My friend Joe Tatta is a doctor of physical therapy, and he knows everything there is to know about back pain.
I asked him if he could share any good tips with us on the best ways to help heal back pain. He let me know about the awesome training videos on his website and he gave me these five tips:
How many hours are you glued to a chair or stuck in front of a computer each day? The average American sits upward of 12-hours a day with little movement. Sitting too much causes disc herniations and over-stretches ligaments that provide support. Make a goal to stand and move every 45-50 minutes to undue what sitting is doing to your lower back. Walk for 10-minutes, climb a few flights of stairs or perform some gentle backward extension at your desk. Use your smart phone to set a timer as a reminder.
Strengthen and Stabilize
Flexible joints and muscles can help relieve pain, but without strength and stability, healthy alignment will be a challenge. Especially helpful for lower back pain is movement that builds stability in the abdominal core, which plays a vital role in holding the lower back in place. Core stability exercises will improve your posture, heal your back and tighten your tummy!
Sleep and Heal
Exercise will no doubt be a part of your recovery from back pain. As you exercise, you will build new muscle and tissue. Sleep is a vital part of the recovery process and even more important as you heal. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to reduce stress hormone production and enable growth hormone to repair connective tissue.
Meditation can help modulate pain. Meditate or practice deep breathing techniques to lower stress hormones, which can help decrease pain and muscle tension. A 10-minute, mid-day meditation is an effective intervention for those who suffer with chronic pain. Focus on one word or image that brings you joy or comfort.
Maintain an anti-inflammatory diet, which is optimal for healing. Incorporate ginger and turmeric, which have been proven to decrease pain. Make a fresh pot of paleo bone broth, which will provide the essential nutrients vital for healing connective tissue such as ligaments, disk and cartilage. Prepare a nightly cup of ginger tea with a pinch of turmeric. This will aid in healing your gut as well as your joints!
If you’re struggling with back pain and you’d like to find out more, click here.