Back pain is one of the most common complaints among American adults. It leads to days of missed work, discomfort, and lost sleep. Most of the time, back pain resolves on its own, in less than six weeks; but wouldn’t it be better to avoid it altogether?
There are a few steps you can take to lower your risk of developing back pain. Most of them are simply part of healthy living, so you benefit doubly by lowering your risk and improving your overall health.
Maintain a healthy weight
If you’re carrying around a few extra pounds, work on reaching a healthy weight. Excess weight puts more stress on your back muscles and your spine.
Eat a healthy diet composed of nutritious foods in appropriate portions. Make exercise part of your regular routine. Get plenty of sleep, and work on managing stress.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, talk to your care provider at Apex. We’re happy to help you devise a plan that will work.
Make excellent posture a habit
How many times a day do you find yourself hunched over your computer or phone screen? When you’re sitting, do you habitually slump or slouch?
If you sit most of the day, check your ergonomics. Make sure your chair, desk, and screen are at an appropriate height.
Throughout the day, take short breaks to walk around, stretch, and generally be mobile. Your body was made to move and sitting still for too long leads to pain.
Set an alarm if you need to, and move around. Some activity monitors have built in reminders to move throughout the day.
Learn to lift correctly
Whether it’s weights or moving boxes, if you pick up something heavy, squat down and raise the object up using the strength in your legs and not the muscles of your back.
Muscle strain is a common cause of back pain, and a little understanding of your body’s mechanics can help you avoid it.
Smoking damages your blood vessels and restricts the flow of blood to the bones and tissues in your back leaving them more vulnerable to injury — not to mention it’s associated with a plethora of poor health outcomes.
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, and increase the strength of the muscles that support your spine, further lowering your risk of back pain. Whatever activity you choose to pursue, make sure that you’re doing it safely.
You should also consider integrating some form of flexibility training into your routine, as well. By keeping your muscles and other tissues mobile and flexible, you’re less likely to endure an injury that could lead to back pain.
If you have questions about keeping your spine healthy, book an appointment online at any of our three convenient locations, or give us a call. We’re happy to help.