Hey there, you! Back pain is an all too familiar, nagging companion for many of us. Whether it’s a dull ache, a sharp twinge, or a chronic discomfort, back pain can be a real downer. The good news is that many cases of back pain are preventable, and it often boils down to our daily habits.
Here we will explore seven habits you can adopt to help keep back pain at bay.
Maintaining Good Posture
It’s not just something your grandmother scolded you about; good posture is genuinely crucial for a healthy back. Slouching and poor posture can put unnecessary strain on your spine and lead to discomfort over time. To maintain good posture:
- Sit and stand up straight with your shoulders back.
- Keep your computer monitor at eye level to prevent hunching over.
- Use an ergonomic chair to support your lower back.
- When lifting heavy objects, bend your knees and keep your back straight.
Staying Active and Exercising Regularly
A sedentary lifestyle is often a culprit in back pain cases. Regular exercise helps strengthen your core muscles, which are essential for supporting your spine. Make it a habit to incorporate activities like walking, swimming, or yoga into your routine.
Focus on exercises that target your back and core muscles, like planks or back extensions. Make sure to stretch before and after exercise to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of muscle strain.
Avoiding Prolonged Sitting
Sitting for long periods, especially in front of a computer, is a common cause of back pain. Break the habit by taking short breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around every 30 minutes.
Use an ergonomic chair and keyboard to support your posture. Incorporate a standing desk into your workspace, if possible.
Improper lifting techniques can wreak havoc on your back. Whether you’re picking up your child or heavy boxes, use these guidelines:
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting.
- Hold the object close to your body.
- Lift with your leg muscles, not your back.
- Avoid twisting while carrying a heavy load; pivot your feet instead.
Sleeping on a Supportive Mattress
A good night’s sleep is vital for back health. If your mattress or pillow is sagging and unsupportive, it can lead to back pain. Consider investing in mattresses that support your natural spinal alignment.
Use a pillow that keeps your neck and head in line with your spine. Replace your mattress and pillows every 7-10 years, as they can lose their supportive properties over time.
Believe it or not, stress can contribute to back pain. When you’re stressed, your muscles tense up, which can lead to discomfort. Try to incorporate relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine.
Make time for hobbies and activities you enjoy to unwind. Seek support from a therapist or counselor if stress is becoming overwhelming.
Seeking Professional Help When Needed
While these habits can help prevent back pain, it’s essential to remember that persistent or severe pain should not be ignored. If your back pain doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes or if it worsens, consult a healthcare professional.
They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend treatment options, such as physical therapy, medication, or in some cases, surgery.