Did you know that chronic pain can impact your brain health? If you find yourself living with regular chronic back pain, you may know all too well how it affects your ability to be able to move and enjoy an active lifestyle. Harvard Medical Center reports that chronic pain actually alters brain function and contributes to mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, sleeping difficulties and coping skills.
How your body is positioned throughout the day is a major factor in neck and back pain, causing overly tight, under-developed muscles. If you find yourself experiencing lower back pain after a day of sitting, a tight quadratus lumborum may be your problem. This muscle is located on each side of the abdomen and alongside the lumbar spine, which connects the pelvis to the lowest rib. Tightness in this muscle can also cause lower back pain and impede a range of movements.
Here are some tips to relieve quadratus lumborum tightness and improve your brain function:
- Practice Posture. Make it a point to maintain good posture while standing, sitting and driving.
- Try Yoga. Yoga incorporates stretching and relaxation, which reduce tension in stress-carrying muscles.
- Sleep Better. Lying on your back may be best position for your back when you sleep. Place a pillow beneath your knees to keep your spine neutral.
- Move More. Try incorporating daily walks into your routine to ensure you are stretching your muscles throughout the day.
- Stretch Out. Stretch out your quadratus lumborum muscle. Trying standing with your feet hip-width apart, reach your left arm up over head and grab your wrist with your right hand as you lean to the right side – hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side.