Back Pain affects 4 out of 5 adults in America at some time in their life. Back pain can range from a nagging discomfort to agonizing pain. Pain medication can offer temporary relief of pain but it does not address the root of the problem.
Here are 10 tips to condition your back to stay healthy, strong, and pain free :
1. Lose Weight. Excess weight puts a strain on the back muscles which causes pain or exacerbates existing pain. If you are overweight the single best thing you can do is to lose weight.
2. Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise increases strength and endurance in the back muscles. This in turn allows the muscles to function better. Walking, swimming, biking, or elliptical machines are good choices.
3. Do Abdominal Crunches. Stomach muscles work together with back muscles to support the spine. Crunches strengthen stomach muscles and take strain off of the back.
4. Stop Smoking. Smoking causes diminished oxygen levels in the spinal tissues. This can interfere with the healing process and make back pain worse.
5. Use Correct Posture. Standing for long periods of time with poor posture causes back pain. Maintain a neutral pelvic position while standing. If you must stand for long periods of time, take the load off your lower back by alternately placing your feet on a low footstool.
6. Use Proper Sitting Posture. Don’t hunch over your desk or keyboard. Use a chair with good lower back support and arm rests.
7. Lift Correctly. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold what you are lifting close to the body. Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time.
8. Get Enough Sleep. People with back pain should use a medium-firm mattress. Use pillows for support. Avoid pillows that force your neck up at a severe angle. If you sleep on your side, placing a pillow between your legs may help you sleep better.
9. Wear Proper Shoes. Sorry ladies, but wearing high heels with back pain is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Low heels are the way to go if you suffer from back pain.
10. Get Up and Move. If you stay seated in one position for too long your back muscles will tighten and spasm. Take a break to stretch every hour or so during long drives. If your job is sedentary, likewise, get up, stretch, and walk around periodically.
Be good to your back and your back will be good to you.