There are many potential causes of back pain, including trauma and disease, but back pain often results from everyday activities done incorrectly. Examples include twisting to reach or lift an object, bending over to vacuum, carrying shopping bags, and sitting at a computer for hours. The good news is that back pain prevention is not all that difficult, often requiring a few changes that soon become second nature. Below are simple but effective back pain prevention tips recommended by your Greenlight Chiropractic & Wellness Lab healthcare provider.
Maintain the right posture
Sitting at your computer for seven to eight hours a day is probably keeping your doctor in business. It is common for people to slouch over their computers and smartphones when texting without realizing the damage they are doing to their backs. If you spend most of your time at your computer, be sure to work at an ergonomically correct workstation, whether at home or workplace. Break up long periods in front of the computer with walking and stretching exercises. With good posture, you maintain the natural curves of your back and help keep it strong.
Smoking is known to increase your risk for heart disease and cancer, including lung and colon cancers. However, most people are oblivious to the fact that smoking can be a cause of chronic back pain. Besides causing back pain, smoking can also worsen the problem. The relationship between smoking and back health is unclear, but one possibility is that it narrows blood vessels. As such, it reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching your spine. In turn, the spine becomes more susceptible to injury and slow healing.
Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to prevent back pain. Your muscles are meant to move; you are most likely to hurt your back and experience pain if you are not in good shape. Even simple movements like lifting a baby from its crib can cause pain if you don’t exercise. Exercise also prevents back pain by keeping your weight down. Being overweight, especially in the midsection, adds strain to your back.
Sleep on your side
Sleeping sideways is the best sleep position for your back; do not sleep back on your back. If you find yourself sleeping on your back, sew a round object like a tennis ball at the back of your pajamas. If you must sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your lower abdomen to take the stress off your back. Having a supportive mattress and pillow also goes a long way. Although your sleep position matters, ensuring you get enough restful sleep is vital.
Many people are unaware of how much stress can impact their back health. Stress makes your muscles tense, eventually causing back pain. Any activity that reduces stress may help relax the tensed muscles and prevent back pain. Examples of stress reduction activities include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, biofeedback, and guided imagery.
If you have back pain, don’t ignore it. Visit your doctor at Greenlight Chiropractic & Wellness Lab for a diagnosis to establish the cause of your pain.