There’s been a slight pain ruminating in the center of my upper back for a few days. But when I woke up this morning, it hit like a baseball bat.
Slowly, I went through the motions in my head. Did I lift something? Nope. Were my shoes worn down? Not yet. Have I been sleeping in an awkward position for the last three days? Hard to say. As I’m sure you know, it can be tough to figure this stuff out.
I decided that due to the unusual nature of the pain, it might be the result of one or two things: hunching at the computer or stress.
As the day went on, I decided to incorporate a little more activity to see if I could walk it off. There is research indicating that you can literally walk away from back pain, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Some of the research is so strong that it suggests a short walk can do as much for back pain as clinical therapy.
Pacing around my home and running a couple of errands has provided some help, but according to a study published in Clinical Rehabilitation, it might take a little more than that. Researchers at Tel-Aviv University found that walking two-to-three times per week for a period of 20-40 minutes is able to effectively treat lower back pain.
Of course, like many, this pain may be multi-faceted. Considering that sleep hasn’t been great lately and seasonal stress has crept up, there may be some other tactics worth employing.
There are associations between poor sleep and sore backs. Putting a pillow between my legs and pulling my legs up a bit might help maintain alignment (I’m a side sleeper), or I’ll get that new pillow I’ve been eyeing. Both pillow and sleep position can influence back pain.
Hopefully, the better sleep will lower stress levels, but if not, I can bank on the walking helping out in each of those departments. Not sure I’ll commit to Tai-Chi or yoga just yet—both shown to effectively reduce back pain—but if it’s still lingering in the New Year I could be up for a resolution!