I came across this article from NPR last week, and felt that I needed to write about it.
I’ve had back issues ever since I got into my 20’s. I think it might be hereditary, as my father has always had back problems as well, and I seem to suffer the same issues.
One of the things that I’ve learned over time is exactly what this article states: overall, the best thing you can do to ease back pain is to exercise.
I learned this first about my knees, actually. And I wrote about it, here, years ago.
Back when I started doing the C25k challenge, I had problems with my knees. I met with an Orthopedist and he told me that the reason I was having pain was because one of the muscles in my leg was stronger than the other one. The best way to get rid of the pain, he told me, was to build up the weak muscle. If I did this, the way they pulled on my knee would be more equal, and then the pain would go away.
This holds true for my back, as well. Most of my pain is in my lower-back, although I also suffer pain in my upper back now that I have a desk job and sit in a chair, leaning in all the time, for 10 hours a day to listen earnestly to my students.
Sure, in the mornings I’m stiff like a retiree and have trouble getting out of bed. But I think (hope) that’s just age. And when I start running, I’m often a little stiff. But after the run, after the yoga, after the hour-long walk, I always feel great! And the effects last for a few days.
So if you’re the type of person who is ALWAYS experiencing back pain, maybe try to do some light exercise. Do some stretches or yoga in the morning, or take an easy walk or jog around your neighborhood. Exercise, even in moderate amounts, can be good for so many things!