According to The American Chiropractic Association, around up to 90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. These high numbers indicate the fact that a healthy spine is often overlooked as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly the long-term kind, are generally less healthy than people who do not. Those who are more likely to suffer spinal pain include individuals who are overweight/obese, smokers, and those who lift heavy objects. The back is one of the most important yet vulnerable parts of the body. The back is used for standing, running, lifting things, and more. Back pain can be costly not only in a financial manner but also in terms of lost time from work and activities as well as psychosocial problems in dealing with the healing process. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your back healthy in various scenarios and activities.
Always be sure to avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous forms of movement as far as your spine is concerned. If you find that an item is too heavy to lift, it is easier on your back to push it than pull it. Use your legs whenever possible, rather than your back or upper body to push the item. If you have to lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
When you’re standing, keep one foot slightly in front of the other, slightly bending your knees. Standing in this position assists in taking pressure off your lower back. Avoid standing bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time, because pain can result from the muscles in your lower back becoming deconditioned in this position.
Try to maintain the natural curve in your lower spine. Also, avoid slouching. This is very key as slouching becomes a natural bad habit for many. When sitting you also want to keep your knees at a level slightly higher than that of your hips, with your back straight and head up.
Healthy Lifestyle and Exercise
It is suspected that extra weight puts more strain on your spine so keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier spine. The most effective and efficient way to reduce weight is to have a sensible diet and exercise regularly. Consult with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise program, especially if you have a health condition. It may be better for you to sleep in positions other than on your back, as sleeping on your back can put about 50 lbs. of pressure on your spine. Lying on your side with a pillow placed between your knees can reduce pressure on your back. Smokers tend to have more pain than nonsmokers, plus the chemicals involved in smoking can slow the healing process when back pain occurs, so it is a good idea to quit smoking for both your back and overall health.
Following instructions and tips such as these may not guarantee that you’ll be free of back pain for life but you will certainly reduce your risk of developing it.