Often back pain begins with something innocuous. Twisting to reach something too high, bending to lift a heavy shopping bag. It seems to come out of the blue, but in reality, it can be the culmination of a lifetime of bad habits.
The good news is that back pain prevention often requires only a few lifestyle adjustments.
Exercise. Stretching and strengthening your muscles keep you fit, limber and less likely to injure yourself. Pay special attention to your core. The back and abdominal muscles act as your vertebrae’s support system. When muscles are strong, they support the back, reducing the possibility of injury.
Eat well. Excess weight puts excess strain on your back. Weight around the midsection, in particular, can cause the spine to tilt and become uneven. Back muscles then overcompensate, which contributes to lower back pain. Along with exercise, eating well and watching your weight can help you protect your back from pain and injury.
Stand (and sit) up straight. Good posture helps maintain the natural curves of your back and keep it strong. Slouching at your computer or bending over your phone can damage your back over time. In addition to practicing good posture, make sure to take breaks, get up from your desk (or put down your phone) and stretch. Your back will thank you.
Avoid Heavy Lifting. This one is a no-brainer, but it’s sometimes easier said than done. After all, that baby’s toy is not going to edge itself out from behind the dresser, and the dog’s bone won’t find its own way out from under the couch. When the only way to solve a problem is to put your back into it, make sure you don’t actually put your back into it. Bend your knees and lift using your legs, not your back. And don’t twist while you lift, this can increase your risk of injury.
If you are experiencing back pain that concerns you, we encourage you to complete our Health Risk Assessment or call 949-764-1411.