The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle for Back Health
Today, the care of back pain is changing today, with new minimally invasive surgical techniques, more healthy insurance providers offering reimbursement for alternative therapies, and new medical devices available for home use to treat pain. Just remember that no matter what new techniques or devices come along, you are your lifestyle will always be a major factor in your treatment program for back pain. The importance of a healthy lifestyle for back health cannot be understated. Patients with a healthy diet, who exercise regularly, and who avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking are more healthy in general, and have a lower prevalence of back pain. The best way to treat back pain will be prevention, through a healthy lifestyle, before the back pain becomes a chronic problem. Some lifestyle habit guidelines to go by include a healthy diet (composed of high quantities of vegetables and moderate quantities of carbohydrates), plenty of safe exercise, proper posture, and using the right footwear appropriate to whatever you are doing at the time. If back pain does occur, these good habits should make symptom levels less severe, shorter lasting, and less likely to return. Here are some lifestyle adjustments you may want to consider in order to make back pain outbreaks fewer, and further between.
Exercise: Regular exercise should be a cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle, and the added strength it provides to your back and core muscles should improve your back health. Regular exercise is also likely to help you to maintain an ideal weight, or to lose weight, which also will have benefits towards your back health. A regular and varied exercise program can reduce stiffness and pain, improve flexibility, improve range of motion, burn calories, strengthen bones and muscles, brighten your mood, provide more restful sleep, and increase your energy levels. Regular and varied exercise also reduces your risk of developing some types of cancers and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Rest: As beneficial as exercise is, it shouldn't include activities that aggravate your back problem, and it should include reasonable periods of rest between workouts. Over exercise may cause strain to your back muscles. Also, you may not be giving your muscles time to grow and heal between exercise sessions if you don't allow the proper amount of rest in between.
Sleep: For patients to experience general and back health, they must get the proper amount of rest and sleep each day, appropriate to their age and other factors. As important as time in bed, it is important to consider sleep quality as well, especially if you frequently wake up stiff or achy. If you often wake up with a headache, you may want to take some time to consider your bed, pillows, and sleep habits. Does your bed provide you with the proper amount of support, and it your head at the right angle as you sleep on your back, or on your side? Though beds with thick, poufy pillow-tops and water beds are popular for some people, most prefer a firm, but not too firm, mattress. You may try to insert a piece of plywood between the mattress and the box spring to make the mattress more firm and comfortable.