Back pain is not only painful, but can be a great inconvenience because it limits your movements and puts a damper on your mood. But back pain is not just caused by muscles strain. There are other causes – and hence remedies – to back pain that you might not know about. Here are six.
Try to fix your insomnia
According to an Israeli study, 60 to 80 per cent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Interestingly, about 50 per cent of these sufferers also report having insomnia, often experiencing problems going to sleep or waking through the night. While insomnia has been linked to increased sensitivity to pain, this study revealed that women with insomnia were more prone to have back pain. If you suffer from both, ask your doctor about how you could fix your sleepless nights.
Minimise your stress
Though it may be hard to avoid, stress could cause you to be restless and cause muscles to tense up. Heat and massages are some non-medicated ways to relax a sore back. Some studies have also shown that mindfulness techniques, like trying to identify and overcome sensations of pain and discomfort, may also help.
Stop sitting for long hours
Sitting has been linked to health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, and yes, back problems too. Our anatomy simply isn’t designed for sitting for long hours, which puts painful strain on our spine and its supporting ligaments. Try getting up several times an hour to move around, whether it’s for a toilet break or to get some water.
Train your deep core muscles
If you run a lot and suffer from back pain, it may be because your core muscles are not strong enough to stabilise you. A recent study by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in the US shares that many runners have weak cores, leaving surface muscles tired and sore as they work hard to maintain your posture. Ab exercises like sit-ups may not be the best for strengthening deeper muscles. Instead, if you want to be a better runner and get rid of back pain at the same time, try workouts that work on stabilising your mid-section, such as planks, or exercises done on balance-training devices such as bosu balls.
Seek help for depression
Depression is often associated with chronic pain, including back pain, causing sufferers to feel discomfort more acutely than usual. Unfortunately, debilitating back pain can cause depression as well. Seek help early on to prevent either condition from getting worse.
Getting rid of cigarettes may help you get rid of back pain too. According to research by the US-based Northwestern University, smokers tend to be three times more susceptible to back pain, and this could be because addiction makes them less resilient to pain signals.
Text: Yuen Yi Ying / Shape Singapore / July 2018
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