Getting old sucks. And amidst the wrinkles, receding hair line, and having to ask people to repeat themselves much more often; nothing sucks quite as bad as living with a constant achy pain in your back. As the years fly by, it's hard enough trying to keep up with the most recent fashion trends and tiktok dances, never mind doing it all with the posture of Quasimodo. We here at Slayboxes want every guy to look and feel there best, with that in mind, here are five awesome ways you can begin to heal those tense muscles and keep up with everyone with a birth year in the 2000's.
Change Your Sleeping Position
This can be tough, if you're like me, you fidget and readjust constantly in your sleep. However, starting in a supportive position with the help of a well placed pillow will hopefully keep you steady. If you sleep on your side, raise your legs slightly towards your chest and put a pillow between your knees. This will help take strain off your back. If you prefer to sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees to help accentuate your back's curve. Mayo Clinic also recommends placing a rolled up towel under the small of your back, if you feel you need that extra aid. Finally, if you're one of the weird ones who likes to sleep on their stomach, first of all I would recommend finding another position as you are already putting strain on your back. But if you can't sleep any other way, place your pillow under your abdomen and just below your pelvis. If this causes a bit of discomfort, try getting rid of the pillow under your head. If you already suffer from back pain, sleeping can be tough, and that lack of sleep can easily lead to more back pain until suddenly you find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle. Try one of these positions and let us know if it helps in any way. We want all our slayers well rested after all.
Back in the dark ages of the 20th century, doctors would probably prescribe you with bed rest if you complained about back pain. However, we now know that resting for longer than a day or two, will actually do more harm than good for your back. It's been researched and proven that people recover faster and see better results when they begin moving again, as uncomfortable as it may be. Returning to easy activities like walking, or even doing some low resistance workouts such as yoga and swimming, will relieve back pain much quicker than just lying in bed suffering. So the next time you push it too hard at the gym and feel a little too much burn, by all means enjoy that rest day, but the best thing you can do afterwards is go for a walk or a swim.
You're Hot and You're Cold
Another good one for the gym bros. Using either a cold pack, ice wrapped in a towel, or simply a bag of frozen veg, apply the cold to the area you feel is causing the most pain. Relax, and wait 20 minutes or so before the removing the ice. Lowering the body temperature like this helps reduce swelling and decrease inflammation, while also making the area go numb. You should do this several times a day, 20 minutes each time, until you feel the painful area is becoming less enflamed. After a few days you're ready to turn up da heat. This is done by applying a heat pad to the same area as before and leaving it on for 20 minutes just like the ice. The heat helps the muscles relax and increases blood flow. If you don't own heat pads or just simply hate the feel of them, a nice warm bath is also very effective. Heat and cold therapy can be very relaxing but try your best to NOT fall asleep with these on to avoid any burns or skin damage.
Check your Posture
Guilty as charged. I realised as soon as I began writing this that I was in fact slumped over my laptop. It's something that's been pushed on you since you were a kid, "slouching is bad for you", but trust us, it really can make a huge difference. Especially if your 9-5 involves sitting behind a desk. Simply sit upright and keep your shoulders relaxed. Try your best to relieve any tension your body is holding and keep your body against the back of your chair. And even though it can be comfortable to sit cross-legged, you should try to keep your feet flat on the floor. If you want more support, put a small pillow or a rolled up towel between your lower back and chair. If you're able to maintain a small gap between the chair and the back of your knees, then you're golden. You are now sitting in the best possible way to support your back, good for you!
We casually mentioned yoga earlier, but we undersold how great it can make your muscles feel! There are many different stretches that target all different areas of the back, and to be honest, we could write a whole blog post simply on yoga moves. My personal favourites are the Cat Cow position, Downward Dog, and the Back Flexion stretch (you essentially curl up in a ball, it's great). Stretching regularly, such as when you wake up or before you go to bed, can help reduce muscle tension and improve your overall mobility. You should be wearing loose, comfortable clothes and be on a flat surface with enough space that you won't bash any furniture. Hold each stretch between 15-30 seconds and repeat up to four times. It's also a good idea to only stretch one side of the body at a time to allow the other side to rest. If the stretches hurt, that means you're pushing beyond your limits. Stretching should be relaxing and loosening, a pleasant pain-free experience!
Obviously there are many more alternate solutions to combat pain, such as massage parlours, physical therapy and medication. If you are severely bothered with back pain, it may be worth contacting a medical professional, as it's likely to only get worse as you get older. We hope you found some of these tips useful and as always, keep slaying!