Sometimes walking the dog, shopping, cleaning out the garage, running around with your kids or grand kids at the park or beach, even traveling may be difficult if you are experiencing any type of back pains. Dr Millie from our Westbury, NY location explains how to avoid and manage a painful back so that we can move on with our daily lives!
by Dr Millie Lytle, ND
If the philosophy “Work hard, play harder” applies to you then likely you are an active professional with a desk job, work stress and an active social life. Aches and pains may come along with the territory, but does it have to?
When you have serious spine issues, you’re in so much pain that you are able to easily identify it and seek medical treatment immediately, but many people are slowly developing serious problems without realising it, because their pain is not consistent. Non-specific back pain is characterized by dull or intense pain in the low, mid or upper back that tends to come and go. What’s just as frustrating as the pain itself is that it may have a variety of causes not well-investigated by your physician. In fact, there may be very little medical reason why you are walking around stiff and sore. This is where nutrition and some revealing lifestyle factors might come into play.
• Weak Core: Weak muscles in the abdomen and back can leave the tissues lax and with bad posture. Weak muscles may be caused by surgery, pregnancy, sitting for long periods of time, a lack of exercise or obesity, especially in the belly.
• Shoe Quality: They may seem far from your back but your feet might be the key to your back troubles. Flip flops, sandals, heels and shoes without arch support may not provide enough support.
• Old Mattress: Each night you have a bad sleep can contribute to back pain for more reasons than one; fatigue, poor healing response and body tension can build-up.
• Junk Food/Fast Food: Your diet may be promoting chronic inflammation and pain. In fact it’s likely if you eat out more than 3 times per week, consume energy drinks, sodas, fried foods, donuts and alcohol. Too much of any of these can cause toxic build-up over time. General aches, body stiffness and an unhealthy feeling can ensue.
Natural treatments can increase nutritional status, reduce stress and eliminate toxins thereby reducing overall inflammatory burden and yes…reduce pain!
• Yoga and Pilates: Muscle strengthening exercises increase comfort by strengthening the core muscles groups in the back and belly. Increasing lean muscle mass also encourages fat burning, which takes the strain off the lower back.
• Greens and Reds: Loading up on green veggies, red and purple berries that contain natural antioxidants creates a high nutrient environment to promote cellular detox, high energy and fight that sluggish, heavy feeling.
• Muscles and Joints: Natural muscle relaxers such as Magnesium glycinate can help reduce muscle tightness. It can also help reduce stress and even promote sleep when taken before bed.
• Pain and Swelling: For extra pain relief due to a poor lifestyle try Bromelain in between meals. This digestive enzyme sourced from pineapple can reduce painful inflammation in the muscles. Curcumin extracts from Tumeric as well as Omega 3 fish oils can help jump-start flexibility by reducing stiffness and soreness in the joints.
• Sleep and Healing: Your body recuperates at night. Make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of Z’s so your body can recover from the effects of your busy lifestyle.
It’s always recommended to see your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis or vertebral fracture. If you are clear of diseases, consider this info as healthy lifestyle tips to live-by.
When is your back most painful and what do you think causes it?