Millions of people across the U.S. suffer from back pain every year. For many, this pain is acute and/or chronic, and not only affects their lifestyle, but can also cause them to lose time at work or have to quit their job altogether, and deal with the financial strain that comes from this as a result.
Whether you’re currently feeling great but need to ensure you stay that way, or have started to feel the first twinges of back pain (or more), it is important to do everything you can to take care of yourself. Read on for some top tips you can follow today to prevent and ease back pain.
Exercise Regularly and Carefully
One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to stay active by exercising on a regular basis. While most types of exercises can be helpful in that they improve circulation, keep you more flexible, and work to reduce stress, it is important to steer clear of anything too rigorous for your individual body.
Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling can be ideal for people with problem backs or those that play up on occasion. As well, exercises such as yoga and Pilates (or any movement based on stretching) are seen as being particularly good for backs.
These activities can not only ease the minor back pain but also help you to develop stronger core muscles, which can then take the stress off your back. As well, these low-impact exercises promote deep breathing and relaxation, which can stop muscles from seizing up.
Furthermore, they can assist you to strengthen your muscles too.
If you already are suffering from back pain, don’t avoid activity altogether. While it is understandable that you may feel like sitting or lying down all day and steering clear of exercise, this can actually exacerbate the issue.
Instead, if you keep your body moving, this can help to stabilize your spine and prevent your muscles from getting increasingly imbalanced.
Sit Down Less
If you work in an office or another type of job that sees you sitting down for hours at a time, this can cause a back problem, or worsen a condition you already have.
Sitting for long periods of time places way more pressure on the spine than our bodies were designed to handle, and can be even worse if you sit unevenly or hunched.
Since the disks in our backs are meant to expand and contract when we move, being sedentary for many hours a day can lead to the disks becoming compressed and losing their flexibility.
You can increase your risk of having herniated disks in your back, plus end up with weaker abdominal muscles, and tight glutes and hips, all of which places more stress on your back in turn.
While you might think that a half hour or hour-long workout each day will counteract this, sadly this is not the case.
If you are like many people and spend eight or more hours a day sitting at work, and then sitting down on the couch when you get home, you aren’t moving your body nearly enough.
To prevent and ease back pain then, it is time to get up. Whenever possible, work standing up, rather than sitting down, and make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day to walk around and stretch.
This will give your body a chance to get moving and your muscles to relax.
Also, make sure you use ergonomic equipment, positioned at the right height when you are sitting down.
This will help to ensure that, for instance, you don’t end up slouched forward, with your neck out, staring at a computer screen that is too low or too far away.
Visit Professional Treatment Centers and Physicians
Lastly, if you want to keep your back in good shape, don’t forget about all the different types of treatments you can take advantage of to help your body stay supple, limber, and in alignment.
For example, if you start to feel your back is locking up or that you have a few twinges, you could visit practitioners such as acupuncturists, masseuses, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, Bowen therapists, those trained in the Alexander technique, or others, to do some work on you.
If you are already struggling with back pain, you may also want to check out some quality back pain treatment centers in your area. You will find a number of physicians who can diagnose your condition and help you to ease and/or cope with the pain.
Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock
In Post Image Credit: Shutterstock
This is a sponsored post written by Cher Zevala. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own. Learn more about contributing for Consumer Health Digest.