4 Tips for Chronic Back Pain

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According to the Global Burden of Disease 2010 report, lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the world.

It ranks just behind upper respiratory tract infections as the reason people visit their doctor. Suffice to say, chronic back pain is a major issue.

Here are four ways to combat it.

Lifestyle Changes

Various lifestyle factors can contribute to the severity of chronic pain in general. This includes things like stress and anxiety, drinking, and smoking.

If you face a lot of stress in your life, learning some basic meditation techniques can provide substantial benefits. Many people think meditation involves sitting in awkward positions on the floor humming to themselves, but this isn’t the case.

Basic mindful meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for 5-10 minutes.

Alcohol can cause inflammation throughout the body, which will worsen many chronic pain areas. It also interferes with sleep, which is hard enough to get for someone with chronic back pain. Cutting down on alcohol will help you sleep better and not inflame the body.

Cigarettes affect the vascular system, which in turn can cause issues with chronic pain.

Exercise

It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise is recommended for treating chronic back problems. Stiffness from inactivity will worsen chronic back pain. Simple, low-intensity stretches, and exercises will keep the back loose and prevent cramps.

Exercise, even of a low intensity, also naturally releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

Consult with a physiotherapist for the right type of exercise for your specific back problem. Doing the wrong exercise will simply worsen the problem.

Losing weight in general is an excellent cure to many different back issues!

A lot of back issues are caused by excess compressive force on your back (too much weight) which is why getting yourself in better physical condition can have such a positive effect on your issues!

Don’t neglect your own physical condition when dealing with back problems!

Diet

Despite what some hardcore nutritionists might tell you, you won’t be able to fix your chronic back pain through diet alone. However, you can certainly do a lot to help make the pain more manageable.

Poor diet affects every part of the body, and chronic back pain is no different. Protein is vital for soft tissue healing and development. Fruits and vegetables provide both the vitamins and trace elements needed for effective healing.

If you think your diet is poor, or you find yourself indulging in too much junk food, cut back and switch to a healthier eating plan.

Distraction Techniques

Distraction techniques are just what they sound like — techniques for distracting you from pain. The more you focus on pain, the worse it feels.

The simple act of not concentrating on your pain will make it feel less intense.

Common distraction techniques include simple things like reading, watching a show, or even engaging in a conversation. Find something that takes up your focus and moves it away from the pain you’re feeling.

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