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New Year’s Resolutions to Help Back Pain

The trick to keeping New Year’s resolutions is realizing that they are not wishes. You have to take action to make them work. Make this the year that — in spite of the pandemic, global warming, and inflation — you give your back the gift of improved health. If you are suffering 

with ongoing back pain, one of your resolutions should be to contact Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Visit us for a definitive diagnosis and a wide array of non-surgical options to help you heal.

In the meantime, here are some recommendations from our skilled physiatrists about how you can make things better on your own. Resolve now to:

Improve Your Posture

Good posture doesn’t just mean standing up straight; it means positioning your body in ways that assist your bones, muscles, and joints in working effectively. Remembering to sit and stand straight is only the beginning. 

Because slouching puts excessive pressure on your back joints, muscles, and discs, avoid it — not only when others are watching and you want to make a good appearance, but all the time. Also don’t stay in one position, such as sitting, for a long time without taking breaks to stretch

and avoid twisting or lifting things at a distance from your body. 

Don’t Stop Exercising Because You’re in Pain

Except for short periods after an acute injury, resting too much can be detrimental. You want to strengthen your core muscles and keep the circulation to your joints and discs vigorous to promote healing and keep those endorphins flowing. This is an area in which our spine specialists can make a significant difference.

Not only will we design a program of physical therapy just for you, we will prescribe therapies proven to increase circulation and accelerate healing, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • The judicious use of medications
  • PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy which, in addition to treating pain and inflammation, increases blood flow to your cells to promote more rapid healing
  • Targeted injection procedures

Although there is no doubt that lower back pain can be decreased by the right exercises, be careful not to engage in exercises that can worsen your pain, like toe touches, sit-ups, leg lifts, or weight-lifting.

Leave Lifting and Carrying of Heavy Things to Those with Strong Backs

All too often our doctors see patients suffering disabling back pain because they insisted on carrying heavy luggage upstairs or moving a piece of heavy furniture without assistance. Don’t let your macho (or marianismo) fantasies put you out of commission. You won’t feel heroic once you’re laid out on the sofa with an ice pack, unable to move without pain.

Avoid Activities that Involve Repetitive Bending

Bending forward puts increased pressure on your vertebral discs. Bending and lifting something heavy can increase that pressure to the point where a disc can herniate or even rupture. You should always pay attention to the early signals of distress your body sends you. A twinge or two can be a warning of bad things to come. If your back is not strong, avoid the repetitive bending of gardening, raking, vacuuming, and picking up scattered toys. 

Make the Lifestyle Changes You’ve Been Meaning to Make Anyway

You are no doubt aware that many research studies have pinpointed obesity and smoking as significant dangers to health, increasing risks of heart attacks, strokes, and diseases, notably cancer. What you may not know is that smokers and those who are seriously overweight are also at greater risk of developing chronic back problems. 

Smokers have a higher risk of osteoporosis and lumbar disc difficulties and obesity is linked to lumbar disc degeneration, sciatica, and spinal stenosis, all of which cause low back pain. Smoking also interferes with bone healing after back injuries occur.

Contact Our Experienced Back Pain Doctors to Make Your New Year Brighter

High on your list of New Year’s resolutions should be making an appointment with one of our highly respected professionals. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine you will find what you may have been seeking for quite a while — doctors who are laser-focused on making your back pain go away. Call our office today.