Back pain plagues most of us at one time or another. Whether you have experienced a back injury or chronic back pain, here are some tips on preventing back pain:
- Keep a healthy weight. Extra weight and/or never exercising can contribute to back problems. Avoid processed foods and aim for a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Also drink lots of water.
- Don’t forget to work out your back muscles and your core. Most back issues start from an injury from heaving lifting or stress to the spine. By exercising regularly and working out your back muscles and your core, you strengthen the area around your spine and are less likely to injury your back.
- In addition to exercising, you need to start stretching regularly. Stretch before and after exercising or heavy lifting. Try to make a habit of stretching in the morning or before bed to keep your muscles limber. Starting a yoga practice can also be helpful and is great for healing back injuries. Start simple by bending forward, bending back and bending side to side. Also make sure to take breaks to stretch if you sit all day at work.
- Fix your posture. Poor posture can also lead to back pain. Stand straight with your ears over your shoulders. Your shoulders should be over your hip joints and your hip joints over your ankles. When you are sitting, get a chair that keeps your back straight.
- Lift properly to avoid injury. To lift properly, bend at the knees and keep whatever you’re lifting close to your body. Do not twist your body and wear a brace if you need to. Always ask for help if you can’t lift something very heavy by yourself.
- If you carry a purse or bag, make it as light as possible because heavy bags can actually mess up your back too.
- Check your mattress. Old or uncomfortable mattresses can have negative effects on your back and so can rough sleeping habits. Aim to get quality sleep on a good mattress. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side is the best if you suffer from back pain.
- Make sure you wear comfortable shoes with insoles if needed when walking or exercising.
- If you regularly experience back pain, see a chiropractor to find out what is wrong and to get treatment. If you have a back injury, physical therapy might be necessary as well.
Do you have back pain? Is there anything you would add to this list? Share with us!