The Back Pain Basics: Are You Following These Back Health Rules?
Avoiding Back Pain
As we age and our bodies become more susceptible to damage from every day activities, back pain can become increasingly problematic. Minor aches and pains can progress to long-term damage if we are not careful how we carry out certain activities. Consider these tips when engaging in daily activities to keep your back healthy and pain-free.
Perhaps the easiest step to take to avoid back pain is maintaining good posture. Whether it’s something simple like sitting at a desk or something more challenging like a long-haul flight, avoid slouching; try and sit upright, keeping your back straight and flush against the back of your seat.
It may seem obvious, but respond to how your back feels, it’s easy to ignore back pain in the hope that it will disappear or take pain killers to reduce the pain. Covering up or ignoring pain is not curing the problem. Think about how you are sitting and adjust the position of your back rest or try a new chair if you are having little comfort with your current one. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, supporting your arms can help relieve some of the pressure on your back. Taking breaks every 20 minutes to get up and walk around will also help.
Technique when Bending
Similar to posture, it’s also important to make sure you maintain good lifting/bending technique to minimize the pressure on the spine. Use your legs when lifting, especially heavy items. This can be done by bending at the knees and keeping your back straight, allowing your legs to do the work. It may feel slightly awkward at first so it’s worth doing a few practice repetitions to get used to the motion if you’re going to be lifting repeatedly.
As with the muscle groups in other areas of the body, stretching is essential to keep your body flexible and your back is no different. One of the most effective stretches for the low back is a yoga move known as the child’s pose. To do it, start on your hands and knees on the floor and rock backwards until your buttocks touch your heels. Hold this position for 15 or 20 seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat. Making it a habit to stretch for a few minutes every morning can help reduce pain felt throughout the day.
It’s also important to stretch muscles connected to the back, including the hip flexors and hamstrings, which have an impact on the flexibility of the spine. When stretching, hold the position for a few seconds then allow the muscles to relax.
Strengthening Your Core
Strengthening the back and core muscles can help prevent future issues, and yoga or Pilates may be a good fit and an enjoyable new pastime. If you have recently undergone treatment for your back or suffer from severe pain that’s getting worse, always consult a chiropractor first to find the solution that will be most suitable and safe.
Following these simple tips can help get you on the road to recovery from back pain so that you can enjoy daily activities free from aches and discomfort. If you would like further information, contact Brookfield chiropractor Dr. Grant Radermacher at Ascent Chiropractic by calling 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment online.