Sometimes even just bending over to pick up a pen from the floor can take a toll on your back! By taking simple precautions for back pain in your daily routine, you can avoid back injuries and escape from the aches before they even start.
A 2010 study found that; “Low back pain is the leading cause of disability, affecting almost 10% of the population, and is increasing with age.”
Back pain varies from a persistent dull ache to a rapid, sharp pain, and has many causes. Often, back pain is the result of our routine activity done incorrectly or a faulty posture, for example twisting to reach or lift an object, sitting at a desk all day long, bending over to vacuum, and even carrying shopping bags.
A correct posture is known as a position in which least stress is applied to each joint. On the contrary, any posture that escalates the stress to a given articulation may be regarded as faulty.
The good news is that back pain relief or preventing it from getting worse is not at all problematic. Altering a few daily habits to relieve pressure, reduce strain, protect your spine, and strengthen your muscles can help you maintain a healthy, pain-free back for a long time.
By following these simple precautions for back pain, you can avoid back injuries and ward off pain:
Avoid Poor Posture:
A poor posture puts pressure on your back. With time, the stress of poor posture can change the anatomical features of the spine. So, don’t slump over your desk!
Set a phone timer to remind yourself to check your posture as you work and get up and walk around at least once an hour throughout the day.
Use an ergonomic chair designed to keep your back straight supporting your spine. Adjust the height of your chair, making your feet rest flat on the floor, or a footrest, hips slightly higher than your knees and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Balance your weight evenly on your feet. Stand up straight with your ears over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hip joints, and your hip joints over your ankles. If possible, use a standup desk for at least part of the day.
Avoid improper or Heavy lifting:
We become more prone to back injuries when we try to lift heavy objects incorrectly. Even carrying a bulky bag, suitcase, camera, or a load of groceries can strain your back.
Maintain the natural curve of your back, bend your knees, use the power of your legs and tighten your core muscles when lifting or carrying a heavy object. Hold the object close to your body. Make sure so that you don’t twist your body when you lift.
If possible, take some weight off your shoulders by carrying less. Distribute heavy loads evenly and bring them close to your body. If an article is too heavy to lift carefully, ask someone to help you.
Using a bag with wheels or a rolling cart for heavier loads, for example, bags of groceries or boxes of files etc. may be helpful. Wearing a back brace can be useful in a job that entails heavy lifting.
Everyone is well aware about the fact that smoking poses a severe health risk. Smoking limits the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs, so smokers are particularly vulnerable to back pain.
Nicotine restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degeneration. This loss of cushioning can be the reason for back pain.
Also, research shows that smoking can make existing back pain worse. Coughing, as a result of heavy smoking, can cause back pain.
So, to avoid various adverse effects of smoking- Stop smoking or avoiding any nicotine intake is best to keep the aches at bay.
Being overweight or obese:
Extra pounds stress your back and can cause pain. As per NINDS you’re more likely to suffer from low back pain if you are overweight or obese, or rapidly put on a significant amount of weight.
Keep your weight under check! Try to stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight to avoid unnecessary back pain. Exercise and a healthy diet can help you achieve this goal.
Perform Stretching and Working your Core:
We believe that if your back is hurting, the best way to get relief is to limit exercise and rest for a day or two. Also, sitting, standing, or lying down in one place for a prolonged time isn’t healthy for your back. Performing simple movements can be a daunting task if you aren’t in good shape.
According to the experts, regular exercise, especially core work, can help ease inflammation and keeps the abdominal and back muscles firm. Get up, walk around and do simple stretches to relieve strain and improve circulation to your back.
Pilates or other core strengthening activities can increase the stability of the back muscles.
Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, bicycling, etc. are also suggested, along with movements that improve flexibility.
Additionally, stretching is vital for staying flexible and avoiding back problems.
It serves as a crucial part of recovering from a back injury and prevent future episodes. Even at work, stretches can be as simple as bending forward, bending back, and bending side to side. Yoga is regarded as the ultimate stretching exercise.
Avoid sleeping flat on your back and choose your mattress for maximum comfort:
Resting on your stomach or sleeping flat can pressurize your back. Too little sleep can also lead to back pain and worsen a prevailing back condition. An extra soft mattress is also not advisable for young people as it may cause the back to collapse when you lie on it. When the back is collapsed, the lungs are not able to take in as much oxygen, preventing you from getting restful and sound sleep.
The best sleeping position is on your side! One of the best ways, sleeping with a pillow between your knees while lying on one side for more relaxation.
Doctors recommend using a pillow under your knees if you must sleep on your stomach, and lie on your back to help take the stress off your back.
Having a supportive mattress that’s not too hard or too soft and a suitable pillow for your head is also a great option. One such widely used pillow is the “Viaggi Cervical Memory foam pillow” which promotes better spinal alignment, has a longer lifespan than your regular pillow, and eases off the pain, providing pain relief and makes you sleep like a baby.
If you want to avoid the risk of lower back pain and sciatica in your middle age, you by now know the precautions for back pain.
Living a healthy lifestyle that’s full of exercise and taking some care can help protect and strengthen your back and live free of chronic back pain.
Take these precautions and stay healthy for long!