6 Habits That Will Help You Ease Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common disabilities affecting adults today. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that between 20% to 30% of all Americans experience it at any given time, and 80% of us will experience it at least once in our lives. However, what you do on a daily basis can either reduce its severity or increase your risk of back pain and make existing cases worse. Here are 6 habits that will help ease your back pain.
Practice Good Posture
Bad posture can cause back pain, as anyone who has slouched in a chair all day and rose with back and neck pain can attest. Good posture requires sitting upright with your back relatively straight. Your head should be level to the floor, and your seat should be parallel to the floor too. Your ankles should be level to the ground. Your hips and knees should be at ninety degrees.
You might want to leave the purse at home, since carrying it can alter your balance and spinal curvature. You also need to stop slouching while you check your phone if that’s one of your habits.
Strengthen Your Core
Strengthening your core is not about doing a set number of crunches each day. You have to strengthen your core muscles holistically.
One way of doing this is practicing abdominal hollowing, which is a method for strengthening the abdominal muscles that support and stabilize your core. You may need to work with a trainer to learn how to do this right because it is hard to tell it apart from simply sucking in your stomach.
Another option is doing strength training including your core. Keeping your back muscles strong reduces the odds that back pain starts because the spine muscles are working too hard. Keeping your back muscles strong is preferable to having to rebuild these muscles during physical therapy.
Maintain Your Flexibility
Tight hamstring muscles and tight hip flexors are a predictor of lower back pain. Stretching these muscles reduces your risk of developing lower back pain. You can do this through lunges and hamstring stretches. The ultimate stretching exercise is yoga.
Note that stretching should become a habit, so stretch your back and side muscles regularly. A good time to do it is at night before you go to bed, though you can do it in the morning. If your back pain goes away after fifteen to thirty minutes of stretching in the morning, the issue is probably your bed.
Have the Right Kind of Bed
There is a fair chance that your back pain is caused or worsened by your bed. For example, beds that are too soft cause your body to sink down into an unnatural position. The best beds keep your spine in alignment without causing pressure points. If you’re looking for a good mattress for back pain, this very detailed guide should help. Consider having the right bed an investment in your health, since you’re in it roughly a third of the time.
Packing on the pounds will put stress on your joints. It will also put stress on your back. Eating a healthier diet, one with more fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods will help you maintain a healthy weight. Consider increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D. This will keep your bones strong. Osteoporosis, especially in women, increases the risk of back pain.
Be Careful when Doing Heavy Lifting
You have to be extra cautious when doing any kind of heavy lifting. Stretch, warm-up, and make sure you’re lifting properly. This means bending at the knees, not bending your back. Don’t twist your body as you lift, and keep the item close to your body. And, if your muscles are strained, wear a brace.
There are many possible causes for back pain. However, there are a few healthy habits that can reduce and prevent back pain for almost everyone.