Have you unexpectedly twisted or injured your back, causing you to miss work, social activities, or simply get in the way of every day life? You are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common injuries experienced today. Research shows that nearly 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, but we believe that this number could be dramatically reduced if more people understood proper precautions and remedies. Don’t let back pain be a (literal) strain on your life- or your wallet.
Here are the four tips that we find most important:
- The first one is simple: pay attention to your posture. While it sometimes may feel a bit uncomfortable or unnatural at first, better posture helps relieve strain placed on nerves in the spine as well as on discs throughout the back. Poor posture while sitting for extended periods of time at work or home has a large effect on the development of back pain. It cannot be stressed enough that this simple step goes a long way!
- Exercise has more benefits than just improving heart health and keeping off the belly weight. Regular activity and exercise helps to strengthen muscles that support the spine as well as prevent discs from shortening. Stretching frequently and maintaining at least light daily activity helps keep muscles strong and supportive, which can make a huge difference.
- Obesity and weight gain is one of the biggest contributing factors to overall back pain. Excess weight carried on the body places extra strain on the spine and various joints throughout the body. The spine is only designed to support a certain amount of weight, and the excess weight leads to degeneration of the back. Losing weight and getting to a healthy lifestyle will help take pressure off of the back.
- Avoid lifting and bending whenever you can. Any time you can spare your back the stress of lifting and bending, be sure to do so. Many people overestimate the capabilities of the back and over-bend or lift too much at once, putting them out of the “safe lifting zone.” By placing objects on a table or other elevated area, you are avoiding the need to bend all the way down to pick it up again. Always, always, always be sure to bend with your knees! This helps keep your spine in better alignment while your legs do the work.
If you are experiencing frequent back pain, contact our office to schedule an appointment today. We are happy to help treat your symptoms or simply provide further tips to help your spine lead a happier, healthier lifestyle.