Archives for January 2017

Healthy Ways to Prevent Lower Back Injuries

 

tips to prevent lower back pain If you’ve ever found yourself laying in bed in pain after trying to lift a heavy object or twisting the wrong way, then you’ve probably wondered how you could prevent another painful lower back injury. Fortunately, you don’t need to avoid physical exertion for the rest of your life to protect your back. Just follow these four simple tips to stay pain-free!

Maintain Good Posture

If you’re always slouching or hunching over your desk, then you’re putting unnecessary pressure on your spine, which can end up hurting your back by constricting blood vessels and nerves. Good posture will maintain the natural curvature of your spine to help prevent a back injury.

Unfortunately, it can be tough to remember to sit up straight all day at work, so a great option is to use an ergonomically designed chair that will support your spine. You could also invest in a standing desk since sitting tends to put more pressure on your back and your spine.

Take Care When Lifting Heavy Objects

Have you ever heard the phrase, “lift with your legs, not your back”? If you want to avoid a painful back injury then remember that lifting properly requires a bit of forethought. First, stand close to the object you want to carry. After you’ve taken hold of the object, rise up by keeping your back straight and straightening your knees.

Another great option to protect your back during heavy lifting sessions is to wear a back brace. A back brace will support and stabilize the lower back to prevent the overstraining of vulnerable muscles. At the same time, a back brace can be used to lessen low back pain if you have already strained your back.

Keep Fit

Having weak core muscles can cause lower back pain by making the other muscles that support your spine work harder. The solution is to strengthen your core muscles by engaging in low-impact cardio and targeted weight training exercises that will build strength in your core.

Remember not to go crazy with any type of fitness program. If your back is already vulnerable to injury, then doing deadlifts without a warmup or an intense session of box jumps in your crossfit class won’t be doing your back any favors.

In addition, eat a nutritious diet to keep your weight in check. Excess weight has been known to put additional pressure on your back, especially if that weight accumulates around your middle.

Avoid Becoming a Couch Potato

Humans were designed to move, so the switch to our current sedentary lifestyles has had some negative repercussions for our backs. At work, get up every 30 minutes to take stroll to the water cooler. And if you’re traveling, make sure to get out of your seat to stretch your legs and your back. Also, consider using a lumbar support pillow to help maintain proper spinal alignment during uncomfortable flights and bus rides.

Overall, there is a lot you can do to prevent lower back injuries from occurring. All it takes it a bit of forethought and some healthy lifestyle shifts to keep your back pain-free and strong.

How Good Posture Alleviates Mild Back Pain

Good posture can alleviate back pain

It is not uncommon for us to experience some kind of mild back pain at some point in our lives. This may be due to sports injury, an accident, or another kind of condition like scoliosis. However, many of us don’t look at what we are doing on a day to day basis as part of the reason why we are suffering from back pain in the first place.

Causes of back pain

Many of us are guilty of poor posture while we type away on our computers at work or home. Other activities that may contribute to our poor posture may include lifting or carrying heavy items. These repeated activities can cause muscle tension and tightness that can lead to mild back pain.

One of the best ways to begin to combat those daily activities that can lead to mild back pain is to improve our posture. Your posture is the way in which you hold your body while sitting, standing, or doing any other physical activities. Good posture means that the bones of your spine are in alignment.

4 tips to help improve your posture

Tip #1: Imagine a strong passing through your body from the ceiling to the floor. Visualize the string pulling you upward, making you just a little bit taller as you stand.

Tip #2: Squeeze your shoulder blades. Sit in a relaxed position in a chair and rest your hands on your thighs. Do your best to relax your shoulders and keep your chin at a level position. Next, draw your shoulder blades together and hold for a count of five. Be sure to repeat this move at least 3 times.

Tip #3: Stretch your upper body. Find a bare corner in your home or office. Place your hands flat against the wall with your elbows at shoulder height. Put one foot in front of the other and bend the knee. Be sure to exhale as you lean towards the corner. Do this move while also keeping your back straight and your chest and head in a neutral position. This move should stretch your chest. Hold it for at least 20 seconds.

Tip #4: Use a back brace. Sometimes your condition or injury may require a back brace to help you safely set your back into proper place. Doing so will help you to alleviate pain and further injury. Medicare and several private insurance companies will allow you to purchase a good back brace at little-to-no cost.

It is up to you to protect your posture in your younger years so that you can enjoy your older years without back pain. Doing these simple exercises can make a huge difference in the way you feel almost immediately. Be sure to ask your doctor about your back pain so that you can get a proper diagnosis as to why your back is hurting you. At that point, the doctor will be able to help you with appropriate exercises and a back brace, if necessary.