Talk To The Health Pros
Your doctor can give you travel advice specific to your condition, especially if youâre unsure about how certain activities will go for you. Others, like occupational therapists and driving rehab specialists, may offer great ideas, too. For example, rental car companies offer cars with things like swivel seats that can make them more user-friendly for you.
Go For A Walk To Help Support Your Spine
The benefits of walking are plentiful, including5:
- Strengthening your core muscles that keep your body upright
- Nourishing your spinal soft tissues with necessary nutrients
- Increasing the flexibility of your spine
- Improving balance
- Strengthening your bone structure
If you’re in pain, be sure to get clearance from your doctor before starting any new walking program. Often, a doctor’s recommendation will be for you to walk as much as can be tolerated. If you are new to walking, or if you’re dealing with pain, start out with a few short walks each day rather than a single long walk.
SeeExercise Walking for Better Back Health
How To Improve Flexibility And Strength
There are lots of simple stretches and exercises you can do to improve flexibility and strength in your lower back.
Focus on lengthening and extending the spine. This helps to relieve compression in the lower back. Stretching the hamstrings is also beneficial.
In addition, you should choose exercises that focus on working the hips, core, and gluteal muscles.
Doing daily activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga is recommended. Put forth dedicated effort into being active as often as possible. Consistently doing exercises and activities to loosen up your lower back will usually yield positive results within a few weeks.
Here are nine exercises you can add to your daily routine to help strengthen your lower back and improve flexibility.
This exercise increases flexibility, relieves tension, and helps to loosen the lower back and hip muscles. You can also engage your core muscles if comfortable.
- erector spinae
- pelvic muscles
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Taking Care In The Air: Tips For Flying With Sciatica
Sciatica pain radiates through the lower bodyfrom the low back to the hips, buttocks, and down the legs. This means that flights that anchor you to an airline seat can aggravate your pain.
The first thing to consider when flying with sciatica is your seat choice. Choosing an aisle seat will allow you the easiest access out of your seat, allowing you to move more during your flight.
Dr. Hayden said that when flying with sciatica, dont shy away from telling the flight crew about your condition. Theyll help you understand when its safe to get up out of your seat and will allow you to stretch your legs in the airplane galley, where theres more room to move around.
As soon the cabin crew will allow, slip out and walk to the restroom facility or galley, Dr. Hayden recommends. The cabin crew have seen people with this condition before, and they will usually let you do a couple of stretches in the galley area if they are not busy serving.
A good sciatica stretch you can do in flight is to put your hands on something stable, like a bulkhead, and do some deep knee bends, Dr. Hayden said. This will use your upper body weight to stretch your lumbar spine comfortably.
After a few deep knee bends, you can return to your seat feeling refreshed, he said. On a long flight, do this every hour, and you will feel better when you land.
What Exactly Pop Your Lower Back Means
Pop your lower back does not mean that you are actually cracking your back. Nothing is breaking, splitting or coming apart in any way. Popping the back is a term which usually involves a particular procedure or movement that leads to popping sound.
The movements can include bending forward, or leaning backward or twisting. And, the popping sound is that same movement of air pockets in joints. And its the procedures, not the popping that eases the pain.
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Whole House Fans Are Amazing
Until we were home shopping, I had never seen a whole house fan. They are mainly in older homes, but after seeing one in use, I really want one in our home.
It is this vent that you turn a knob, the vent opens, and the fan comes on. It then sucks all of the hot air out of your home. Here are some of the benefits of a whole house fan if you are interested.
How Can You Prevent Low Back Strain
To keep yourself happy and healthy, some are the simple things you should start doing right away.
- Use correct body postures or movements.
- Try not to sit for long periods and if you have to, sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Always bend at the hips and knees when you pick up objects. Do not bend from the waist. Instead of using your back, use your leg muscles as you lift the load.
- Warm up before you exercise. And, do exercises regularly that strengthen your back muscles.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
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Optimize Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans circulate air in the room by pushing it down. However, they can not lower the temperature like a window fan or AC unit. But they can still cool you down.
That’s because their breeze creates a slight wind chill effect that can help sweat evaporate from your skin, which cools you down. So, it’s not your home that it’s cooling, but rather your body.
Here’s how to use your ceiling fans most effectively:
Make sure your ceiling fan is rotating counterclockwise. In the summer, make sure your fan is rotating counterclockwise. This will push the air straight down and create that wind chill effect. Follow the instructions in this DelMar Fans guide to safely check and change the direction of your ceiling fan.
Turn your ceiling fan off when you leave the room. Make sure you turn ceiling fans off when leaving the room because they cool people, not rooms. It’s a waste of energy to have them switched on if there is no one there to feel the wind chill effect.
Combine a ceiling fan with your AC unit. If you have a ceiling fan in the same room as an AC unit, it helps blow colder, air-conditioned air throughout the room. This can cut your energy consumption and reduce how hard your air-conditioner has to work.
“You could set your AC unit four degrees higher, combine it with a ceiling fan, and feel just as cool,” says Kipnis. “And the key thing with AC is that it dehumidifies the air which is what helps make the fan even more effective.”
Traveling With Sciatica: Tips To Ward Off Low Back And Leg Pain
Try as it might, sciatica doesnt have to prevent you from doing the things you loveincluding traveling. However, the journey may pose its own set of challenges for people with sciatic nerve pain in their low back and leg. How do you prevent sciatica from flaring up when youre on the road or in the air? The simple answer is to find ways to keep moving.
Flying and driving mean long periods of sitting, and sitting is a position typically not friendly with sciatic pain, said Dr. Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, an American Chiropractic Association media spokesperson and chiropractor in Griffin, GA.
Below, Dr. Hayden shared some simple tips for staying mobileand pain freewhile flying and driving with sciatica. He also offered additional advice to keep your radiating leg pain from spoiling your plans once you reach your destination.
Special note:Before embarking on your trip, even if its a short flight or road trip, always check with your treating physician to ensure its safe for you travel.
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Does A Lumbar Bulging Disc Heal On Its Own
If you ask almost any doctor, hell probably tell you that theres no easy fix for a bulging disc and that most people feel a significant improvement after about 6 weeks.
However, this prognosis is assessed if you are using conventional treatments, which include pain medication, spinal injections, and maybe physical therapy.
Most conventional treatments usually just mask the symptoms, instead of treating the root cause.
In my experience, natural treatments such as infrared therapy and spinal decompression do a better job of healing the bulging disc, instead of just hiding the pain.
Therefore, natural treatment may bring faster and more effective results, and can prevent future problems, such a herniated disc.
Note: as with any injury, pain, or ache consult your doctor before beginning any treatment or therapy.
To your health and happiness,
How Breathing Techniques May Improve Your Back Pain
Did you know that an activity you do all day, every day may have the power to reduce your back pain?
Back pain can be seriously debilitating, having an impact on every aspect of our lives. If you experience back pain, youve likely already tried a range of medications and treatments to improve your condition.
However, theres now a lot of evidence that developing some healthy breathing habits can help you reduce back pain, or eliminate it from your life once and for all.
The muscles you use to help you breathe are connected to your lumbar vertebrae . Careful, controlled breathing may help you ease tension in these muscles and correct your spinal alignment.
Most cases of lower back pain are due to strain on the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the spine. Other causes can be more serious, so its always worth getting back pain checked by your doctor, physiotherapist or spinal specialist.
If you want to be more comfortable, there are a number of breathing exercises for back pain that you can try.
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How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
Resolve To Quit Smoking
Smoking increases your likelihood of developing degenerative spinal disorders and back pain by damaging the vascular structures of your spinal discs and joints.12
Quitting is difficult, but there are many products, support groups, and strategies that have worked for thousands of people.
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What Happens When You Crack Your Back
First things first: How is that cracking sound actually made? The answer requires a little refresher course on human anatomy.
Lets start with the spine, which snakes down the middle of your back. It combines with 33 interlocking bones called vertebrae to serve as your bodys primary support column.
This intricate system of bones is a marvel of engineering, combining strength and flexibility to help you sit, stand, walk, twist and bend.
Slippery connective tissue fills the joints between the vertebrae. This cartilage provides the flexibility that lets your body move like one of those inflatable air dancers outside car dealerships.
Those facet joints also speak out from time to time especially when theyre fatigued. Overuse of a body joint leads to a buildup of gases and pressure inside it.
Your joints dont do well with pressure on them, says Dr. Bang.
So they crack under that pressure.
The sound comes from that built-up gas escaping the joint when its stretched or manipulated. You also may hear popping or snapping noises from tendons and muscles flicking over this and that.
Practice The Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique
Your diaphragm, a muscle at the base of your lungs, tightens when you breathe in and moves downward. This creates more space in your chest and lets your lungs expand.
Learning how to breathe from the diaphragm, instead of shallow breathing, is important in helping to manage back pain.
If youre curious to learn more about breathing technique to manage back pain, its important to speak to a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist or spinal consultant can help you find the true cause of your back pain and work with you to develop a tailored plan to get relief from the pain.
Breathing techniques is one of the many contributors to chronic back pain that usually goes unrecognised and untreated. We particularly see patients with respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma, or if issues such as anxiety, stress, sleep apnea, having an altered breathing pattern. It is crucial that our breathing pattern is efficient and effective to ensure the best function of our core stability and contribute to the improvement of back pain.Mr Gun Kang, Physiotherapist of The Brisbane Spine Clinic.
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Fly Direct Or Lay Over
It depends. Long flights can make pain worse, but they cut your travel time. Connecting flights might mean rushing through airports. But you get a chance to stretch and use more accessible bathrooms on the ground. Try to leave at least 90 minutes for your layover. Ask the airline about transportation to your next gate.
Tips To Eliminate Lower Back Pain From Squats
Weve covered how to eliminate deadlifts and lower back pain, but are squats bad for your lower back?
Well, yes and no.
If you have no underlying lower back issues and perform them using the correct technique, squats are not inherently dangerous and can actually improve the strength of your lower back when done properly.
Perform them incorrectly however, and its likely just a matter of time before you start running into serious problems.
If youve been experiencing nagging lower back pain from squats, chances are that youre over-looking at least one or more of the points Ill be covering in this article.
While these tips are not guaranteed to completely eliminate your lower back pain during squats , this is the best place to start if youre looking for a solution.
If the pain is quite significant, taking a temporary break from heavy leg training and getting a professional diagnosis is also highly encouraged.
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Relax And Try To Get Some Rest
A long flight provides plenty of time to relax. Try:
- Getting comfortable via a back or neck support, sitting properly, or reclining your seat.
- Breathing slowly to relax your muscles and nerves.
- Listening to some soothing music in your headphones.
- Bringing a novel or other reading materials.
- Staring out at the clouds and scenery and letting your mind drift.
Hopefully these tips will help, and maybe even spark some more ideas of your own as you prepare to manage your back pain on your next plane ride.
Sleep With A Wet Sheet
This may sound odd, but you can make a sheet or towel damp with cold water. Youll then place it over you to keep you cool at night when you sleep.
However, be sure to put a towel under you so it doesnt cause your mattress to be damaged in the process. Remember, the cooler you stay, most likely the better sleep youll get.
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Safe Moves To Minimize Twisting Your Back
Many people wake up in the morning with back stiffness. You want to protect your back when you get out of bed by using safe moves that minimize twisting. You may never have given thought to the way you get out of bed and that it might include twisting. Use these eight steps to do it correctly.
Target Your Gluteus Maximus
Along with the abdominal muscles, the gluteus maximus is one of the primary muscles that tilts the pelvis posteriorly. Strengthening this muscle helps you avoid resting in a pelvic position that increases the lordosis in your low back. One of the most effective exercises to strengthen this region is the bird dog.
Do the bird dog: To perform this exercise, get onto your hands and knees and flatten your low back by engaging your abdominal muscles. Then, lift and straighten one arm in front of you and the opposite leg behind you without allowing your pelvis to tilt. Hold this position for 10 seconds before lowering your extremities back to the ground and repeating with the alternate arm and leg. Complete 10 repetitions on each side before taking a break.
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