By Dr. Nelli Ban, Physical Therapist
For people who are used to an active lifestyle, lower back arthritis can become a major impediment. It can prevent them from living their life as they wish. Lower back arthritis can act up during certain days, making it almost impossible to carry out even the routine tasks. However, they have the choice of either letting the pain manage them or manage the very pain itself. Here are some highly effective tips to keep you going even on the bad days. Let’s get started.
Keep the Posture Right
Posture is critical for maintaining your overall well-being. You should practice the art of good posture, even if that means just sitting on a chair with the shoulders relaxed. While sitting, tilt the head towards the ceiling in order to make the spine straight. This simple posture correction will go a long way in relieving you from the back pain you have been experiencing because of slouching all the time. Start with short sessions and do not over-exert the spine. A straight stick-like back is no better than a slouched one.
The Hot & Cold Treatment
If you have been suffering from the lower back arthritis, you must have tried hot packs. You probably find hot showers to be a therapeutic experience, as they relieve muscle tightness. But, they can be even more effective if you club them with a cold treatment. Twenty minutes before starting a jog or a hectic activity, apply heat to your lower back. Use ice packs or other cold treatment methods when you feel any kind of soreness or pain while you are in action. There is a simple hack to make a hot & cold pack too. Take a pair of socks or two small cloth bags and fill them up with rice. Throw one in the fridge for half an hour to make a cold pack, and microwave the other for ten seconds to get a hot one.
Get Active, Get Fit
It is not easy to remain active when arthritic pain is stabbing your lower back, and it is not advisable to push your body too much either. But, what you can do is some stretching and light exercises that keep your body moving. The human body is like a machine. If you do not keep it moving, it becomes rickety and breaks down. Take a short walk around the block, even that much activity can do wonders for your body.
The Good Ol’ Rest
A lot of people today find it difficult to make time for rest. Even if they do, they see it as a waste of time. They would rather do something valuable instead of ‘simply’ rest. That’s a recipe for disaster. Make time for rest, at least an hour a day. Talk to your friends, read a book, play a game, or just lay down and build air castles, no problem. Think of resting as an investment in yourself, and not as a waste of time. In fact, it is as important as exercising, because your body heals and re-calibrates when you are resting. It is amazingly therapeutic.