Back Pain Prevention Tips
As a chiropractor, we’re constantly amazed at the marvel of bioengineering that is the human spine. It’s got the ability to bear the load of your entire body, handle strain and stress that’s nearly constant, and allow you the flexibility to move the way you need to. Considering the amount of abuse we put it through, it’s really not surprising that back pain can become an issue, but there are things you can do for back pain prevention.
Since so many nerves run through your spine, a problem with it can also lead to issues with your hips, pain in your legs, and other physical ailments. But keep in mind that, with some preventative treatment, you can keep your neck and back strong, healthy, and free of pain and stiffness. Read on for a few tips to protect your back in the long run.
How To Prevent Back Pain
- One of the best ways to keep your back protected is by cultivating a healthy core. When you take the time to engage in low-impact cardiovascular exercise, blood blow in your spine will increase. This keeps the structures in your back well hydrated and provides a steady flow of healthy nutrients. Some of the ideal types of exercise are walking (2-3 miles weekly is ideal), using a stationary bike, elliptical trainer/step machines, and swimming.
- As a kid, you might recall your parents telling you constantly to sit up straight. Believe it or not, they knew what they were talking about. Proper posture is a big deal, and neglecting your posture can actually place unnecessary pressure on your back. If you have degenerated discs, the pressure can increase your pain. If you sit multiple hours a day while at work, consider using an ergonomic chair. This helps to support the natural curve in your spine. Also, make sure to get up on an hourly basis to walk and move around.
- No matter your age or level of fitness, one of the best ways of hurting your back is to lift something heavy the wrong way. Never bend over to pick something up. Instead, use your knees to squat, and keep your back relatively straight. When lifting, let your legs and arms bear the weight instead of your spine. If something feels too heavy, don’t just try to muscle it, ask for help. If you have multiple items to lift, carry them in several loads to reduce strain.
- Taking good care of yourself, in general, is a surefire way to keep your spine healthy. Drinking plenty of water will help to keep your body properly hydrated. Make sure your diet has plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Get plenty of sleep, at least 7 ½ hours nightly. Too little sleep can actually exacerbate back problems. If you smoke cigarettes, quit. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- A frequent, and frequently overlooked, reason for back pain is tight hamstrings. By stretching them on a regular basis, you can reduce pressure on your pelvis, which will reduce back pain. Speak to your doctor or a personal trainer for suggestions on the best stretching exercises.