Back pain is one of the most common reason why your day or plans may be interrupted. I remember one time I’m prepping up to meet a longtime friend whom I haven’t seen in years (she works overseas) when suddenly she cancelled because she is experiencing a chronic pain on her back. We were still able to meet though, but not personally. Thanks to the power of the internet.
This pain, in most cases isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time. Preventing back pain is better than trying to cure it after it has set in. So even if you’re not experiencing back pain symptoms, I would recommend you follow these simple tips:
- Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity. Stretching can loosen up tense muscles and strengthen those that need some help. Anytime you begin stretching, you should approach each step gently. Stop any stretching exercise that causes pain as forcing a stretch damage or cause strains.
- Exercise your core. Strong core muscles are important to provide support for the lower back and avoid injury. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise—like exercise walking—increases blood flow to the spine, which supplies healing nutrients and hydration to the structures in your lower back.
- Correct your posture. Poor posture places pressure on your back and can cause degenerated discs to become more painful. Avoid slouching when standing or sitting.
- If you spend most of your time sitting, pay careful attention to consciously sucking in your belly and rotating your pelvis slightly up. At the same time, you should keep your head back, with your ears over your shoulders and your shoulder blades pinched. This posture will keep your spine in proper alignment. Do this every hour you’re sitting, holding the muscles tight for several minutes.
- Sit in chairs or car seats with good lumbar support.
- Switch your sitting positions often. I would also recommend periodically walking around or gently stretching your muscles to relieve tension.
- Avoid bending over without supporting your back.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Women should also refrain from wearing heels all the time.
- Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. You should also sleep on a firm surface.
- Lift heavy objects correctly. Even if you’re young and strong, you can still injure your lower back if you lift a heavy object incorrectly.When weight-lifting using your legs, always keep your back straight.
- Maintain an optimal weight.
- Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to your lower spine, causing the spinal discs to degenerate.
- Get enough vitamin D from sun exposure daily, as vitamin D helps keep your bones, including your spine, strong.
- Drink plenty of water to enhance the height of your intervertebral disks. Since your body is composed mostly of water, staying hydrated will keep you fluid and reduce stiffness.
- It is also important to get enough deep, restorative sleep, as too little sleep can lead to back pain and/or worsen an existing back condition.
About The Author
Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.