5 Habits to Relieve Back Pain Include ​Shoe Choices, Daily Stretching and Improving Posture

Back pain can be absolutely debilitating, but there are five habits medical experts recommend to ease aches and start moving again. Follow these simple steps, including making the right choice in shoes.

Daily Stretches

“Many back problems are caused by tight muscles,” explain the experts at California’s UC Davis Health. “If your back muscles are tight, they put added stress on your entire spine, including your joints. Get into a habit of daily stretches to promote your spinal health.”

Pair Up

According to the Spine and Pain Clinics of North America, “your shoe choices play a major role in back alignment and in cushioning against repetitive impact on the spine during any activity.” So, get into the habit of wearing “athletic shoes with appropriate cushioning for walking. Ensure that your shoes give the right arch support to maintain alignment of the legs and back.”

Don't Slouch

“Your parents were right,” say the folks at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine in Houston. “Posture really does make a difference! If you’ve slipped into poor posture habits, you might be putting unneeded pressure on your spine, leading to recurring back pain. In order to relieve it, pay attention to hunching and slouching.”

Sleep Right

How you sleep can affect how your back feels, says the Mayo Clinic. “If you sleep on your side, [get into the habit of drawing] your legs up slightly toward your chest and put a pillow between your legs. Flexing your knees and having a pillow between your legs can help align your spine, pelvis and hips. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees. This may help relax your back muscles and maintain the curve of your lower back.”

Be Mindful

“Chronic back pain is both physically and emotionally straining,” says Johns Hopkins Medicine. So to manage the psychological aspect of dealing with the pain, getting into the habit of doing meditation, yoga or tai chi “may boost your conscious control over your nervous system [and find ease].”