Most often than not, back pain is the result of the incorrect method to carry out everyday activities — such as bending forward to reach or lift an object, improper posture of sitting at a computer/desk for long hours at a job, lifting heavy objects away from the body or even carrying shopping bags. The good news is that back pain prevention isn’t that difficult at all, It requires just a conscious effort to adjust a few days to day lifestyle activities till it becomes a regular habit.
Here are Six simple but effective back pain prevention tips.
- Exercise. One of the most important things you can do for back pain prevention is to get up and get moving. Life is Movement and Movement is Life. Muscles are meant to move, if not in movement or loaded, it atrophies /shrinks, just as when we stop training at the gym for a long gap, our built up muscles start shrinking in size as well as strength. If you aren’t in good shape, you’re more likely to hurt your back and feel pain when you do even simple movements, such as lifting your child from the ground. Also, exercise helps keep your joints well lubricated(oiled) and flexible. Exercise helps you keep your weight down thereby decreases the load on your back muscles. Thus it helps both ways to prevent back pain, by reducing the load on the muscles as well as strengthening them to bear more loads of daily activities.
- Eat right. If you maintain good eating habits, you will maintain a healthy weight, decreased abdominal fat, the leaner body which as explained earlier puts
lesserstrain on your back muscles, thus lessens the wear and tear of your spine. A healthy diet should include fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, egg(white), milk(dairy products), whole grains and pulses.
- Correct Sleeping habits. You may want to sleep flat on your back but the best position for sleeping is on your side. This position accommodates the natural curves of your spine and avoids undue straining spinal joints. If you must sleep on your stomach, put a pillow under your lower abdomen to help take stress off your back(facet joints). Having a supportive mattress which is firm (freshly knit cotton/Coir), accommodates for the spinal curvature but not unduly soft like sponge/foam which hollows in and thus bends the spine too, is essential for a healthy sleeping habit. Also, a neck collar pillow below the neck gives good neck support and prevents chronic neck pain from a long day’s work.
- Maintain proper posture. “People sitting at their computer for seven or eight hours a day is keeping me in business,”.”People slouch over their computers and their telephones when they’re texting, and they don’t realize the damage they’re doing to their backs and the pain they could be causing.” Be sure to work at an ergonomically correct workstation, both at the office and at home and break up long periods( every 30 mins) in front of the computer with stretching exercises. The computer should be at the eye level, arms well rested on the table or sidearms of the chair, with your bottoms seated well inside the chair with lower back conforming with the back support which should be of the natural spine shape, or can use a small pillow behind lower back to maintain the upright posture. If you practice good posture, you will maintain the natural curves of your back and help keep it strong. The concept of the standing desk has emerged well with time to prevent prolonged sitting and its associated complication of back pain.
- Reduce stress. You probably don’t realize how much stress can impact your back health. Stress causes you to tense your muscles( through direct neural networks), and constant tension of this kind can cause back pain. Any activity that helps you reduce stress will help prevent back pain. Stress reduction activities can include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, deep breathing, swimming and lifestyle modifications.
- Early Morning Sunlight Exposure: you probably know it by now that early morning exposure of skin to sunlight causes synthesis of an active form of Vit D3 under the skin. Vit D is essential for the strength of our bones as they deposit calcium into them and also improves our overall immunity. Many of our patients with chronic low back pain have lower Vit D3 levels and improve drastically with treatment with weekly Vit d3 therapy.
You can reduce your risk for back pain with simple lifestyle changes. However, if you should experience back pain, don’t ignore it. It could be a sign of a more serious condition. Talk to us (Mumbai Spine Clinic:DrYash Shah) about your symptoms and what you should do to find and treat the cause.