Your mother was right – you should watch that slouch. Poor posture can worsen back pain, so sit up at your desk instead of slumping over your keyboard. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your body supported by the back of your chair, with your feet flat on the floor. If your back is really troubling you, try placing a pillow or rolled towel between your lower back and your seat.
A good night’s sleep
Sleeping is tough when you’re suffering from back pain, and a poor night’s sleep will only fuel your ailment. Try lying on your side with a pillow placed between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position and alleviate the strain on your back. If you must sleep on your back, slide a pillow under your knees. A firm mattress is also important for supporting your spine.
Our spinal column and its muscles, ligaments and tendons are all designed to move and limited motion can cause us discomfort. While bed rest was the preferred prescription by doctors for back pain relief once upon a time, we know today that lengthy spinal inactivity can only make things worse. Exercise has been clinically proven to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain. Try low impact activities such as walking, yoga and swimming, and be sure to check with a physician for which one is best for you.
Almost everyone can reap the benefits of stretching the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the back, legs, and buttocks and around the spine. Those with ongoing back problems could find it takes weeks of stretching and other back exercises to mobilise the spine and its surrounding soft tissues. One simple stretching exercise to strengthen your back muscles is to lie on a firm mattress, bend your legs at the hips and knees and flatten your back. Hold for a count of 10 and release. Do this 5-8 times. A strong neck is also vital to a strong back, so neck stretches should be incorporated too. While standing or sitting, gently bend the head forward while bringing the chin toward the chest until a stretch is felt in the back of neck. Again, always check with a physician or physical therapist to discuss which stretches should be done.
Improving your core and strengthening your spine is paramount to preventing back pain in the first instance. Develop a daily resistance-training program on a machine (or weight lifting) to improve your back and abdominal muscles. Be sure to seek the guidance of a certified personal trainer unless you are an experienced athlete. Using resistance training is extremely beneficial for the development of a strong torso (body core) and for relieving back pain. A fitness ball is one of the cheapest and best tools to help with your resistance training.