How to Prevent Back Pain
Everyone, at some point in their lives, will experience back pain. It’s such a common problem that it’s listed as the second leading cause of taking sick leave, behind accidents. According to medical data, 80% to 90% of people will experience back pain.
The causes may vary, but it’s been estimated that most cases arise from workplace conditions. On the one hand, there are certain jobs that require physical exertion and extreme movements that can increase the risk of this kind of pain. On the other hand, office work can cause back pain due to poor posture and staying seated for too long.
Back pain can vary from person to person, and not all cases can be prevented. But today let’s consider some of the recommendations that can help you be free from those daily back aches.
Avoid carrying heavy loads
Carrying too much weight on your back is one of the leading causes of pain in this region. According to experts, it’s common for people to suffer from back pain after carrying a heavy load.
Sports and physical activity are essential for strengthening and toning muscles, helping to reduce the risk of back pain. Sports that are hard on the back, however, include ballet and basketball. Meanwhile, activities like swimming, pilates, or yoga (and more) are more desirable for strengthening this part of the body.
In either case, it’s important that you choose the right type of footwear when you’re exercising, because poorly fitting shoes can also cause back pain.
It’s very important to learn to maintain the correct posture both while sitting, walking, or simply standing. For good sitting posture, you should focus your strength in the lower back and straighten your spine.
When standing or walking, your back should remain straight, avoiding a “hump” in your shoulders. If you need to bend down to pick up something, doctors recommend that you bend at your knees, not your spine.
Choose a suitable mattress
Your back spends a lot of time resting on your mattress, and indeed it’s where your body is supposed to relax. But if the mattress is too stiff or too soft, backaches can become more common and even disrupt your sleep. It’s important to choose a suitable mattress for you.
Keep a healthy lifestyle
Having a healthy lifestyle is crucial to preventing most backaches. Smoking can trigger a recurring cough that will later affect your lumbar discs. Being overweight is also unhealthy, because it adds more pressure and burden to your back.
Finally, it’s important to maintain a good emotional balance, because depression is associated with back strain and other related conditions.
Sleep on your back or side
The sleeping position you choose is also important when it comes to preventing back pain. Given that your body is in a resting position for six to eight hours while you sleep, it’s important to sleep on your back or side.
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended because it causes alterations to the normal curvature of your spine, forcing your neck to remain turned to one of the two sides, which can further injure your spinal column.
Stress is a common cause of back pain, and it can occur at work or at home. When you’re stressed, it creates tension in the back that can prevent you from performing your normal activities.
To avoid this, we recommend pausing to breathe deeply and do stretching exercises at least twice a day.
Seek medical advice
It’s very important that you talk to your physician about recurrent back pain, since 3% of cases can become a chronic disorder. If your back pain persists for weeks it’s a good idea to go to the doctor immediately to obtain a proper diagnosis.