1. Stop Smoking.
We all know smoking is bad for our health; however, most people fail to understand that smoking has a very real and very negative effect on your back. The nicotine in cigarettes restricts the flow of blood to spinal discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degeneration.
Smoking also reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth, which leaves you vulnerable to osteoporosis and slower healing after fractures. And if that weren’t enough, the constant “smoker’s cough” causes your body to suddenly lunge and spasm, which causes back pain as well.
2. Get More Calcium & Vitamin D.
Speaking of osteoporosis, strong bones can prevent this disease from occurring -- a good thing, because osteoporosis is a leading cause of back pain later in life. The best way to ensure a strong, healthy spine is to increase your calcium and vitamin D intake.
You can find calcium easily enough, in foods like milk, yogurt, leafy greens and vitamin supplements. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms, cheese and beef liver.
3. Change Your Sleep Position.
Generally speaking, there are some optimal sleeping positions you should try if you experience (or want to avoid) back pain.
Try sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up slightly toward your chest. If you’re a back-sleeper, put a pillow under your knees and another under your lower back.
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended as it can be especially hard on your back. If you can’t sleep any other way, though, place a pillow under your hips.
4. Avoid High Heels.
High heels may be fun and fashionable footwear, but there’s a dark side to those stilettos. Wearing heels causes the lower back to arch more than normal because the body weight is pushed forward. Your upper body then must lean back to compensate for your compromised balance, putting additional stress on your discs.
This shift in your center of gravity can lead to muscle spasms and chronic back pain.
5. Don't Sit on a Fat Wallet.
Ah, the classic “dad wallet” -- you can picture one now, can’t you? A fat leather wallet stuffed with cash, value member club cards, credit cards and whatever else can fit in there. And keeping that fat wallet in your back pocket is a big reason so many men experience back pain.
These fat wallets cause you to sit unevenly and actually compresses one side of your back.
More specifically, it compresses the piriformis muscle -- a muscle deep in the buttock behind the gluteus maximus which functions to externally rotate your hip when walking, which irritates the sciatic nerve.
A back pocket wallet may also compress several of the sciatic nerve roots exiting the lower back, resulting in pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot, as well as pain when walking up stairs.
6. Use a Natural "Rub".
The pain you feel in your lower back may very well be a response to your body not receiving the nutrients it requires to operate smoothly.
Consider using a topical rub that emphasizes natural healing nutrients to get rid of pesky aches, pains and soreness.
Mounting clinical studies show that a natural muscle & joint relief rub actually works better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil or Motrin.
7. Ditch Your Office Chair.
I’ve said it for years: if your back pain is killing you, your office chair is the weapon.
That’s because if you have a job that forces you to sit for hours at a time, your back is being destroyed by old, outdated technology that fails to grasp what we now know about the human body.
Your standard office chair (yes, even the really expensive one with the leather arms and the mesh back) causes you to lose mobility and curve your lower spine until it caves in and quits on you.
Your abs and core go soft.
And over time, it only gets worse and worse.
You need to engage your lower spine, pelvis and core.
You need to sit in an athletic position that contours to your body’s natural movements. And you need something that is actually comfortable, not some fad like a standing desk or physioball you use for a week and get sick of.