One of the most common problems in today’s population is back pain, from the neck to the waistline. Back pain can be caused by a variety of issues, especially poor posture, lack of sleep, or too much physical activity. Want answers to questions about your back pain? Read on in the following article.
What is it? Why? When did it start? These are the most common questions about back pain
Anyone can suffer from back pain. But there are certain factors that increase your risk for certain issues like cervical problems, spinal deformities, etc.
As you age, your spine does as well. That’s why when you reach 30 or 40 years old, you start to experience more pain in your back due to the weakening of the bones and muscles over time.
Getting too little exercise
People who don’t get regular exercise or play sports are more likely to suffer from back pain. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is strongly related to having back problems.
Being overweightPeople who are overweight or obese are also more likely to experience back and spinal pain, because that’s the part of the body that has to support your entire weight.
Hereditary factors can be the cause of lower back or neck pain. Pay close attention to the history of back pain or problems in your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and so on. Arthritis of the spine and other disorders can often be genetic.
The tasks you perform on a daily basis can lead to back pain. For example, people who lift heavy items each day or push or carry things around – even those who stay in a standing or seated position all day – are at higher risk to suffer from back pain.
SmokingThere’s a surprisingly close relationship between back pain and smoking. That’s because people who smoke have trouble delivering the necessary nutrients to their lumbar discs. In addition to that, smoking makes it harder for the body to recover from any traumas or fractures.
Herniated discs, muscle tension, scoliosis, arthritis, lumbar stenosis, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, infections, endometriosis, and disc injuries are all very common causes of back pain. If you suspect you have any of these disorders you should talk with your doctor to get the correct diagnosis and proper course of treatment for your pain.
Any of the above conditions or disorders combined with poor sleep will exacerbate your back pain. Not getting enough sleep, having too thick or thin a pillow, an old mattress, or having the wrong posture at night can cause you a great deal of back pain.
How to strengthen your back
One of the best ways to alleviate back pain is by having a strong and healthy spine. Check out the following tips for how to achieve that:
Maintain good posture
Having good posture is essential to a healthy back. Don’t stay hunched forward (with your shoulders rolled forward and chest sunken in) all day while you work at your desk. Choose an ergonomic office chair that supports your back well, from your waist to your neck. Try using pillows for comfort if you need to. Always keep your shoulders in line with your ears and imagine there’s a board behind your back. At first it might be uncomfortable, but with time you’ll notice the difference.
If your job requires that you lift heavy objects, always bend your knees as you approach them. Lift with your legs, and don’t bend your back forward – that could cause damage to your spine.
You can do any kind of exercises to strengthen your back, although lifting weights isn’t recommended if you have chronic back pain, at least not at first. The best exercise routine consists of swimming, pilates, yoga, biking, and hiking. All you need to do is half an hour every day to start feeling the improvements. The exercise you choose will help your overall health, in addition to your spine.
This is important – especially if you have a job that requires you to sit all day. Several times a day, get up from your chair and do a few easy movements to keep your back from resting in the same position. Be sure you stretch your neck, the waist, your shoulders, and even your head. Stretches should be done slowly and deliberately, no sudden movements.
Raise your arms as if you were trying to touch the ceiling with your hands and do wrist circles. Turn your head from one side to the other, and then roll your head to each side like you’re trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder, and then to the left. There are also some great yoga poses that can help you stretch your back.
How healthy would you say your diet is? What you eat affects the health of your spine. If you eat plenty of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats you’ll notice improvements in your back pain. Omega-3 fatty acids and B complex vitamins are especially recommended for alleviating problems with your spine and the nervous system.
Here we want to answer two main questions: what can you do to avoid lower back pain, and how much of it should you try? First of all, pay attention to the position you sleep in. If your mattress or pillows are old or uncomfortable, try changing them. If you sleep on your side, try sleeping on your back for a change. Get between six and eight hours of rest a night. When you go to bed, treat it as a ritual: turn off your phone and other electronic devices, try to get to sleep before 11pm, and don’t take work or school to bed with you.
People who meditate have less back pain than those who lead a more stressful, less mindful life. Meditation will also improve your mood, make you more productive, prolong your life, and above all help you keep better posture. This is thanks to the lotus sitting position (the most commonly know position for meditation). Try meditating every morning for about 10 minutes.