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The 10 Back Pain Commandments

by Steve Hefferon, CMT, PTA


We get thousands of email from people all over the world asking our advice about back pain. Despite over a hundred articles available on LoseTheBackPain.com, and in our weekly emails, people still confuse the forest for the trees. There are just so many areas to consider when dealing with the totality of back pain.

So to make things simple, I've decided to set down the essentials of back pain relief. I have thought it over and can say without a doubt that there is a definitive set of things that need to be followed to relieve and/or prevent back pain. These I like to call, The 10 Back-Pain Commandments.

1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is so important to humans that without it we could not exist. One of the most basic yet common causes of pain is dehydration. Not having enough fluid in the body to keep the body cool, the blood moving, the muscles supple, the tendons relaxed and the discs well hydrated causes pain. Not only must you drink plenty of water, but you must also avoid coffee, tea and soda as these all cause you to sweat, urinate... to dehydrate.

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2. Sit Straight
One of the worst things you can do for your back is to sit down. That's because the "C"-shaped posture most people slump into puts serious stress on the spine. You may not feel any discomfort right now, but the medical consensus is bad posture will cause you pain... sooner or later.

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3. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a response from your immune system in action against an irritant. The swelling is your body's way of running to the problem with fresh blood, antibodies and vital cells in order to begin healing and repairing the damage. The problem is, after around age 25, our production of healing enzymes drops off so there is nothing to tell the body to stop the inflammation.

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4. Change Your Diet
The amount of inflammation in your body varies and is dependent on a number of factors -- including your activity level, the amount of sleep you get, the degree of stress in your life, and especially the foods you eat. What you have to realize is that these factors are cumulative, meaning they build up over time. And the more that any or all of these factors get out of whack, the risk for pain and disease increases. There are foods that help reduce inflammation and foods that make it worse. You need to know which are which, if you want to be pain free.

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5. Don't Wear Heal Lifts
Leg-length discrepancies are often caused by how we hold ourselves, how we stand. Women carrying babies on one hip, say, can produce discrepancies. In general, habits, patterns, posture and positioning — things we do all day long — control the way our pelvis is conditioned. Very specific sets of muscles are associated with a discrepancy. Until you know your true condition, you cannot know exactly what to do. But the postural dysfunction msut be dealt with and wearing heal lifts only masks the real problem.

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6. Release the Mind
If you have exhausted mainstream medicine, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, surgery... yet the pain persists... I would like to suggest you consider the possibility that the mind and emotions play a key role in your chronic condition. You need to know three of the safest, easiest and most power mind/body systems for eradicating chronic pain and associated symptoms.

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7. Exercise Properly
You need to develop a balanced and stable body. But also understand that the very cardio exercises could be making your condition worse. And training the wrong muscle groups is probably making your pain much worse by developing or perpetuating muscle imbalances. In simple terms, a muscle imbalance occurs when you have overdeveloped and tight muscles in one area of your body while the opposing muscles are weak and stretched out of their normal position.

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8. Your Condition May Not Be So Important
Once given a diagnosis do not feel like you need to Cure your condition to be pain free. Studies have proved that you can have a diagnosis and not have pain. You see, there's a hidden cause of back pain and it's something very few medical or healthcare professionals are even aware of. For example, if you were diagnosed with a herniated disc, instead of just treating the symptoms, they should be finding out what caused the disc to herniate to begin with.

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9. Get Proper Sleep
You spend between six and 10 hours a night in bed. That's one-third of your life. And when it comes to back pain, those are some of the most important hours in your day. Sleep helps your body heal. It's really the only time your muscles can completely rest and recover. There are a ton of studies linking sleep with healing. They show that, among other things, human growth hormone and melatonin, both of which play a big role in tissue recovery and immunity, are produced during sleep. So if you're not getting good sleep—whether it's due to pain, anxiety, fear or whatever—you're not giving your muscles, especially your back muscles, time to rejuvenate themselves for the next day's activities.

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10. Knowledge is Power
Never stop educating your self about how to achieve optimal health and pain free living. There are so many diagnoses out there and even more treatments available to try. The best way to put an end to your pain and suffering is by educating yourself about the whole gambit of back pain.

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All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The publisher is not a licensed medical care provider. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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