We can all agree that back pain is crippling. Click here to learn how to prevent back pain and get back to being you.
Every year, Americans miss more than 260 million days of work because of back pain. That makes back pain one of the most common reasons for people missing work on an annual basis.
There are some forms of back pain that are pretty much unavoidable. Those with chronic back conditions, for example, will struggle to find relief from their pain, no matter what they do.
But there are also many forms of back pain that can be avoided if you simply know how to prevent back pain. You can steer clear of being forced to call out of work if you’re willing to take certain steps to keep back pain at bay.
Here are 9 tips for preventing back pain that will help you lead a more pain-free life moving forward.
1. Start Exercising More
If you just sustained a serious back injury or underwent back surgery, you should obviously consult your doctor before you start exercising. But otherwise, you should make more of an effort to exercise on a regular basis.
In theory, you might think that exercising will hurt your back rather than helping it. But many studies have shown that regular exercise can cut down on muscle tension that you feel in your back and do away with inflammation at the same time.
Just make sure you stretch your back and all of the other muscles in your body prior to starting a workout. It’ll get your muscles loose enough to stand up to whatever you throw at them.
2. Lose Weight
There are far too many Americans who are overweight at this moment. About 35 percent of people are obese, and about 35 percent of people are overweight.
If you fall into either of these categories, you could be carrying around a lot of extra weight that is putting a big strain on your back. By losing even just a few pounds, you can lighten the load on your back and prevent back pain from flaring up.
3. Stand and Sit Up Straight
Posture is very important when it comes to managing back pain. If you don’t stand and sit up straight at all times, it can put an unnecessary strain on your back and cause pain to affect you.
When you’re standing, practice keeping your head up at all times and pull your stomach in. This will relieve any pressure that you’re putting on your back and keep your spine aligned.
When you’re sitting, put your back against the back of a chair and sit up straight. If possible, position your knees so that they’re elevated just above your hips. Ergonomic chairs are best for those who work in offices and need to stay seated for long stretches of time.
4. Lift Heavy Objects Properly
Whether you’re repositioning furniture in your living room or helping a friend move, there are going to be times throughout your day to day life when you have to pick up heavy objects. Make sure you do it properly to avoid straining your back.
When you lift something that’s very heavy, do not do it by bending over at your waist. Instead, bend your knees and squat down so that you use your leg muscles, not your back, to lift. This will cut down on the chances of you suffering a back injury while picking something up.
5. Carry the Right Bag
Do you carry a handbag or a briefcase around with you at almost all times throughout the course of a day? Make sure you have one that won’t wreak havoc on your back.
Ideally, you should choose a bag that has an adjustable strap that you can put over your head so that you can rest it on the shoulder that’s on the opposite side of your bag. This will help to distribute the weight of the bag evenly and prevent it from causing back pain.
You should also get into the habit of switching which shoulder you rest your bag on during the day. This will play a big role in preventing back pain.
6. Stop Smoking
There are already dozens and dozens of reasons to quit smoking. And you can add “prevents back pain” to the list.
When you smoke, it limits the amount of blood that travels to your back, which cuts down on the number of nutrients that your spinal discs receive. This puts smokers at a higher risk of experiencing back pain.
7. Avoid High Heels and Skinny Jeans
High heels and skinny jeans might make you look and feel fantastic. But unfortunately, they can also cause all sorts of problems when it comes to back pain.
High heels change your center of gravity and can put a huge strain on your back if you spend a lot of time standing and walking around in them. You’re much better off wearing something with a low heel or no heel at all.
Skinny jeans, meanwhile, can force you to change the way you walk and sit and restrict the amount of blood that makes its way to your legs and back. This will inevitably lead to back pain over time if you wear skinny jeans almost every day.
8. Invest in a Better Mattress
By throwing your old mattress out and putting the best memory foam mattress in its place, you can improve your sleep schedule and avoid waking up with a stiff back every morning.
9. Try Not to Rely on Back Braces
Doctors will often recommend people wear back braces in the weeks following surgery. In those instances, back braces can work wonders for the way a person’s back feels.
But if you’re wearing back braces all the time, they’re probably not helping you as much as you think. You’re better off trying some of the other tips listed here to get relief from your back pain.
Learn How to Prevent Back Pain and Do It
Now that you know how to prevent back pain, you should work harder to do it. You don’t have to walk around with back pain all the time if you don’t want to.
From losing weight to investing in a better mattress, there are so many simple ways to get rid of back pain once and for all. It’ll make a big difference in your quality of life and allow you to be a more active day in and day out.
Read our blog to find out about how posture correctors could potentially help with your back pain problem.