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Back Pain: Definition
- A sore back can be a real pain in the neck. If you are suffering from chronic back pain, you are not alone.
- 4 out of 5 people with back pain at some point in time visit the doctor, according to many estimates.
- Medical researchers have found it is one of the top 5 common reasons for visiting the doctor.
Back pain comes in many forms and varying intensity from a sudden spike in pain to a dull, constant ache. It can also be the result of a sprain, fracture or injuries apart from medical diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
There is even a medical condition called spinal stenosis or narrowing down of the spinal canal through which the spinal cord runs- back pain is also caused by overweight or sedentary habits.
While back pain may go away on its own, making surgery a rare necessity, simple strategies can also be used to prevent back pain in the first place.
While back pain can result from trauma such as fall or car accident, it is also the result of every day activity carried out in a wrong way. This includes sitting, sleeping, lifting objects, bending over or even carrying items.
Back pain prevention is not that hard, and all you need to do is make a set of adjustments to the way you lift or move – ensuring that muscles and ligaments do not stretch or develop micro tears. Repetitive stress, bad posture, and injury can also lead to soft tissue problems such as muscle strain.
Why is Lower Back Pain Common?
A reason why lower back pain is the most common subtype is as follows:
- There are 5 motion segments in the lumbar spine and most of the twisting and bending occurs in these segments.
- Maximum motion occurs in the lowest two segments known as L4-L5 and L5-SI.
- This makes the lower back more susceptible to injury or wear and tear over time.
Preventing Back Pain: Easy Ways To Keep Aches Away
Exercising the Core
Strong core muscles provide support for the lower back and prevent injury, whereby low impact cardiovascular exercise such as walking can increase the blood circulation to the spine.
This, in turn, transmits healing nutrients and oxygen to the structures in the back, especially the lower portions thereby preventing back pain.
Low-impact aerobic exercises can be a great way to avoid stress and back pain. If you are just starting out on regular exercise, strength the core by taking the stairs or using an exercise ball.
Correcting Your Posture
Bad posture is associated with more pain and can cause degenerated discs to worsen in terms of aching. You need to correct your posture through an ergonomic chair.
Designed to accommodate the natural curve in the lower spine, it makes sure that you don’t strain your back. Walk around as much as you can with your back straight.
Ensuring You Are Fit and Athletic
Regardless of how strong you are, you need to be a clever athlete who values fitness in the right way. Back pain can be caused by playing sports incorrectly too.
Choose sports which you can excel in following the strict guidelines to prevent back pain from injuries. Most common sports injuries are seen in tennis, golf and running.
Improving Your Health
Remember that your lumbar spine is influenced by the overall health levels of your body.
Improve physical fitness and general health by drinking enough water, avoiding alcohol or inflammatory diets and stopping nicotine intake. Sleep is a healing restorative which can eliminate back pain or lessen it.
Traveling Smart is Important
Traveling in a plane, train or car can really harm the lower back. Pain-free travel trips include stretching frequently and maintaining the correct posture to avoid back ache.
Back injuries as a result of car accidents can also be avoided if you practice your skills as a defensive driver.
Stretching Your Hamstrings
A lesser known cause of back pain is tightened hamstring and simple stretching exercises can work wonders. These exercises decrease pressure on the pelvis and provide relief to the back.
Check with your physiotherapist about which stretching exercises may be perfect for alleviating back pain.
Exercising is Important
Get more exercise if your back is hurting. The best way to get the better of a back ache is not to limit exercise and rest. A day of rest should be followed by activity. Why so? Because regular physical activity eases muscle stress and prevents inflammation.
Get up and get moving to prevent back pain because at the end of the day, if your muscles remain stationary, you are more likely to hurt yourself even while performing simple exercises.
Remember that exercise also helps to eliminate excess weight and prevents strain on your back as a result of padding around the stomach.
Watching Your Weight
Weight watchers will always avoid back pain. The reason for this is simple. Extra pounds around the mid-section can make back pain worse through the shifting of the centre of gravity and stress on the lower back.
Staying within 5-10 pounds of the ideal weight for your height and age can control back pain.
Smoking prevents the flow of nutrient-rich blood to spinal discs. This makes smokers susceptible to back pain. How so? Research shows that smoking can make existing back pain worse as well.
A potential cause could be that it narrows the blood vessels causing less oxygen and vital nutrients to reach the spin. This makes it slower to heal. It also increases the likelihood of back pain.
Sleeping Position Matters
If you have back pain, find out the best sleeping position that puts minimum strain on the back. Preferably, you should sleep on your side with knees towards the chest, slightly pulled up.
Sleeping on your back can be hard and so can resting on your stomach. If you have to sleep on your back or stomach, take the stress off your back with a supportive mattress and pillow, and place a cushion under the lower abdomen to take the strain off.
Cutting Down on Stress
Reduce stressors because these can impact back health. Stress causes muscle tension and constant tension leads to back pain. Reduce stress through biofeedback, yoga, meditation, positive visual imagery and other stress management techniques.
Using Back Support
Have a chair which provides back support or has a straight back. Always keep your knees a bit higher than the hips while seated. Use a stock if you must. Sitting for prolonged periods?
Then you need to keep your back straight and your stomach pulled in. Your workstation needs to be ergonomically correct and sitting for long periods in front of the computer needs to be interspersed with periods of activity.
Lifting From the Knees
Don’t bend from the waist to lift heavy objects. Instead, you need to bend and squat, putting your stomach muscles in and holding the object close to the body. Never twist while lifting heavy objects and try to push them instead of pulling.
Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes
From avoiding high heels to skinny jeans, there’s a lot you can do to ease the strain on your back. Heels shift your centre of gravity and strain the lower back. Therefore, stick to either low heeled shoes or avoid high heels. Avoid tight clothing that interferes with bending, sitting or movement of any kind.
If you have good nutrition habits, this can help your back too. A steady diet of spicy or fast foods can really cause the nervous system to become stressed and create back problems.
Diet rich in fibre, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy products as well as whole grains will keep your digestive tract in good condition and maintain your spine- irritated bowels often co-exist with back pain.
- So be clear about the host of reasons that cause back pain and you too can avoid a bad back.
- From poor posture to heavy load and inadequate support, there’s a lot you can avoid to prevent back pain.
- Taking care of your spinal health is important because it can really hamper functionality if you suffer from back pain.
- These easy steps can prevent back aches and take you forward in your mission towards a healthy life.