Back pain is a very common problem, more so than you may think. One of the reasons it can be so concerning is that it can be hard to tell how serious the problem is. If you’ve been experiencing back pain for quite some time, then you take the time to properly assess your symptoms, even if you think you know what the cause is. It’s possible you could be dealing with a more severe problem than you think!
Most of the time, thankfully, it’s not that serious an issue. In fact, it usually doesn’t even require you to see a doctor or even take any painkillers! (Well, not many, anyway!) There are actually a lot of ways in which someone with back pain can help themselves. Most of it has to do with the way you sit, sleep, or even walk. It could be that you don’t have adequate back support. Over time, this can cause long-term discomfort.
Sleep and bed
So let’s say you’re shopping for a new mattress. You’ve spent a couple of minutes lying on one in the store and think it’s the one for you. The problem is that it’s hard to judge the long-term comfort of a mattress. Lying on one for a few moments doesn’t actually reveal much about what it’s like to spend an entire night on it, let alone the next few years worth of nights!
If you feel comfortable on one after testing it out, then the chances are you’ll be okay. The key is that you feel the coils and springs of the mattress as little as possible. Looking at mattresses that were built with a focus on quality in every detail is the way to avoid buying a mattress that will end up causing damage to your back in the long-term. John Ryan by Design is an example of a supplier with this in mind.
Remember, however, that the mattress isn’t everything. Back pain can be caused by a lack of decent sleep, and this often has little to do with the mattress. Irregular sleeping patterns can have a negative impact on sleep, so try to keep a consistent sleeping pattern. Be careful with your intake of medication, tobacco, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine - these can all disrupt sleep, making it harder to give your back the rest it needs!
Considering your chair
More people than ever are working at a desk. This kind of life, filled with a lot of sitting, is often referred to as a sedentary lifestyle. If you have to sit down for hours at a home, either at work or at home, it’s vital that you’re sitting on a good chair, as well as in a good position. Again, it’s worth going to a furniture store and trying a chair out for yourself before purchasing one.
People may worry more about the workplace, as it’s nowhere near as easy to acquire a new chair for your office as it is to get one for your home! If you’re experiencing back pain, then it’s worth speaking to your boss (or the HR department!) about the issue. After all, business owners should be more concerned about good ergonomics than ever. It’s been shown time and time again that uncomfortable office chairs cause fatigue as well as pain. This, of course, ruins efficiency and productivity. This is the sort of language you’ll want to use if your boss seems at all skeptical!
Of course, not everyone can get a new chair straight away. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy ‘hacks’ that will help you out in this area. A seat wedge, for example, can help keep your back straight while keeping you comfortable. In fact, there’s a quicker and cheaper hack than that - use a rolled-up towel! Place it at the base of your spine when you sit down to get some extra support.
On the go
Poor posture, as I’m sure you’ve been told at some point (perhaps by a nagging parent!), can cause loads of long-term back problems. But investing in a new chair or mattress might seem like an extreme solution to you. After all, it can be hard to tell for sure that they’re the cause of the problem.
Odd as it may sound, you might want to look into getting a back support brace. These restrict the position of your back and neck - which, yes, sounds a bit unsexy, but it actually encourages these areas into straighter positions. Over time, this can encourage better natural posture. Which, in turn, helps relieve back pain. Result!
Remember that high-impact exercise may also be causing problems. If you have back problems, consider looking into lower impact exercise.