Back pain can strike suddenly from something as simple as leaning over to pick up a pen on the floor. In most cases, back pain only lasts for a short time and will go away on its own. However, if you suffer from chronic back pain, some simple adjustments in your daily activities might be beneficial. It turns out that lifestyle plays a major role in back pain, so a few healthy habits such as posture, exercise, and diet can help relieve chronic back pain as well as prevent problems in the future.
Here are a few simple steps that can be incorporated into your daily routine to help treat back pain:
Stretching is extremely important to prevent back problems as well as recover from back injuries, since it helps keep your body flexible. It is particularly important before attempting to lift heavy objects or exercising. It is a good idea to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, such as once each morning and once before going to bed. Yoga is the best way to increase flexibility, but even some simple stretches such as bending forward and backward or side-to-side a few times each day will provide benefits.
Keeping a healthy body weight
One of the best things you can do to avoid back pain is staying fit. Extra body weight can cause pain due to the additional stress on your back. A great way to keep your weight within a healthy range is by eating a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables while keeping processed foods to a minimum.
Developing strong back muscles
Back problems often occur when individuals who aren't in the best shape suddenly attempt to lift heavy objects or do other strenuous activities that stress the back. The leading cause of this pain is due to weak back muscles, which results in the spine having to do too much of the work. However, when your back has enough muscle strength through regular exercise, the muscles provide extra support to the spine which prevents injury. This is one of the main reasons why physical therapy is a common back pain treatment, since it focuses on exercises that help strengthen your core muscles.
Maintaining good posture
A leading contributor of back pain is poor posture. In order to keep your back healthy, the correct way to stand straight is by making sure your ears are over your shoulders, your shoulders are over your hip joints, and your hip joints are over your ankles. When you're sitting, make sure you get a chair that keeps your back straight and try to avoid slouching forward.
It is important to always bend at the knees and keep items close to the body when picking up heavy objects. Twisting your body when lifting is also something to avoid.
Avoiding Purses and Wallets
Heavy bags or purses can affect the curve of your spine since they change your balance when you walk. Therefore, if possible, try to only keep basic items such as cash and identification in your pocket when you leave the house instead of carrying a heavy purse. Similarly, a thick wallet should not be kept in the back pocket when sitting, since it puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve which is a leading cause of lower back pain.
Stress is a leading cause of back pain, since it causes your muscles to contract which puts extra pressure on your spine. Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, but you can also try some of our home remedies for stress.
Getting a good night's sleep
A good mattress is extremely important to avoid back pain. A soft mattress can push your back out of alignment, so a medium to firm mattress is a much better choice if you find that you often wake up with back aches. Remember, we often spend 6 to 8 hours of each day in bed, so a good mattress is well worth it.
As can be seen, just a few simple adjustments to your daily routine such as exercise and good posture can help you live a healthy life that is free of chronic back pain.