Six Steps to a Healthy Lower Back

Low Back PainIf you are suffering from low back pain, what should you do? Stay in bed, walk it off, or take medication? How can you ease the pain of an injured lower back? Low back pain is a common complaint among all types of people in the United States. Low back pain can be acute, meaning it is brought on suddenly, usually as the result of an accident or injury, or chronic, meaning that the back condition is long-lasting. If you suffer from low back pain, here’s how to make a difference to the way you feel.

How to Treat Low Back Pain

1. See a Specialist.

Visiting a back care practitioner or a pain management expert is the first step in helping heal an injured or damaged lower back. When visiting the clinician, tell them exactly what caused the back pain – if anything – and where exactly the pain is affecting you. You will receive recommendations about how to treat the pain – treatment options include chiropractic treatment, massage, physical therapy, and more.

2. Ease into Gentle Exercise.

The sooner you can start to work your back and the surrounding muscles again, the better. Lying down for long periods of time can actually make back pain worse. Low-impact exercise activities can help bring flexibility to your spine and ease discomfort. Ask your clinician what you can do for exercise.

3. Check Your Posture.

Whether you are trying to cure a bad back or trying to prevent one, good posture is essential. Learn how to stand and sit correctly so you are balanced and your weight is kept in a straight line – too much curve can put too much pressure on the lower back.

4. Work Your Core.

Weak core muscles often mean a poorly supported back. Strengthen your abdominal muscles to provide a strong “cage” for your lower back. When your core is strong you reduce the strain you place on your back.

5. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle.

Being generally healthy and with a good mental outlook will help prevent back problems and also cut the time it takes to heal a sore back. Follow a healthy diet, don’t smoke, and keep your weight at a healthy level in order to bring benefits to your back.

6. Get Enough Rest.

While you can overdo it in terms of getting too much rest, it is important to sleep well in order to maximize the chances of healing your back. Choose a supportive mattress and try to sleep on your side so you take away stress from the lower back area.

Healthy Habits to Practice at Work

Unhappy Man At The DeskIf you’re like many of us, you are probably trying to live a healthy lifestyle, incorporating healthy habits, such as a balanced diet, exercise, and other practices in order to reach your wellness goals. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to live up to your own expectations during the work week, and you may find the resolutions you made at the New Year falling by the wayside as spring approaches. It’s not impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even when you’re working all day, if you follow some simple advice for bringing good habits into your workplace.

  • Boost your energy with a morning workout. If you can you walk or bike to your job, you’ve got an excellent option for getting your heart pumping in the morning. If not, you can get in some exercise with a workout at home, a quick stop by the gym, or even by parking far away from the building and taking the stairs to your office. Don’t forget to give your brain a workout too: while you’re stuck in the car on your commute, you can exercise your mind with audio books or motivational CDs.
  • If exercise doesn’t fit into your schedule before work, you can make up for it at your desk! Desk workouts can be as simple or structured as you like, and are a great way to fit in some exercise in small increments, throughout the day.
  • Even when you quit smoking, you can keep the smoke breaks. Smoking is an unhealthy habit, but taking periodic breaks is a healthy habit to maintain. Instead of using your break to smoke, spend it taking a walk around the office, getting a breath of fresh air, or just stretching to allow your body to realign.
  • Reduce your coffee intake. It’s fine to have a morning cup of joe, but it’s unhealthy to become too dependent on coffee. Water is a much better choice, because it helps you stay hydrated. Green tea is also a good option for hydration, and it also contains anti-oxidants that help promote health.
  • Pack your lunch, and don’t forget your snacks. Bringing your lunch to work gives you control over what you’re eating, and can save money as well. To keep your energy from flagging, bring snacks as well: fruit, raw vegetables, and nuts are good options for keeping your blood sugar level.
  • Prepare your own dinners as well. If it’s too hectic after work to allow you to make dinner, consider making freezer meals ahead of time, and using your crock pot. Making your own meals gives you the opportunity to use healthy ingredients, and is less expensive than eating out.
  • Put sleep on your agenda. A large body of research supports the idea that a good night’s sleep can improve your health and productivity. Aim for seven or eight hours, then experiment to find your perfect amount of sleep. One benefit of adequate sleep that you may not expect is that it can help you reach your weight loss goals.
  • Maintain a healthy balance. A healthy work-life balance is central in a healthy, happy life. Set boundaries that limit the time you spend working after hours, make an effort to leave the problems of the office behind when you leave, and schedule quality time with family and friends.  

Advanta Total Health offers a revolutionary approach to wellness, treating each patient as a whole person, not just a collection of parts. Partnering with patients and encouraging them to be proactive in meeting their wellness goals, the medical experts at Advanta Total Health work to enhance health and improve quality of life.

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