’t comfortably sit in a chair for more than 30 minutes or go on a long walk without taking a rest – then this article should offer some good information on how to help reduce your symptoms.
Investing in a good spherical object.
- Some of you may have a question mark over your head with this one and I don’t blame you. But really, investing in a couple solid spherical objects (a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball, and a stress ball) can save you a world of lower back pain. These objects can be used as myofascial release tools. Myofascial release is a technique used to help relieve muscle tightness, smooth out knots, and improve range of motion. Take one of these spherical objects, lie down on the floor, and roll it underneath your lower back, glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, anywhere that you find “hot spots.” Avoid putting the ball right on a bone, but search more for really tight muscles and knots. Once you find a spot (trust me, you’ll know), take a deep breath and – as my favorite physical therapist Joanne says – have a religious experience. It’s not pleasant in the moment, but if you keep breathing, eventually the fascia and muscles will respond by releasing some of the tension and offering a lot of relief. Pro Tip: Always keep your small sphere handy in your bag or briefcase. If you put it behind your back or under your legs in long meetings or plane rides, it can ease your back pain immensely.
Reducing Your Sugar and Alcohol Intake
- We all think that back pain is a symptom of brokenness, muscle strains, herniations, tears. But, few people stop to consider inflammation. Your body’s inflammatory response to sugar and alcohol is powerful and can wreak havoc throughout your entire body. It’s your body’s way of letting you know that it really didn’t enjoy whatever you consumed regardless of how delicious the meal was in the moment. This type of inflammation starts from the gut and is caused by a little known syndrome called Leaky Gut. In short, Leaky Gut is when your gut microbiome has an overgrowth of certain bacteria, and seeps through your stomach lining into the rest of your body. It can manifest as annoying, nagging back pain, joint pain, the list goes on. Reducing your inflammatory food intake (sugar and alcohol) can help drastically lower your body’s back pain symptoms. I’d suggest googling high-inflammatory foods then taking a look at your diet to do a little cross-referencing.
- Probably one of the most important yet overlooked suggestions is movement. Mobilizing, strengthening, and actively recovering your back are key steps to reducing your lower back pain. Lower back pain isn’t going to improve on its own, nor is it going to happen by only using “passive treatments” (like medication). Try out core strengthening movement styles like Pilates, Yoga, or calisthenics to reduce your back pain. Teach your body how to support itself using its own resources, and experience lasting benefits.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! If you’re looking for more tips on easing body aches and pains, check out my Instagram @eva_in_dc.