Fun Summer Activities to Fight Back Pain

back care advice from our southend chiropractorSummer is almost here and there’s no better time to get out and about in the great outdoors with the family. But if you suffer from back pain, finding something fun to do that doesn’t make you go “ouch” can seem tricky. But our Southend chiropractor has just the advice you need for a summer that brings you pleasure instead of pain.

Walking

It is believed that walking has the lowest dropout rate than any other physical activity. And it’s easy to guess why! Walking is a great activity for anyone simply because it can be done anywhere, at any time and with minimal preparation.  All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a safe path and you’ll be on your way to better overall health and reduced back pain.

Walking can help to increase the stability of the spine and strengthen the muscles that keep the body in an upright position. It also encourages strong circulation which facilities the delivery of nutrients into spinal structures. Walk regularly and you’ll also benefit from an improved range of motion and a reduced risk of future spine injury. The bottom line? Walk. Walk. Walk.

Yoga

Yoga hosts an enormity of health benefits including improved flexibility, increased strength, stress relief and more. You’ll especially benefit from yoga if you suffer from back and neck pain because it offers a wide combination of physical movements, breathing and meditation.

Yoga movements have many practical ways of help to treat chronic back and neck conditions.

Paddle Boating

Ever wondered why you see so many people standing up on surf boards padding to and fro? They’re not just floating around day dreaming; they’re doing an activity that has many health benefits. Paddle boarding has become popular in recent years because it’s a low impact exercise that can help to improve strength, balance and core stability. Even just the relaxing nature of the activity in itself offers stress relief.

Try your hand at paddle boarding and you’ll engage almost every muscle in your body as you work to maintain your balance. It’s also incredibly easy on the tendons, ligaments and joints; which is why so many people with back pain enjoy this activity so much.

Who knew pain relief could be so much fun?

You should consult with a health care practictioner before starting an new form of exercise if you have concerns.

Three Reasons Your Neck Is Stiff

Are your aches and pains literally a pain in the neck? Feeling like your cervical spine could do with a gallon of oil to loosen it up?

Our Southend chiropractor highlights three reasons why your neck may be so stiff:

1:  You’re a Smartphone Addict

Yep, that little device that you’re never more than a foot from can be bad news for your neck. “Text neck,” which is a modern cause of neck pain and stiffness, is becoming increasingly prevalent due to the amount of time people spend looking down at mobile devices.

2: Your Position’s all Wrong

Any activity that places your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged period can cause muscle strain. This may include holding your phone against your shoulder as you speak, carrying a bag on one shoulder or working for long hours at a computer.

3: Your Pillow Needs Changing

Ideally, your head and spine should follow a straight line when you sleep. If your pillow is too high or too low, it’s probably time to get a new one!

A stiff neck can be more than just an annoyance; it can be a sign that you need to change some bad habits.

The Best Gym Workouts for Back Pain

Anyone who knows a thing or two about back pain will tell you that exercise is good for it! But now that you’ve got yourself a shiny new gym membership, what kind of workout should you be doing, exactly?

According to our Southend chiropractor, low-impact aerobic activities are the safest ways for people with chronic back problems to exercise. The benefits of this kind of exercise are wide reaching: it can help you to drop pounds which will relieve excess strain on your back, it can boost circulation which promotes disc healing and it can strengthen those all-important back and core muscles.

There’ll be a number of cardio machines at your local gym that offer low-impact workouts. Before you start any new exercise, talk to a reputable chiropractor or your healthcare provider for exercise recommendations specific to your back problem.

How Do You Deal With Pain?

pain management advice  from our southend chiropractorChronic or severe pain can interfere with your life on many levels and can even affect your ability to work, maintain relationships and sleep properly. But did you know that there are many pain management techniques that can work alongside your physical treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms?

Here our Southend chiropractor lists a few coping strategies that work effectively for many back pain patients:

Focus on your breathing

You may not be aware of this, but if your pain is severe, you are probably breathing more rapidly and shallowly than usual. Controlled, deep breathing can harness the nervous system’s “quieting response” and encourage a reduction in the pain you feel.

Lay down in a quiet room and switch of any distractions that may over-stimulate you. You can either close your eyes or focus on a specific point or object. Then, try to focus on nothing but breathing in and breathing out. If you can feel that you are in control of your body and take charge of your own breathing, you may feel in a more powerful position to stop your pain from controlling you.

Once you are breathing deeply, muscle relaxation will come naturally. The key is to try and let go of any feeling in your body and to remain entirely focused on your breathing.

Visualise a better place

Visualisation involves picturing a detailed situation and the emotions that accompany it. This technique can be extremely effective in providing pain relief.

If you suffer from severe or chronic pain, the situation you visualise may be one where you are pain-free, relaxed and feeling generally well. But there is not one visualisation that works for everyone; they key is finding one that works for you.

Many patients find it effective to visualise the sensations of taking a warm bath or relaxing on a beach. Religious or spiritual thoughts are also popular for helping patients to cope with pain. Oddly, even thoughts of food can help in some cases; some chronic pain patients find that focusing their thoughts on their favourite dishes helps to alleviate pain.

Remember that pain management is often subjective, and finding what works for you can take a little bit of trial and error. Make sure you talk to your chiropractor or health care professional and work together to find a strategy that suits you.

You don’t have to accept pain as part of your life.