Back pain, usually in the lower back, is a common problem. It can make your life very difficult.
Most back pain is not due to any serious injury or disease. Rather it is a result of bending, twisting, lifting, and other mechanical actions you put your back through on a daily basis.
The best way to avoid getting back pain is through regular exercise, lifting correctly, and good posture. Here are some tips to keep your back strong and healthy and to prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort:
Lift and bend carefully
- Avoid bending over at the waist to pick things up.
- Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. But if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight and bend only at the hips and knees. Lift with your leg muscles, not your back.
- When lifting, keep objects close to the body. Take care not to lift and twist at the same time.
- Get help if the object is too heavy for you to lift alone.
- Try not to slouch when standing. Stand straight with your head up and shoulders back. Good posture can reduce the stress on your back muscles.
- Avoid standing in one place for a long time. If you need to stand for a long period, place one foot on a low stool to reduce the pressure on your back. Every 10 to 15 minutes, switch the foot you’re resting on the stool.
- Do not wear high heels. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes with good support and cushioning.
Sit up straight
- Sitting puts more pressure on your back than any other position, even more than standing.
- To reduce this pressure, choose a chair with good lower back support, armrests, and a revolving base.
- If necessary, place a small pillow or a rolled-up towel behind your lower back to support its natural curve.
- Your knees and hips should be level, and your feet should rest comfortably on the floor.
- When working, don’t lean forward. Sit back and stretch your arms out to the keyboard.
- Your computer monitor and keyboard should be directly in front of you to prevent uncomfortable bending of the neck.
- Sitting at one place for a long time increases your risk for back trouble.
- One of the best ways to prevent low back pain is to take short breaks from sitting. Get up and move around frequently.
- Take short walks or stretch your muscles to relieve tension. Try some shoulder rolls and stretch the back and neck.
- Exercise your back regularly. Weak muscles increase your risk for back pain.
- Exercises that don’t strain or jolt your back, such as walking, swimming, and using exercise bikes, are excellent for increasing the strength and flexibility of your back muscles.
- Stretching exercises and yoga can also help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture.
Strengthen your core muscles
- Your core muscles include muscles in your abdomen and back. Strong core muscles are important to provide support for the lower back and avoid injury.
- Sitting for several hours each day at work, watching TV or driving, can make your core muscles weak. Strengthening these muscles may help you avoid back pain.
- Try exercises, such as sit-ups, back extensions, cat curls, pelvic tilts, and more.
Maintain a healthy weight
- Excess weight, especially if you have belly fat, can put extra stress on the muscles of the back and lead to low back pain.
- Keeping your weight in control can help you avoid back pain.
- Exercise, along with a proper diet, can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight, if you are overweight.
- Smoking reduces blood supply to the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae, in your back. This may lead to the degeneration of these discs and result in back pain.
- Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis makes your bones weaker and more likely to fracture (break). Back fractures from osteoporosis are a leading cause of back pain.
- Make sure you sleep on a mattress and pillow that provide correct support, comfort, and firmness.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach. This puts too much pressure on your neck and lower back.
- If you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to reduce the pressure on your lower back.
- Preferably, sleep on your side with your knees bent.
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.