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Blame your desk job, your mattress, or your last workout, but no matter the cause, back pain is no fun. There is good news, though. Your friendly neighborhood chiropractor can help you feel better, and there are things you can try at home to keep back pain away.

  1. Take a break and stretch Desk jockeys, listen up. If you’re sitting for an extended period of time, make a point of getting up to stretch every 30 to 60 minutes. Walk around a bit, touch your toes, just make sure to spend a little time stretching things out. It’s not a bad idea to set a timer to remind yourself it’s break time.
  2. Practice good posture Slouching is so bad for us, and it’s even easier to slip into terrible posture when we’re seated. If you’re seated in front of a computer, make sure it’s right in front of you when you type. Make sure to sit as upright as you comfortably can, keeping your chin tucked. That way, your head will stay over your shoulders (where it should be). And consider investing in a supportive and comfortable desk chair, too.
  3. Think about your feet Supportive shoes can really take a load off your back. We tend to wear skimpier footwear during these summer months, but be aware that the skimpier the shoe, the worse the support. It’s a better ideally to opt fo supportive shoes that you can wear comfortably for hours at a time.
  4. Work that core A strong core doesn’t just look great – it does wonders for your back. Make sure to incorporate core-stabilizing exercises into your fitness program, like sit-ups and planks. And remember that proper technique is critical. If you aren’t sure whether you’re doing them right, a chiropractor like Dr. McSweeney here in Reno can give you a few pointers. You can also try switching out your desk chair for a Pilates ball. It’s a good way to build stability while strengthening your core.
  5. Quit smoking One more reason to put down the cigarette. Smoking complicates and delays the healing process, a big problem if you’re already dealing with low back pain. It’s the carbon monoxide in the smoke, which competes with oxygen at the cellular level.
  6. Stay active Any kind of physical activity – the gym, spin class, even a walk around the block – helps. Do what you can to balance all the time you spend sitting with as much time moving. Regular exercise will also help in maintaining a healthy weight, which is another key in avoiding chronic low back pain.
  7. Ice it No matter how hard you try, low back pain likely isn’t something you can completely avoid. If you’re dealing with back pain, try icing. While heating the back will promote swelling, which is something to avoid with low back pain, icing on and off for 15 to 20 minute periods over an hour a few times a day will help you feel better.

If your low back pain isn’t getting better, Dr. McSweeney would love to help. Learn more about what you can expect at your first visit, and then schedule your appointment today. You’ll be glad you did.