Chronic back pain is among the common ailments experienced by one in every ten Americans. It can be sudden or last months to years. Sometimes, the pain may disappear, bringing you temporary relief, then comes back, causing frustration. Apart from the pain, you may also experience difficulty standing straight and back stiffness. Chronic back pain may result from cleaning the house, extreme workouts, sports injuries, or diseases like arthritis. If you’re dealing with chronic back pain, here are a few things you should do.
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Chronic back pain makes it difficult to stand or move around, but it’s the first thing you should do. If you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles around your back and the spine become weak. In turn, weak muscles give less support to your spine resulting in long-term pain. Try keeping up with your average level of activity, but don’t strain too much; walk around the block, go to the park with your furry best friend, and use the stairs often.
Sleeping when you’re experiencing back pain can be uncomfortable and difficult, especially when turning. However, if you don’t get adequate sleep, you risk creating a vicious cycle of back pain because it gets worse. Additionally, a poor sleeping position may aggravate your back pain; try sleeping on your side and place a pillow between your knees to relieve the strain on your spine by keeping it in a neutral position. When lying on your back, place the pillow under your knees. Most importantly, remember to sleep on a firm and comfortable mattress.
Slumping your back causes a lot of harm to your back because it creates a strain. If you’re already experiencing back pain, this will only make it worse. Suppose you sit for long periods, either while working or studying, avoid slumping over the keyboard. Instead, sit upright, relax your shoulders and ensure your back gains support from the chair’s back. Ensure your feet remain flat on the floor and consider supporting your lower back by placing a rolled towel or pillow between it and the seat.
Seek medical help
Suppose you’ve tried every home remedy to relieve chronic back pain, but nothing seems to work; seek medical attention. Back pain that lasts longer than twelve weeks may signify an underlying problem that needs medical treatment, especially if it prevents you from going about your daily activities or makes you feel numb. Your physician may suggest osteopathy, where an osteopath can perform techniques to restore function and relieve pain by stretching and manipulating joints.
Heat or ice therapy
Regular practice of heat or ice therapy on painful back areas may give you relief or reduce inflammation. Wrap an ice pack with your towel and place it on the painful part of your back for about twenty minutes every day. After a few days, begin heat therapy with a warm pack, heating pad, and warm baths.
Chronic back pain can hinder you from going about your daily routines as usual. While this may be frustrating, there are things you can do to bring relief. Practice moves for back care, and if the pain persists, seek help from your physician.
My life has been filled with some super deep, dark lows, fantastic highs, and everything in between. I’ve projected my own shortcomings onto other people. My self-sabotaging behavior has occurred more times than I’d care to admit. Worst of all, I rarely even realized I was doing it.
The truth is, I had become a master at standing in my own way.
Changing My Ways
Our personality and life experiences determine the ways we think and react. I grew up observing people in my life, blame, judge, and criticize those around them. So, naturally, that was the pattern I fell in to. It was easier to blame others than take ownership and responsibility for my own actions. However, at some point, I decided that I was in charge of my own journey.
Creating New Habits
Without realizing it, I had been living a life of self-sabotage. My negative ways of thinking and feeling were controlling my everyday life. Instead of focusing on the things I couldn’t control, I decided that I had to focus on the most significant barrier in my life. It was the one that I had the most control over–myself.
Learning to get out of my own way and pivot was a process. It wasn’t easy. I had to dismantle the sole self-defense mechanism that I had been using my entire life and develop new ways of thinking. I decided that I was going to get something out of everything. I was going to learn from everything and always ask myself before I speak, type, or share: “How will this help me or others?”
This simple mindset shift helped me get out of my own way. It made me:
♥️ Swallow my pride.
♥️ Move forward and let things go–even when I didn’t want to.
♥️ Press on and keep on so I could move on.
If you worried you’re getting in your own way, too, here are my tips to help you overcome your old ways.
4 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way and Pivot
Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing? Who benefits from what you are about to do or say? What value does it put back on life after such an engagement? Getting clear here will help you speak and begin to live more confidently.
1. Focus on What is Essential
It is easy to get distracted by things that don’t matter in life. Before you know it, that “thing” is consuming everything you are thinking about and everything you do. Every day, take a timeout minute and think about all the things, people, and experiences that make you grateful. Bonus- write them down. Doing so helps get your mind in the right frame of mind because nothing good comes from anger and hate.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
I know this can be challenging because we faced with unrealistic perfection in today’s world. Filters, edited life moments, what some call the “highlights reel” of someone’s life, makes the stress of not being enough can be overwhelming. A few years ago, I stopped looking at the tabloids and magazines in the checkout aisles. Why? Well, I realized that looking at celebrities’ perfect lives and bodies was giving me anxiety and pushing my mood and mind in a negative direction. So, I stopped looking at them. I limited social media scrolling and took time to notice trigger people, feeds, and posts. And I stay away.
3. Change the Script
There was a time in my life that I would look back on my life and only see struggles and unfair circumstances. When I recognized that I wanted to get well and didn’t want to be a spiraling out addict anymore, I started to change my internal script. Instead of seeing all the bad, that happened to me as a punishment. I began to look at it as learning things I needed to learn and preparing me for something bigger than me. I began to see the challenges as opportunities to help me. They helped me later connect with my audience, students, and friends and give perspective I would not have had without my unfair struggle.
4. Give Yourself a Timeout
I know there are mixed feelings about giving a time out. But timeouts can offer us a moment to breathe, feel, and process. Yes, I am that parent that uses timeouts with my kids. It’s not so much a punishment as it is a time to breathe, feel, and think. I approach those timeouts as moments where they can figure out what they are feeling, breathe, and calm down so we can have a conversation and communicate. Timeouts, when done correctly, can be helpful tools for all parties and can both teach and foster personal growth and self-control. As an adult, I have learned first hand the full value of stepping away and then using the timeout not to think negative thoughts. But to process the situation and how I feel.
The Choice Is Yours
Today, as you read this, I believe you have two choices. You can either continue to be wrapped up in your own story, your struggle, your fears, worry, jealously, and sadness OR you can GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY AND PIVOT.
No one but you can get you to move out of your own way. You are in charge of your own destiny. So, the choice is yours: Do You Want to Thrive or Survive?
Neck & shoulders hurt, neck tight, headache, jaw pain?
You are not alone, we exercise and work out to get better or at least maintain our fitness. In the yoga community, many have forgotten about release as a major part of healthy and harmony in the body.
Join in for a detailed step-by-step 25 min yoga session dedicated solely to the neck and shoulders, stretched the right way.
Sit in a chair, on the floor, or combine them into yoga postures.
Today is the day you start to feel better!
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