If you have suffered from back pain in the past, why not try to prevent it before it starts? Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the United States, but there are ways to keep it from happening to you. During the first weeks of the year when you might be making resolutions to improve your life, try these 5 resolutions to prevent back pain in the New Year.
Staying active is extremely important in preventing back pain. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain, weaken the core muscles, and increase the risk for other health problems. It might seem difficult to stay active when you are already having back pain, but studies show that movement can actually help east back pain.
Some simple and “back safe” activities to help you stay active include:
- Water Exercise
- Tai Chi
- Biking (specifically recumbent bike)
The CDC recommends approximately 30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week. Spend less time sitting on the couch or at your desk, and aim for these exercise goals.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
To prevent back pain it is important you know how to properly lift heavy items. The key is to lift items with you legs, not with your back. The basic technique for proper lifting involves a wide stance with your feet, holding the item close to you, and bending with your knees, not at your hips. Your back should be straight and your abdominal muscles should be engaged to support your spine.
You should also use caution and know your limitations before attempting to lift a heavy object. Pushing yourself to lift something that you can’t maintain proper lifting techniques with can cause damage to your spine. Look for help, or alternatives to lifting yourself if you think the item might be too heavy to lift.
Strengthen Your Core
Your “core” muscles are those that help stabilize the spine during movement. By keeping these muscles strong you can help prevent back pain. The muscles groups that make up the core include your hip flexors, abdominals, back extensors, and lateral trunk muscles.
A few simple exercises to add to your strengthening routine:
- Side Planks
Be sure to check with an certified exercise specialist to make sure you are properly performing the exercises. You can also include therapeutic exercise as part of your regular chiropractic care.
Maintain Proper Posture
Poor posture is one of the main causes of back pain. Proper posture of the spine is when the three natural curves of your spine are maintained while your are in a position or performing an activity. The healthy position for the spine has a slight inward curve at the neck, a slight outward curve of the upper back, and a slight inward curve at the lower back. It is important to note that proper posture should maintain the natural curve, not increase it.
Changing your daily habits is the first step to improving posture. Postural awareness can help keep you spine in alignment. If you find it difficult to maintain your posture with sitting, standing, or laying down, look into modifications you can make to your environment to help with this. Ergonomic devices such as pillows or foot rests can also assist in improving your posture.
See Your Chiropractor
If you are experiencing back pain or are looking to prevent it in the New Year, contact Silver Chiropractic and Wellness today. Dr. Shane Silver can correct any spinal misalignment you might have and guide you in an individualized plan to prevent further back pain. Regular chiropractic visits are a great way to keep your spine and your nervous system functioning properly and improving your overall health.