It is so amazing that I can share this information with you on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today we are going to discuss another three keys to back pain relief. This is information that will help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Speaking of that, it is an amazing time to receive information because of the world we live in today. We have so much information at our fingertips that can help us live a healthier and more fulfilling life. The quality of your life is very important, and your health is directly related to that.
Whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional; your health affects your quality of life. Today, you can hop on the internet and you can get things in an instant; however, it’s just information. It’s what you do with that information that matters. You must take that information and you must take action with it. Today, I’m going to share with you three more keys to back pain relief.
So, I had spent the last weekend swimming with my kids and wife. We also went biking and we got a frisbee to play with, even though it had been a year since I had played frisbee. We were out in the driveway throwing the frisbee around and having a fun time; however, when I did these activities like frisbee, biking, and swimming, I started to realize that my body is not used to all the activity. Suddenly, I realized that I was out of shape.
I’ve always thought I was in pretty good shape, but I knew I needed to work on it because I woke up the next day feeling stiff and sore. When that happens, it starts making you feel like you’re getting a little old before your time. On top of that, my daughter and I have taken up jogging. We started doing a walk/jog type of a program around town and I have learned one thing: I am not a spring chicken anymore. As a result of doing all these things, my body is just not used to all the activity. I had always been doing high intensity interval training down in the basement and doing a lot of yoga too. However, when you change your activity, it works your body in a different way.
It’s always good to change up your activities because your body does get used to doing the same things again and again. Therefore, if you are exercising or working out, and you’re trying to lose weight or stay in shape, you need to change it up. Don’t always do the same thing all the time. You might walk one day, run the next, ride a bike, exercise on an elliptical, or do a high intensity interval training program, but try to change it up because it’ll keep your body guessing, and you’ll be able to meet your fitness goals a lot faster.
Back to Back Pain
Going back to talking about back pain, as result of me doing these activities, my own back had started to act up. I took my own advice and implemented those first three keys that I mentioned last week. To review those, key number one is that you’ve got to stretch your psoas muscle or your hip flexors. I’ve started doing that a couple times a day. The next key is that you’ve got to strengthen key muscles, and one of those key muscles is your glutes. Strengthening your glutes is extremely important. The next is key is to keep your spine in neutral. When you’re lifting, reaching, pushing, or pulling, you must keep your spine from excessively bending and keep it stabilized. Now, let’s talk about the next three keys.
Key Number Four – Your Sleep Position
Key number four is to correct your sleep position, which is very important. If you can’t sleep, you can’t heal. Your body repairs itself during your sleep cycle. Based on statistics, you will spend up to 1/3 of our lives in bed, sleeping. A lot of stress will develop in the lower back if you are not sleeping in an optimal position. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have the right pillow. Depending on your sleeping position, additional pillows can help keep your spine in the proper position where it is supported.
The pillow for your head should support the natural curvature of your neck, and it should be comfortable. If you have a pillow that’s too high and your head’s being twisted to the side or pushed up in that direction, it’s going to put a lot of strain on your neck, shoulders, and lower back.
You need to choose a pillow that will keep the neck aligned with the chest and the lower back. If you’re a side sleeper, the line from your head to your spine should be straight. You’ll be able to tell when you’re in that position, because you will feel better. Your pillow should be adjustable to allow you different sleep positions and you should be replacing your pillow every year. If you sleep on your back, a small pillow under your knees will reduce the stress on your spine and the pillow for your head should support your head in the natural curve of the neck and shoulders.
As I mentioned before, for those of you who are stomach sleepers, this can create stress on your back. This happens because it increases the curvature of your spine, called lordosis. If the bed is too soft, your stomach will sink down and that’ll create an excessive lordotic curve in that lower spine. If you place a flat pillow under the stomach or the hips, this will help keep your spine in a better alignment. If you sleep on your stomach, the pillow for your head should be very flat because you don’t want your head to be lifted. You could even sleep without a pillow if you are a stomach sleeper.
If you’re a side sleeper, a firm pillow between your knees will keep your leg from pulling your spine out of alignment, and it will reduce the stress on your hips and lower back. You can also pull your knees up towards your chest a little bit. If you have a big curvature, you could use a small pillow or towel to help support the spine. The key is to have your spine in a straight or neutral position, whether you’re on your back, side, or stomach. Of course, most of us change our positions throughout the night too.
You need to have those pillows handy, so you can grab them and move them around. As you change positions, you should insert pillows into the gaps between your body and the mattress. When you’re turning over in bed, you’ll remember not to twist or bend at the waist, but you move your entire body together, like a log rolling technique.
Key number five is to correct your body mechanics. Using proper body mechanics when you are sitting, standing, and lifting are critical to keeping your spine healthy. This is very important for reducing the stress to your back. When you’re sitting, make sure that you’re sitting upright, and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your feet should be under your knees and your hips should be at about a 90-degree angle. When sitting, your back shouldn’t be supported with a lumbar roll or a small towel roll; you should be sitting on your butt bones.
Your butt bones are called the ischial tuberosities, which is the bottom of the butt. This is where the hamstrings insert into. However, you should not be sitting on your tailbone. This happens when you are slouched all the way back. Car seats are known to be bad with this because they tip the pelvis too far back to where you’re sitting on your tailbone, which is called the sacrum. This creates flexion, or bending of the spine, and puts too much stress on it. Most of those seats have those natural lumbar rolls on the side. If you push the button, the back of the seat inflates, and that helps take up that curve. Keeping that natural curvature naturally puts that weight onto your butt bones.
When you’re standing, make sure to keep your belly button drawn in and your core tight. This is going to help you keep your spine in alignment. When you’re standing, think about it like you have a piece of string attached to the top of your head and it is pulling you straight up. You probably remember when your mom told you to stand up straight when you were a little kid. She probably told you to keep your head up and you’re shoulder back. Well, she was on to something.
Like I said, think of a piece of string at the top of the head. It’s pulling you up and making you taller. Stay away from those positions where you slouch or drop your head. Keep yourself up.
Key number six is to eat less sugar and bad carbs, and intake more water, vitamins, and minerals. You especially need minerals like boron and copper because these are two minerals that we are usually deficient in because of our standard American diet. By doing this, you’re going to help reduce the inflammation levels in the body naturally, which will decrease your pain levels. Chronic inflammation in the body will result in early degeneration and arthritis. If you’d like to have more information on how to alkalize your diet, which is how to make it less acidic, I have a new eBook out about this topic, and it will be linked in our comments.
Recap of the 6 Keys
Lastly, I just want to recap the six keys that we have discussed.
- Stretch your psoas muscle and your hip flexors.
- Strengthen your key muscles, which are the back, glutes, and lower abdominals.
- Keep your spine neutral when you’re lifting, reaching, pushing, pulling, etc.
- Know your sleeping position.
- Correct your body mechanics.
- Eat less sugar and bad carbs and intake more water, vitamins, and minerals. I hope you find this to be helpful. Remember, knowledge is not power.
Knowledge is important to have, but it can only be powerful if you take action to implement that knowledge. Therefore, I’m going to challenge you to take action. Take what you’ve learned and put it into practice.
You don’t have to do all of it; just pick one of them to start with. Start stretching yourself first Then, once you get comfortable with that, add in the second thing. Then, add in the third thing. Do what you can and don’t make it overwhelming. If you would like to know more, you can request my free eBook, “The Five Best Kept Secrets to Fat Pain Relief.” You can get this by either messaging me on Facebook, or you can email me directly at email@example.com. Until next time, I want you to stay healthy and keep moving forward.