Anyone who has experienced a jolt in their back when trying to get on with their day to day life understands how bad lower back pain can be and how it can debilitate us.If you’re not careful it can become a chronic problem that will lead to serious issues in life. But you don’t have to let it become an issue that ruins your life! Here are some tips to protect your lower back and protect your spine
Movement is Medicine
You might think that resting is best and that exercise is counterproductive to help prevent back pain, but regular exercise can help - although don’t do it if you’re in pain already! Gentle exercise like walking, swimming, and yoga can help to prevent lower back pain and can help to strengthen your core - which is one of the best areas to strengthen to help avoid straining your lower back. If you have severe or chronic back pain, consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Lift the Right Way
Even if an object is light, you should always be aware that you’re lifting it the right way. Lifting the wrong way and twisting while you lift can be destructive to your lower back, but a simple adjustment can massively reduce lower back pain. Stand as close to the object as you can, and live with your legs and knees, and keep your back straight. Bending your knees and keeping your back straight is vital to a proper lifting technique. And remember - don’t lift anything that seems too heavy!
Be Mindful of Good Posture
Standing up straight with your shoulders back is vital to preventing back pain. In the modern age of desk and computer use, it's easy to slouch and not sit up straight. This puts pressure on your back, which may cause pain and discomfort. One thing you can do is find an ergonomic chair to keep your spine straight, as well as keep your feet flat on the floor. Take breaks once an hour and change position fairly frequently. Also - try a headset to speak on the phone to help avoid pain in your neck and upper back too.
Sleeping is essential for good health. It’s best to sleep on your side to take off any pressure from your back, as this also helps to alleviate sleep apnea. Sleeping on your stomach can cause too much pressure on your spine. It’s also very important to get the right mattress and pillow that can help to support your body and neck. This will avoid early starts with neck and back pain!
Avoid Excessive Bending and Twisting
When you’re active, it's easy to bend and twist without realizing it. This can occur when we’re doing housework, gardening, or even just picking things up from the floor. Twisting your body as you bend down can seriously damage your lower back. Instead, try to turn your whole body instead of twisting.
If you are overweight, you might be adding to your lower back pain. Especially if it’s around your waist, extra weight can be a prime risk factor for pain in the lower back as it adds extra stress to the muscles and ligaments in that area. Exercise and a healthy diet will make it easier to drop extra pounds and prevent chronic back pain.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is essential to our general health. Joints and bones need hydration to stay flexible. In particular, spinal discs can be susceptible to dehydration and can shrink when they have a lack of fluid due to lost height. This can mean our discs become prime to slipping out of their proper place, and can lead to a herniated disc.
Don’t Ignore Any Pain
If you experience pain, it’s your body's way of telling you something is wrong and needs to be fixed. If you ignore your pain and don’t address the problem, any underlying health and back issues are likely to become worse and worse.
If you want to do yoga for your back pain, this week we have a 2-week program that will give you relief, strength, and support for your hips and lower back. If you have pain, sciatica, discomfort, or tightness in this region of your lower back and hips, this program will give you both lasting relief, as well as prevention for future injuries and ailments.
By Amy Cavill
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