With over 65 million Americans suffering from back pain. It’s the second most common reason for medical visits. For 20 long years, I suffered from back pain. My experimental life changes have improved my body’s core. With trial and error, I managed to reduce my lower back pain by 80%. Here are simple, easy steps I took for lower back pain relief.

Exercise

I started doing 10 minutes of stretching every morning Even though it hurt when I first started it was well worth it.

I started to become more active in my daily life, so I joined the gym and in the process, I lost 65 pounds. What I realized was that my legs weren’t strong enough to hold my upper body causing back pain. Now my legs and core are strong enough to take the daily punishment of normal life activity. Get out of the comfort zone of your routine and start taking action.

Stress

Stress is one the major contributors to body pain. You need to start taking inventory of your surroundings. Try to remove anything associated with stress. Making positive changes in your life is not easy in the beginning but well worth it in the end. Here are a few examples of changes I made to eliminate stress.

Gratitude helps release stress. There are people that have it worse off than you right now. Be grateful you have the health to read this. Be happy for the little things in life.

  • I focused more on my health than material things, money, etc.
  • I had to change jobs. (Less pay but less stress)
  • I surrounded myself with positive people. (I had to eliminate 20-year-old negative relationships to do this).

Bad Habits

I used to drink alcohol and smoke an occasional cigarette once in a while. Drinking and smoking while trying to reduce back pain simultaneously is not a good idea. The feeling of no lower back pain is wonderful. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to feel good. Not only did my lower back feel better but I got rid of a morning cough I had too.

Eating Smarter

I started eating smarter and healthier for the long-term. It has to be a lifestyle change to be effective and not a quick easy fix. There are no shortcuts to success. Don’t do the diet pills or the ‘lose 30 pounds in 30 days’ gimmicks. Start making smarter choices when you eat. Here are a few changes I made that made a huge impact in my life.

I substituted soda/diet soda for water. By making this little change, I lost 7 pounds in 30 days. I kept my regular diet the same. Little changes add up to wonderful results. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight.

I still eat hamburgers, but I substitute the fries for a small salad. Little changes add up to wonderful results. By the way, don’t get too crazy with the ranch dressing.

I used to eat out 70% of the time. Now I eat home-cooked meals 70% of the time. Little changes add up to wonderful results. By going to the gym, you create more energy to cook.

I started carrying snacks with me everywhere I went. This way when it’s time for lunch you’re not starving and wanting to eat everything in sight. Here is a list of snacks I eat:

  • A bag of cashews, nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Take a protein bar everywhere you go. It kills the appetite for a short period.
  • Eat an apple. You’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away right?

Remember it took me 20 years of experimenting to find pain relief. Everything good takes time so be patient and have faith. It’s never too late start. Start keeping an inventory of your surroundings and eating habits. Feeling uncomfortable while changing your habits means you’re on the right track. Uncomfortable = PROGRESS. You are stronger than you think. YOU GOT THIS.

Featured photo credit: rsz_6413939285_8c4bb199aa_ via media.lifehack.org

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