Back pain is a leading cause of visits to the doctor, just second behind, visits for upper respiratory conditions. 80 percent of us will complain about back pain during our lifetime while 50 percent claim to have back pain at least once a year. In total, Americans are said to spend around $50 billion on back pain annually.
It’s clear to see that back pain is a serious problem in our society but what can we do? Besides visiting the doctor and being prescribed painkillers, what preventative measures can help us avoid chronic back pain and symptoms such as stiffness, chronic pain and difficulty in movement?
Being overweight is a leading cause of back pain. Maintaining a healthy weight, can release tension from your back and allow you to live pain free.
Strengthening your back muscles around your spine will allow you stand straight and will decrease the likelihood of back pain. Training, focused on strengthening the muscles in your back will help, especially around the core, which will protect your lower spine. Yoga is also known to loosen and strengthen the muscles in your back.
Focusing on your posture will help. While sitting or standing, try to keep your shoulder back and chin up to straighten your spine. Standing or sitting for long periods can encourage poor posture so try to take regular breaks and walk for five minutes in between. Slouching over your phone or computer is a common cause of back or neck pain, so think about sitting up straight or investing in ergonomically correct workstations.
Avoid lifting but if you need to, make sure to lift from your knees, while keeping your back completely straight. Keep the object close to your body and if it’s too heavy ask for help. If you are lifting weights in the gym, make sure they are light and manageable, don’t overdo exercises which can increase the chance of straining the muscles.
Back pain is a problem a lot of us will encounter at some point in our lives. Sometimes developing without a cause and including conditions such as strains, arthritis and injured disks, it can leave you unable to bend or even walk a times. Keeping in mind the tips above will help avoid any unwanted injuries and keep you out of those 80 percent that have encountered back pain in their life.