Preventing back pain is a difficult thing for most people. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association, over 50% of all Americans have symptoms and want to know how to prevent back pain.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why most Americans miss work. Managing and preventing back pain often requires the use of prescription medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or some form of chiropractic care.
The good news is those aren’t the only ways of how to prevent back pain. From regular stretching to learning how to properly lift heavy items, there are several ways you can keep your back safe on a daily basis.
Back pain can be extremely painful — don’t let it put your life on hold.
1. Daily Stretching
Adding daily stretches to your schedule not only maximizes your range of motion, but it also helps relax your back muscles, especially after exercise or sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Daily stretching also encourages movement that can help improve circulation to your spine, reducing your risk of back pain in the future. Stretching your back and legs will also help you throughout everyday activities such as lifting objects off of the floor or putting your shoes and socks on in the morning.
A few examples of good back stretches would be a trunk rotation stretch, child’s pose, or hip flexor stretch. You can find a variety of videos like this one on stretching for back pain but be sure to consult with your chiropractor before starting a regular routine.
Really, any sort of diagonal stretch will help release tension in your back. By incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine, it’s less likely that you’ll have to deal with an injury or chronic back pain moving forward.
2. Back Strengthening Exercises
Whether you’re constantly hunched over a small desk or picking up heavy objects, it only takes one miscue to spring heavy pain on your entire back.
Much like stretching, strengthening your back muscles can also help naturally ease back pain and build up your back muscles. Exercises that target specific back muscles give you added protection and also improves posture and strength throughout the rest of your body.
If you find yourself with back pain, specific back strengthening exercises can also get you back up and moving.
A healthy spine is crucial to a healthy body, which means implementing back strengthening exercises in your daily regiment is crucial to supporting and protecting your back from the wear and tear of daily life.
3. Diet and Exercise
Unlike other injuries, back pain can improve with physical activity. Regularly activating and engaging your back and core muscles will not only help strengthen the muscles around your back, but will also help you maintain a good spinal structure.
While you should avoid high-impact exercises, as those can be harmful to your spine, mild exercising like cardio and light weight lifting promotes a healthy back and core. An example of good exercise for back pain would be a seated thoracic extension.
Additionally, diet is another important aspect to consider when looking to prevent back pain. According to research data, chronic back pain and diet share a common link with one another. Vitamin D deficiency, for example, could be the explanation for your lower back pain according to this study.
Try eating healthier foods with nutrient-rich ingredients to help you stay fit and pain-free.
4. Lift Heavy Items Correctly
While staying active is important, it’s equally as important to remember that one small misstep can send you back into excruciating back pain. Improperly lifting heavy items is one of the quickest ways to do so.
Whether it’s a heavy box at work or simply carrying groceries in the house, if done incorrectly your back will be the first to let you know.
When going to pick up a heavy item, it’s important to remember that your feet are at shoulder-width apart before picking up an item. Once you’re ready, squat down using your legs, keep your back straight, and shoulders back.
Once you have gotten hold of the item, slowly lift using the strength of your legs and hold the object as close to your body as possible. Once you’re ready to move, keep your shoulders square and take small steps in the direction of where you want to go.
When finished, set the object down slowly and carefully using the same motion you picked the object up. It’s extremely important to remember to never attempt to lift an object by bending forward.
5. See a Chiropractor
If all else fails, it’s time to seek professional help. Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to manage and relieve pain in your back. Routine chiropractic care provides you with a safe, non-invasive alternative to relieving your back pain.
By delivering a gentle, non-invasive, therapy, chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions and misalignments in the spine and other joints in your body. Chiropractic care can also help reduce inflammation and improve the overall function of your spine.
Depending on the amount of pain in your back, chiropractic adjustments typically require 2-4 weeks of visits for a full recovery, but most patients feel a reduction of pain of up to 80% following their first visit. If exercise isn’t enough, it may be time for you to schedule a consultation and examination with Dr. Harlan today.