6 things you can do everyday to help your back

People often view their back pain as something they have to live with or endure surgery to cure. Both perspectives offer little resolution to the actual causes of back pain. If you want to be proactive about treating or preventing back pain, here are six things you can do every day to help:

1. Exercise
A lot of people have the instinct to stay off their feet at the onset of back pain, but that inactivity can actually worsen the problem. As a treatment and preventative measure, light exercise can help you strengthen and loosen the muscles that support your spine, otherwise known as your core. Include workouts that target this part of your body in your daily fitness routine.

2. Stretch
Having a lot of tension anywhere on your body can be a cause for back pain, which is why it's so important to stretch every day. In the morning and at night, gently stretch your hamstrings to help alleviate some of the stress in your lower back.

3. Sit up straight
If you sit hunched over at a desk all day, that position can wear on your back over time. To keep your spine aligned, roll your shoulders and sit close to the chair to support your lower back. Keep your arms at 90 degree angles and your feet firmly planted on the ground. When walking, follow similar steps by keeping your shoulders back and arms by your sides.

4. Sleep well
Lack of sleep can be both the cause of your pain and the worsening factor. If poor nights of sleep accompany your back pain, it could help to work on getting more or better hours of shuteye. You can start by getting a supportive comfortable mattress and trying back-friendly sleep positions, like sleeping on your side with a pillow in between your knees.

5. Relax
In a hectic day, it can seem nearly impossible to find a few minutes to just breathe – but even a moment out of hours of the day can make a huge difference. To combine the power of relaxing, exercising and stretching, try an activity like yoga.

6. Eat well
Yes, your diet does affect your back. Certain foods cause or aggravate inflammation, which can worsen pain if you're already aching. If you're trying to improve or prevent back pain, avoid junk food and make meal healthy choices, like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables or foods rich in vitamins and minerals. If you're unable to get these nutrients through diet alone, consider taking supplements that can balance your intake.

If you're experiencing back pain everyday, you should schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor now.