If you’ve ever said, “My back hurts,” you aren’t alone.
It’s estimated eight out of ten people at some point will experience back pain. Nearly $50 billion dollars each year is spent on back pain. It’s a significant and real problem.
Do you have back pain, or are you worried about developing it? You aren’t alone. But there are steps you can take to prevent and relieve pain!
Here are ten tips to help you prevent back pain and keep your back healthy:
1. When you’re standing, keep one foot slightly forward with the knees slightly bent. You want to avoid locking your knees, which puts pressure on your back. When you’re standing for long periods of time, check periodically make sure you are not locking your knees.
2. Sit with your knees slightly higher than your hips, taking the pressure off the lower back muscles.
3. Don’t reach for something on your tippy-toes! Use a stable stool to reach hard to get items above your head.
4. Remember, pushing is always easier on your back than pulling. To move something, use your arms and legs to start pushing and always get someone to help you move heavy items.
5. You’ve heard the saying, “lift with your legs, not with the back.” Live by it. Always squat to lift.
7. Maintain a healthy weight.
8. Would you have guessed that smokers are more prone to back pain than nonsmokers? It’s true! Nicotine actually restricts the blood flow to the vertebrae and discs in your back, increasing the risk for back pain. One reason among many to quit.
9. Care for your back with massage. Many of us hold tension in the back and neck muscles. Massage is extremely beneficial to your health, so indulge a bit. It helps prevent and heal muscle pain in the back.
10. Keep your core muscles in great shape. Yoga, Pilates, and core exercises can help you lose weight and prevent back injuries and pain.
If you do experience back pain, it’s important to identify the cause of the pain! Write down movements that aggravate your pain and take notice of how you sit, sleep, and stand. Bring this journal to your doctor to learn what you can do to treat, prevent and relieve your back pain.
Take care of yourself and your back! Do you have a tip we haven’t mentioned? Share it here!