Scheduling a consultation with a chiropractor, receiving an adjustment and setting up a treatment plan are valuable steps to take when you have back pain that is affecting your quality of life. Although seeing this healthcare professional can drastically reduce your discomfort, you'll also have the opportunity to take ownership over your health by utilizing some lifestyle changes. In addition to a chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor typically suggests some ways that you can work to reduce your back pain yourself. If you're eagerly awaiting your first appointment, you can get the process started by making changes in these three areas.
Reduce Your Stress
High levels of stress can make your back pain worse. When you're stressed, it's customary for your back and neck muscles to contract and become sore. Additionally, stress often leads to changes in your posture -- you might forgo your usual upright seated posture in favor of slouching or leaning forward. Prolonged periods of poor posture can not only worsen muscle pain, but also put your spine at an unhealthy angle that causes pain. Think of ways you can address your stress level such as rectifying personal conflicts at work, scheduling time for relaxing with your family, or taking up a new hobby.
Get More Exercise
Although exercise might be the last thing on your mind when you have back pain, being active reduces your discomfort. Simple exercises such as walking and swimming boost your heart rate, which allows the healing effects of oxygenated blood to pump throughout your body -- including to your back. Exercise can also loosen your tight muscles to relieve discomfort. Additionally, keeping active can strengthen your core muscles. When your core is stronger, it will automatically provide the support to keep your back straighter and avoid slouching.
Lose Some Weight
Weight loss often has a direct link with a reduction in back pain. When you're overweight, there's understandably more pressure on your spine. People who are overweight often also find themselves leading a sedentary lifestyle, which can further exacerbate the pain because they're not loosening their muscles through movement. Although exercise plays a role in weight loss, it's always important to make some changes to how you eat -- namely, a reduction in your intake of calories. Methods that can help you achieve this goal include eating smaller meal portions, skipping high-fat and high-sugar foods, drinking water instead of flavored beverages and snacking on fresh fruits and veggies.
For more information about back pain, contact a chiropractor like Dr. Jason B Kaster DC.