Have you suffered from back pain? Unfortunately, most of us will experience some form of back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain can be acute or chronic, and it differs from one person to the other. The pain can be mild, or it can be severe enough to impede your daily life. In spite of what level of pain you have experienced in the past, it is possible to prevent back pain. The older we get, wear and tear on our spines is inevitable, but there are some things you can do to prevent back pain as best as you can.
Your back pain is not just about your back
Back pain does not involve only the physical aspects of your body. It involves more than just the joints, nerves, and muscles. Back pain involves your body as a whole. Preventing back pain means that you understand how your back works and you have considered all of the possible lifestyle changes and treatments that may help. Back pain prevention also involves the improving of movement with exercises and movement. Most importantly, back pain prevention involves tackling and letting go of negative thoughts and feelings. Your outlook has a lot to do with pain prevention. If you think nothing will prevent back pain, then chances are good that nothing will help. A positive attitude goes a long way in improving your outlook on pain prevention.
Preventing back pain involves a great deal of relaxation, especially for those who feel that their muscles are too tense. Relaxation is not necessarily about reducing pain and keeping it from coming back. It is about trying to decrease stress and tension in order to prevent back pain.
There are many relaxation techniques that you can try for back pain prevention. Diaphragmatic breathing is a slow, deep type of breathing that involves the lower half of your lungs. Muscle relaxation exercises are also great ways to relax and scan your body for tension. Believe it or not, relaxation is a skill that has to be learned. But once you master it, you can use relaxation techniques all throughout your day.
It is imperative to adopt the correct lifting techniques to avoid injuries to your back, especially your lower back. Don’t lift objects in a hurry, and position yourself first. Separate your feet and bend at your knees. Bring the load close to your body before lifting it. Use your core strength and lift the object with the muscles in your legs. Use your legs to do the lifting and stop if you feel any pain. If there is any strain on your back or if the object is too heavy, get someone else to help you lift it. Safe lifting means knowing your limits.
You can prevent back pain by making simple but effective changes to your posture while sitting and standing. Poor posture causes increased pressure on your spine, and it can strain the ligaments in your neck. If you have poor posture and do not change it, your spine could eventually become permanently misaligned. Ideally, your head and neck should be angled forward, and your shoulders should line up with your ears. Your shoulders should not be hunched; roll them back to open up your chest. Remember to contract your stomach muscles to support your lower back. And don’t lock your knees! Keep your knees slightly bent at all times to distribute your weight evenly between your joints and muscles.
When sitting, do not simply flop into the seat. Instead, lower yourself into the chair by bending your knees and using your abdominal muscles. Every time you sit up straight, you are guarding your back and warding off damage and pain.
A smoker has a risk of back pain that is over twice as great that non-smokers. Nicotine makes your spine age faster than normal, and it also makes the discs more susceptible to injury because it depletes nutrients. Nicotine also increases inflammation, which increases levels of existing back pain. You can prevent back pain by not smoking. If you already have back pain, quitting cigarettes will help your back heal faster.
Back pain does not have to be a regular part of your life. Even if you have been told you have degenerative disc disease or bad arthritis in your back there are millions like you that have little to no daily back pain. A few simple changes to your daily routine can make all the difference to you having a pain free life.