“Instant back pain relief” is a common online search these days. But the truth is it’s rarely possible to ease this type of discomfort instantly. Granted, medications prescribed by physicians and the right kind of stretches may provide welcome relief. That said, most instances of back pain require ongoing efforts and patient-specific treatments. Here are some smaller steps you can take right now to prevent spine-related aches and pains from becoming an issue in the first place.
Aim for forms of exercise you feel comfortable doing about 3–5 times a week. Fortunately, there are many options with exercise for the purpose of keeping blood flowing to your spine and promoting the type of overall health and wellbeing that’s good for your back and its parts. Possibilities include:
• Swimming or other water-based activities
• Walking and/or jogging
These are exercises that target core spine-supporting muscles deep within your trunk area, which includes soft tissues along your sides, in your abdominal area, and in your pelvic area. When these muscles are strengthened, pressure is taken off your spine. Ultimately, this can reduce your risk of experiencing back pain
Sugary snacks and processed foods can contribute to inflammation, which can affect areas around the spine by irritating nearby nerves. On the flip side, avoiding such foods and opting for healthy meals and snacks provides the nutrients your spine needs to naturally heal, recover, and function well. With healthy eating, focus on:
• Fruits and veggies
• Lean proteins and healthy starches
• Low-fat dairy products
• Low-calorie, nutrient-rich snacks and foods
Water is what keeps spinal discs hydrated. It also helps with the circulation of beneficial nutrients to various parts of the spine. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. An easy way to ensure you’re getting enough hydration is to keep a reusable bottle filled with water handy throughout your day.
Maintaining an ideal body weight can keep back pain at bay by minimizing pressure placed on various parts of the spine. This is especially true with the lower back area. Excess weight can also affect spinal joints, discs, and bones over time by accelerating wear or throwing off spinal alignment.
There’s research suggesting alcohol can impair the way the body handles inflammation, and this is why alcohol consumption should be done in moderation. Smoking, on the other hand, is best avoided altogether, since many of the chemicals in cigarettes can affect circulation and the body’s ability to naturally heal.
Another reason to discourage the hope of finding instant back pain relief through an online search is because there are many possible sources of spine-related symptoms, including those that may require surgery to correct structural problems that are contributing to the symptoms. Some common procedures include fracture stabilization, thoracic spinal fusion, nerve decompression, and total disc replacement. Santa Monica patients who are experiencing ongoing back pain need to see what their doctors or spine specialists have to say. Getting an accurate diagnosis boosts your odds of responding well to treatment.
If you’re experiencing long-term or debilitating pain in any area of your back or neck, reach out to a Santa Monica spine surgeon as soon as possible. The industry-leading physicians at The Spine Institute use the most innovative diagnostic techniques and state-of-the-art treatment methods. We can determine the best course of action to help you find relief for your pain. Call 310-828-7757 today to schedule an appointment.