There are lots of people who struggle with back pain every day. As well as having to live with the pain, a back condition can also have a serious impact on your quality of life. Back pain can cause you to miss work and social activities, and stop you from being able to complete everyday tasks.
Pain in the lower back is one of the main causes of job-related disability, so taking care of your back is essential. Caring for your spine, which covers both your back and your back, will help to lower the risk of you experiencing back pain now and in later life.
A lot of the things that you can do to care for the health of your spine involve nothing more complex than practicing better body mechanics, which is the way that you move and carry yourself when you complete your daily activities. You can learn more about body mechanics and spine health at https://scoliosisinstitute.com/.
Here are a few simple adjustments that you can make to improve and protect the health of your back.
When you lift something heavy, whether heavy shopping or weights, it’s not difficult to accidentally twist in the wrong way and cause damage to your spine if you don’t use the correct form when you lift. To avoid this, you must lift correctly. If you’re picking up something heavy, like a box, stand as close to the object as you can. Lift with your legs and knees, not your back or upper body, to pull up the item. It will also help you to lift correctly if you bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the item you need to pick up. Keep your head down and back straight. If the item that you’re lifting is heavy, don’t try to pick it up on your own. Ask someone to help you if something is too heavy.
Sleeping well is essential for your health, but also for the health of your spine. Your body needs a good night’s sleep in order to properly repair itself.
Try to sleep on your side, instead of on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach puts too much pressure on your spine. If you sleep on your side, this will reduce upper airway collapse, which can help to prevent symptoms of sleep apnea. This will also let you get a better night’s sleep.
Invest in a supportive mattress and a pillow that will keep your neck in the proper alignment. Turn your mattress on a regular basis so that it wears evenly and provides even support for your spine as you sleep.
One of the best things that you can do to keep your back and your neck healthy is to have a regular stretching routine. Keeping flexible will help you to maintain normal joint function and a healthy range of motion. Stretching also decreases the risk of getting injured. Start your day with a few stretches. Starting your day like this is energizing, and will encourage good spinal health.
If you don’t keep active or physically fit, then you are at an increased risk of getting pain in your lower back. Keeping active is a good way to keep your spine healthy. You could make regular visits to the gym, go for walks, ride a bike, go swimming, or just play with your kids. The best exercise routine that you can do for your back and neck should combine a mix of stretching, strength training, and aerobic activity.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Exercise, alongside a healthy diet, will help you to either lose weight if you need to or maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, or you rapidly put on a lot of weight, you are more at risk of experiencing lower back pain. Being overweight, particularly if you have belly fat, will put more stress on the muscles and tendons in your back.
Staying hydrated is essential for keeping the elasticity in your soft tissue and the fluidity in your joints. Your spinal discs can lose hydration and begin to lose height. As your spinal discs shrink, you will be more susceptible to painful disc conditions. Herniated discs, which are sometimes called ruptured or slipped discs, happen when this loss of fluid causes your spinal discs to become brittle and eventually slip out of place.
A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of sciatica, which is back pain that radiates down one of your legs. Bulging discs can also sometimes cause sciatica. As well the risk of sciatica, as the protective padding of the spine diminishes, it further contributes to the loss of structural health in your spine.
Proper ergonomics will reduce a lot of the pressure on your back. This reduced stress can reduce the frequency of conditions like a stiff back, headaches, carpal tunnel, and sciatica. Make sure that your workspace, whether that’s a laptop, a phone, a computer desk, or in your car, is properly set up for your height and functionality. Choose a chair that gives support to your lower back. If your chair doesn’t support your back, add a pillow or a rolled-up towel behind the small of your back to keep it in the right position. When you’re sitting down, your knees should be at 90 degrees, at about the same level as your hips, and your feet should be resting comfortably on the floor. If you use a phone, never cradle it between your ear and your shoulder. Hold the phone to your ear or use a headset, or you can cause neck pain. Plan regular breaks in your working day so you can get up and walk around for a short while. If you stay in the same position for too long, this causes the muscles in your back to tighten up and become immobile. Taking periodic short breaks is also good for your mental health and productivity.