If you are a regular reader of health and fitness magazines, you may have come across the term ‘self-care’ in recent years. This now-common term refers to habits, behaviours, and activities which improve or protect your wellbeing.
At Homewood Chiropractic in Fareham, our chiropractors often teach self-care techniques to patients who are struggling with back pain. In this post our Fareham chiropractor will share some of these techniques, so you can try them at home. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about using self-care to reduce back pain, contact the Homewood Chiropractic Clinic on 01329 280 283.
Enjoy A Warm Bath A few Times Each Week
Taking a warm bath is a wonderful way to de-stress and soothe aching muscles. It is particularly useful for easing back pain as it relaxes stiff muscles, reduces the severity of muscles spasms, and reduces the perceived severity of pain.
Spend Some Time Stretching Each Day
Stretching is a simple self-care technique which can deliver incredible results. It loosens tight muscles and increases blood flow to the back, which can help the healing process and reduce back pain.
The easiest way to incorporate more stretching into your day is to make morning stretches a regular habit. Shortly after you wake up, perform 10 to 15 minutes of stretches targeting the back.
You can also perform stretches throughout the work day. This excellent video from the Mayo Clinic shares some useful workday stretches.
Get A Better Night’s Sleep
When you sleep at night, the body performs a variety of important tasks which can relieve back pain. This includes the re-hydration of spinal discs, removal of waste, reduction of inflammation levels, and repairing of injured tissue. Here are a few simple tips for improving the quality of your sleep:
- Create a sleep friendly environment
Make your bedroom as peaceful and relaxing as possible. It should be a quiet and clean space that is a comfortable temperature and free of distractions.
- Get a better bed
If your mattress is so uncomfortable that you wake up with a sore back, it may be time for an upgrade. The quality of the sheets and pillows you use can also affect how well you sleep.
- Keep regular sleep hours
Going to bed and waking up at the same time will help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Use the right pillow
It is easier to maintain the spine’s natural curve if you have the right pillow for your sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, use a thick pillow and if you sleep on your back, use a thin pillow. If you switch positions during the night, consider using an angled pillow that can be moved to give you the appropriate height.
- Get plenty of exercise
Exercising will exhaust your body, making it easier to get to sleep.
- Expose yourself to bright light during the day
Spending time in the sun during the day will help regulate your body’s internal clock, which makes it easier to sleep.
- Avoid blue light at night
Blue light is emitted by computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. Unfortunately, it will make your body think it is still day time, which can make it harder to sleep. Either limit usage of electronic devices or use technology to reduce blue light exposure.
- Take supplements
Supplements which can help you get to sleep, like melatonin, magnesium, valerian root, and lavender.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Many people who visit our chiropractic clinic in Fareham with a sore back have issues affecting their inter vertebral discs. The inter vertebral discs are tough gelatinous sacs that sit between each vertebrae, providing shock absorption and preventing the vertebrae from touching one another.
Inter vertebral discs have a fibrous exterior and soft inner core, which contains a mucoprotein gel. As you move about during the day, your discs will compress, forcing some fluid out.
The water you drink helps to nourish your inter vertebral discs and help them recover the fluid they have lost. Try to drink at least 2.5 litres of water a day to ensure your discs are well nourished.
Exercise is an important form of self-care which should be a part of your daily routine. Even a 20 minute walk in a local park can dramatically improve the health of your back in the long run. Some of the key benefits of exercise include:
- Stronger muscles
Exercise helps you develop strong core and back muscles. This provides additional support for your spine, which can help to alleviate back pain.
- Endorphins are released
After you have finished exercising, your body will release endorphins. They are natural hormones with an analgesic effect, which means they promote a feeling of well being and a reduction in pain levels. This can be very useful if you are suffering from chronic back pain.
- Stimulates blood flow
Exercise will increase the amount of blood flow that reaches your back. This will reduce the amount of inflammation in your back and promote healing of injured tissue in your back.
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort it is important to seek advice and treatment from a qualified medical professional. Our professioanl team of chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you. You can book an appointment with one of our experienced team by calling 01329 280 283.