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5 Useful Back Pain Tips For Positive Change

Man with back pain

Updated November 18th, 2023

Back Pain, Neck Pain, ‘Lotta Pain

– Here’s a stupid question. Do you suffer from low back pain, or know someone suffering from low back pain, or any kind of back or neck pain for that matter? One study showed that one in three people here in the US suffer from back and/or neck pain1, so I’m not really surprised that I see it so prevalent. With all the gimmicks and hooplas out there, sometimes it’s hard to find a good treatment for your back troubles.

This is an issue that I deal with on a daily basis, because almost everyone I know has experienced some type of back pain, especially in the lower back area. It’s time to look at the way you sit, the way you stand, your daily habits, and all the other signs around you saying hey, it’s time to make some changes! Here are some areas that you may need to address to knock out that back pain.

1. Increase Your Range of Motion

There’s a saying I’ve adopted from one of my favorite acupuncture clinician supervisors back in the day that went “increase range of motion, decrease pain”. There are many benefits to increasing your flexibility, including an increase in blood circulation, lessened chances of injury, and more freedom in range of motion and ability to move, which is a quality that all people enjoy possessing. Stretching has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects, or help with the reduction of swelling and scarring2.

2. Look At How You’re Sitting

How is your posture when you’re sitting at a table or a desk? Do you slouch? Are your shoulders and neck learning forward as you’re reading this? No I’m not trying to nit pick every little thing you do….Actually I am, that’s why I’m here. As I think the internet is a great medium for sharing information, I do not think it’s the best method for correcting your posture while seated.

There are many health care providers or fitness professionals that can help you correct your posture. I always evaluate my patient’s posture on their initial intake, and other acupuncturist do as well but may have different methods of evaluation. However, chiropractors, physical therapist, osteopaths, massage therapists, and personal trainers can all help you to improve. As a general rule of thumb, you should take small walk breaks every hour and try to maintain the natural curvature of your spine while seated, chin tucked in just slightly.

Also, if you’re feeling uncomfortable with some of you workplace equipment, make a request to your human resources department. They should provide you with items such as back supports, better supported chairs, or any other ergonomic support item that will help reduce injury. The company should provide these items as it will keep their employee healthcare costs down in the future.

3. Look At How You’re Standing

Are you the type to walk with your feet pointed outwards at extreme angles?  This can cause muscles such as the Piriformis and the Gluteus Medius to become tight, leading to pain. Also leaning too much on one leg, walking with a limp on purpose like an old school gangster or pimp, or standing too long on our feet can all be contributing factors to back pain.  Ladies, I know you enjoy looking good in those high heals, and I think you look great in those high heals, but they may cause your back to use more energy and keeps the muscles active which may cause muscle overuse and lead to low back problems3. On top of that, the harmful effects of wearing high healed shoes may be more pronounced with aging4. So take a look at what your doing to push your posture out of alignment and see if making small adjustments will help overtime.

4. Look At Your Diet

Yup, the good ol’ diet. Are you eating foods that are going to exacerbate your inflammation and pain, or are you going to eat foods that’s can help not only your muscles, but also your heart, brain, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and so forth? Green leafy vegetables, warm cooked meals, less greasy foods, and room temperature water to help promote the circulation of your qi (there’s more information about Chinese Medicine health and nutrition on this site and across the web).

5. Go Do Some Yoga, Tai Chi or Martial Arts

There is a big reason why more people are incorporating these exercises into their health regimen, and it’s because these exercises build up your body instead of breaking it down. There are many athletes who retire young because their bodies are broken down from all the grueling exercises and stress put on the system. However, exercises such as Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong, Yoga, and martial arts help to promote your qi circulation, increase vitality and longevity, promote mental clarity, improve flexibility, balance, and can create a more harmonious relationship with yourself, your family, your friends, and community. So go sign up for a local class today and benefit tomorrow…………………..what are you waiting for?!?!?!!

tai chi push hands for low back pain
tai chi for low back

Pain Free With Effort

Hopefully this has provided you with some insights into your quest to rid yourself of back pain. Remember there is no one time cure all pill, and it will take effort on your part to make sure that your body stays pain free. Besides, have fun doing it…life is too short to worry about pain!

1 – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Efficacy, Cost-Effectiveness, and Safety of Selected Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Neck and Low-Back Pain. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012).
2 -Corey SM, Vizzard MA, Bouffard NA, Badger GJ, Langevin HM.  Stretching of the Back Improves Gait, Mechanical Sensitivity and Connective Tissue Inflammation in a Rodent Model. oS One. 2012; 7(1): e29831. Published online 2012 January 6
3 -Mika A, Oleksy L, Mika P, Marchewka A, Clark BC.. The Effect of Walking in High- and Low-Heeled Shoes on Erector Spinae Activity and Pelvis Kinematics During Gait. American Journal Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Feb 2.

4 thoughts on “5 Useful Back Pain Tips For Positive Change”

  1. Thanks for the read C-Lo. My dad currently has some persistent back problems for over a couple of months now. Initially I thought it was more muscular related due to some heavy lifting he did at that time, but now I open to something more serious such as damage to the nerves. I would like him see a professional about it, but I’m not too sure where to start looking. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Phil thanks for stopping by and I hope the information was useful. If the problem has been persistent for months then it would be best to have it checked out by a primary care provider, which can be an acupuncturist in your area. I would start off with asking for some recommendations from people you know or you can also check online. An Acupuncturist will conduct a few neuromusculoskeletal examinations to determine the severity and also determine if a referral out or imaging tests are needed. With 1 to 2 treatments a week and good personal care the recovery period is usually quick, in about 6 to 8 weeks if moderate, then reevaluate. Obviously it varies from person to person but the most important thing is that the earlier treatment the better. Enjoy the day!

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