Back pain is something many people suffer from, and it can range from a low key, chronic pain through to acute episodes where it is painful to make certain movements, or even impossible to straighten up after bending!

While some people suffer in silence and see it as a normal part of getting older, there are ways that you can take better care of your back, including the spine, muscles and nerves, to reduce or avoid pain.

If you want less pain and more mobility in 2018, here are a few things you can do.

See a Chiropractor

The manipulation done to the back by a chiropractor can lead to a big reduction in pain, improving alignment in your body and reducing compression in painful areas. Seeing a chiropractor and working on your back can even help other parts of your body, for instance if you suffer pain in your jaw, or the effects of sciatica in your legs and feet, this can all be the result of your back not being properly aligned. You can check out to learn more about the kind of back problems that are common and how chiropractors approach treating them.

Work on Your Posture

Common postural defects, that is, sitting, standing and walking without your body in the best position, are a leading cause of back pain. Most people have some form of correctable postural defect. Some of the most common are carrying your head too far forward, which leads to upper back pain and pain in the jaw, walking with one or both feet pointing outwards, which usually starts at the hip and can cause low back pain and sciatica, and tilting your pelvis backwards (anterior pelvic tilt), which also affects the lower back.

These are all things you can work on yourself, and as your muscles adapt to being in the correct position it generally becomes natural to hold correct posture, even if it feels awkward at first.

Use A Foam Roller

Foam rolling is a self-massage technique that allows you to massage the painful parts of your lower back, including a muscle called the piriformis which is often the cause of sciatic pain. The piriformis is a small band of muscle that can become tight or tense, or even become too short, as a result of postural problems or other factors. When this happens, the muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, which runs through it.

Massaging with a foam roller as a daily habit, especially after exercise or when you are experiencing pain, can help relieve the tension in this and other muscles such as the glutes, helping reduce low back pain. Of course, you can also use it on other areas where you experience pain like calf muscles and quads. Plus, it feels nice!

These are just three small things you can work on doing this year to be freer from back pain and get more out of your life in 2018!