Four Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Ease Back Pain

If you suffer from ongoing back pain, then you're probably tired of always having to rely on pain relievers to make it through the day. Thankfully, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your back pain and increase your comfort level -- without taking more drugs.

Stop carrying heavy bags and purses.

When you carry a heavy bag over your shoulder, it makes back pain a lot worse. Carrying such a bag puts more strain on one side of your back than the other, which can pull your spine out of alignment. Your misaligned spine, in turn, puts pressure on your muscles that just makes the pain worse. Take anything non-essential out of your purse. If you must carry items to class or the office, invest in a rolling pack, and pull it along behind you rather than swinging it over your shoulder.

Invest in a better mattress and pillows.

You spend about 8 hours a day in your bed. If the bed is not perfect for your posture, it will definitely make back pain a lot worse. Upgrade your mattress if it is more than a few years old or is on the soft side. A medium-firm mattress is best for most people with back pain. And skip the pillow topper. It may be comfortable when you first lay down, but it will just encourage certain parts of your body to sag down, putting your back out if alignment.

Invest in a nice, firm pillow, too. One that keeps your head in line with your back all night will really help fight upper back pain, especially.

Take hot baths.

Instead of taking a shower each night, get into the habit of soaking in the tub. The warm water will relax your muscles, which will help ease back pain. For extra effect, add a couple handfuls of Epsom salts to the water before you soak. The magnesium they contain is a natural muscle relaxer and will ease any tension in your back.

Move around more during the day.

If you sit in one place all day, you'll constantly be putting strain on the same areas of your back. The same is true if you just stand still all day. So, do all that you can to walk around and sit in different positions throughout the day. Even if you just shift your weight from foot to foot, that's better than standing on one spot without moving.