Back pain is nearly ubiquitous with about 4 in 5 people experiencing this condition during their lifetime. So how can you remain in the minority and keep back pain at bay? We’re going to give you five helpful tips to stop back pain before it starts. The good thing is that all of these tips can also help you recover from back pain if you are already suffering from it, so don’t give in to despair if you have this problem.
#1 Have a Regular Exercise Program
The stronger your back is, the less likely you are to suffer an injury. Exercise, especially exercise that strengthens your core is a must. While you should always consult a physician before starting a new exercise program, there are some things that can help to ensure you don’t strain anything. After all, no one is going to want to maintain an exercise program that leads to injuries.
Try a graduated exercise program. This often involves starting with light exercises such as stretching and gradually working your way up into things like cardio and weightlifting. Also, exercise is a good way to maintain a healthy weight (see our next point). There are apps that can help you go from a sedentary lifestyle to being ready for a 5k run in just a few hours per week. So regardless of what may have held you back in the past, now is the time to get active.
#2 Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
We’re not talking about starving yourself to fit into a certain body style that people mistakenly view as attractive. This is about being healthy. The more weight your bones and muscles have to carry, the more prone you will be to pain and injuries. A good program of daily exercise along with healthy foods can help you to keep back pain at bay. Eat more fresh foods and fewer fast foods. Trade sugary sodas for water.
Don’t forget that being too thin can also affect the bones, muscles, and soft tissue that supports the spine in a negative way. That is why we use the term “healthy weight”. Being too thin is just as unhealthy as carrying around too much weight, especially when it comes to your back.
#3 Pay Attention to Your Posture
This is one of those things that you hear from the time you are a kid, but because the effects of poor posture sneak up on a person so gradually, we often ignore the warnings until it is too late. One of the places that most people need to be on guard against poor posture is at work, particularly in an office environment. Everything from the height of computer monitors to the quality of your chair will make a big difference when it comes to back pain. Also, be sure to take breaks at the right times. A few tips include:
- Learn some stretches that you can regularly perform at your desk throughout the day.
- Stand up and walk around a little every hour.
- Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something that is 20 feet or more off in the distance. This will keep you from inclining your neck for long periods of time.
- Keep an eye on mobile phone use. It puts a big strain on the neck to look down like that over and over, so check your phone less and hold it up higher.
#4 Use Proper Lifting Techniques
There are a few ways to take the strain off your back when you are lifting something heavy. By implementing these suggestions, you may be able to save yourself from a back injury.
- Bend your knees to lift rather than bending at the waist.
- Hold the weight as close to your body as possible rather than holding the weight away from you.
- Carry heavy bags with the weight evenly distributed such as with a backpack. If you need to carry a heavy bag over one shoulder, get a crossbody bag or try to carry the weight as high up as possible.
- Always get someone to help you if something is too heavy.
#5 Try Upper Cervical Chiropractic
If the atlas (C1 vertebra) becomes misaligned, it can create changes all throughout the spine as the body compensates to keep the head properly balanced. The location of the greatest changes is where the pain will occur. For many, this is in the lower back region, and may even involve nerve irritation such as sciatica.
Correcting the misalignment that is acting as the underlying issue is the key to long-term relief. Upper cervical chiropractors are subspecialists in the field of chiropractic who focus on the atlas. We take precise measurements using diagnostic imaging methods and then calculate gentle adjustments. There is no popping or twisting motion involved. Low force corrections are safe and last longer, making this a cost-effective therapy.
For some patients, this may correct spinal issues before they develop into pain. If you are already in pain, this could be the key to genuine relief. So be sure to search for an upper cervical chiropractor near you and schedule a consultation. Your visit may be the first step down the path to better overall health and well-being. And for those who are in pain, it may be the natural form of care you have been searching for.