Three things to monitor daily to help prevent low back pain
Ever since I injured my leg swimming and was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), I have battled with chronic low back pain. After spending some time treating it, my Chiropractor in Eagle River began suggesting preventative actions I could be taking to help reduce my low back pain. In addition to recommending that I take Formula 303 (a natural muscle relaxer) and that I wear my orthotics all the time, we had a good conversation about what causes back pain and what I can be doing each day to help get some pain relief. He told me about three major contributing factors to low back pain and what I can do to reduce the pain by paying attention to these three things:
- Keeping an eye on BMI: When I was first diagnosed with CRPS and retired from my swimming career, my athlete appetite went away, and unfortunately so did my speedy athlete metabolism. I went from being able to eat literally anything I wanted because I would work it all off within hours to having to watch my calorie intake and activity output. About two years post diagnosis I still didn’t have a good handle on a ‘limited activity’ diet and I gained nearly twenty pounds. After realizing that my weight gain could be contributing to my low back pain, I worked harder to maintain a healthy diet and weight and in return reduced my low back pain.
- A Strong Core is Key: When your core is weak, your back has nothing to support it. There is nothing to keep it from becoming irritated by sudden movements. Your back needs a strong core to support it, hold it up straight, and to maintain a good posture. Without a healthy posture, the back will suffer. While a daily four- to eight-minute core workout/abdominal workout routine will certainly help maintain a healthy happy back, you can also build core muscles by doing core strengthening yoga, going on hikes with varying incline and decline or swimming. With a healthy BMI, core workouts will come easier, and be more effective.
- Daily Stretching/Yoga: Having a good range of motion is big part of keeping lower back pain minimal. After my Chiropractor taught me a few stretches to help my back, I began to feel results. Wanting to work on this pain relief option more, I took a yoga class and learned about daily spinal stretches and how important it is for spinal health. Adding a spinal stretch routine into my daily schedule was not hard and it has really helped me maintain and treat my chronic low back pain.
Check back next week to learn about clean eating while healing from an injury.