Back Pain Prevention Tips
Just the hint of back pain can give us a scare – will lifting that box at work cause any ongoing pain or permanent damage? The reality is that back pain often comes from doing a simple everyday activity, but doing it incorrectly. And the good news is that there are simple changes we can make to these same everyday activities to protect us against back pain and prevent injury. See the tips below for six easy steps to back pain prevention:
1. Sit up straight!
This was a mantra in our household growing up, and now I know why! The bones and muscles of the spine are carefully designed to support several types of movement and activity. They also protect the nerve-rich spinal cord that runs up the center of our spine. Our spine supports us in everything from walking to lifting to sitting to twisting. It turns out one of the best ways we can support our spine is to keep it in its natural alignment, whatever our activity. Don’t sit for longer than an hour at at time – then stand for a brief walk or stretch, allowing your spine to return it to its natural alignment. Take advantage of a sit-stand desk at work to improve your posture at the computer.
2. Squat to Lift
Our spines were designed for activities like lifting, as long as we maintain the alignment of the spine while our hands our full. Bending your knees and then lifting, rather than reaching over from your waist, allows the spine to better support you and the weight you are lifting.
3. Core values
Strengthening your abdominal muscles isn’t just for the beach! A strong inner core offers support to your lower back across many activities. Also engage in a low-impact exercise like walking on your work break or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This increases blood and oxygen flow in the body, a benefit to all organs and joints.
4. Healthy body equals happy spine
Attending to our overall health is a huge support in back pain prevention. Just as the spine is designed to support, lift and twist, muscles are designed to move, and they are much happier with regular exercise. Exercise properly to keep your back muscles and joints fluid, and reduce that expanding waistline that only adds more pressure to your back. Eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy gut contributes to overall back health.
6. Stretch regularly
Always stretch after exercise. Stretch while watching TV, or on a break at work. There are even stretches you can do in your work chair. This lets your muscles relax and lengthen. One muscle that is often tight without us realizing is the hamstring muscle. Our hamstrings can be stretched daily with low impact stretches. These will loosen pressure on the lower back and hips and allow for less pain and freer movement.
5. Travel smart
Many of us are traveling more and it is taking longer to get from one destination to the next. Be sure to interrupt long periods of sitting in a car or plane with hourly standing and walking. Do this also at the airport between flights. Stay alert when driving for your safety; many back and neck injuries result from automobile accidents.
Back pain prevention isn’t rocket science – it is simple steps applied consistently to daily activities. Are you ready for some stretching and walking? For a healthier diet? All of these tips for back pain prevention will also improve our overall health and well-being. Daily movement, drinking more water, and eating lighter healthier foods also improves our mental acuity and emotional outlook, while leading us toward a life free of back pain.
Back problems? Our team here at Access To Health Chiropractic Center Norwich can perform adjustments to ease your back problems and keep you moving forward! Click here to schedule an appointment.