A dietician will always tell you that changing your diet is really a lifestyle change, especially if you want the diet to stick. If you are trying to lose weight effectively, you don’t just change one thing you are eating — you look at everything you’re consuming. You also have to consider when you are eating, where you’re eating, and how much you’re eating. When you take an inventory, it’s common to discover that you need to eat a lot less of some foods and eat a lot more healthful foods.
The same principle applies to your low back pain, except in this case, I’m talking about what your body does, not what it eats. You need to take an inventory of things that affect your back: in what position do you sleep? How long do you sit? How long do you stand? Both sitting and standing can affect you in both good and bad ways based on how long you stay in that position. What is your posture in sitting and standing? What do you lift and how much does it weigh? How much time do you spend driving your car? How far do you walk every day?
It’s fairly easy to make someone’s pain go away temporarily. There are all kinds of drugs, adjustments, needles, different soft tissue massage techniques, and oils and creams that can help with pain. But if you want to REALLY fix the problem for the long haul and not just treat the symptoms, then you must put your low back on a “diet” and make a lifestyle change! Physical therapists are unique in the medical world because we have the time to and knowledge to help you figure out the causes of your pain and the skills to give you long lasting strategies to alleviate it.