Back pain is very common. Most people will suffer with it at some point in their lifetime. It is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. Back problems can come on because of a sudden injury, but more often it results from poor lifestyle habits.
These might include bad posture or poor eating habits. Simple strategies can be very effective at both treating and preventing back pain. Here are a few suggestions.
Mother’s advice to not slouch and sit up straight is good advice. It is best to sit upright with the hips and knees at ninety degrees while sitting. It is also important to avoid forward head posture to avoid strain on the neck and shoulders. It is important to maintain good posture while standing and lying down as well.
Eat healthy and maintain proper weight. Putting on extra pounds by eating too many calories takes a toll on the spine. The extra weight causes strain on the back which leads to problems. It is important to stay within ten pounds of your ideal weight to prevent back pain. Smoking should also be avoided. Studies show that smoking limits the flow of blood and nutrients to the discs of the spine.
Be more active to avoid problems in the back. People often think lots of rest is the way to deal with back pain when the exact opposite is what they need. A day of rest may be needed at times, but too much rest may be more hurtful rather than helpful. Studies have demonstrated that regular exercise helps to strengthen the core to stabilize the back and helps to reduce inflammation.
Avoid high heels. Wearing high heeled shoes puts strain on the low back and pelvis. If you must wear them, it is a good idea to bring another pair of shoes to slip into if you become uncomfortable with the high heels. This way you can limit the amount of time you wear the high heels.
Watch the wallet. Sitting on a thick of a brick wallet leads to back problems. When you sit on the wallet, it causes uneven pressure on one side of the pelvis causing it to torque. This can lead to chronic back pain over time. To avoid these problems, it is best to take the wallet out of the pocket while sitting or move it to the front pocket instead. These are just a few tips that are effective to both treat and prevent back pain.
– Nathan Leavitt DC
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