Did you know that according to research almost one-fourth of US adults report low back pain which results in almost 83 million days of work lost every year?
So you’re like the millions of people suffering from lower back pain and eagerly looking for ways to get rid of this horrible pain, so you can work to the best of your capabilities, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve compiled the top 10 tips for you that will definitely help you to prevent back pain and enjoy a healthy spine.
Understanding the Backbone
A human spine is a complex structure of bones, joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles. It supports the upper body and allows us to bend, twist, and move.
However, this complex structure is also susceptible to injury and pain. Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints seen by doctors. There are many different causes of low back pain, but some of the most common include:
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner material of a disc bulges out through a tear in an outer layer which puts pressure on nerves and causes pain.
- Degenerative disc disease: The degenerative disc condition occurs when the discs between the vertebrae begin to break down. This can lead to pain and stiffness.
- Spinal stenosis: This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the nerves.
- Osteoarthritis: The wear-and-tear type of arthritis that can affect the spine is known as osteoarthritis.
- Facet joint syndrome: The facet joint syndrome occurs when the small joints in the back become inflamed.
Lower back pain can be from mild to severe, and it can come on suddenly or gradually. Treatment for low back pain will depend on the cause and severity. In the worst-case scenario, some treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medications, physical therapy, exercise, heat/ice therapy, and even surgery.
Fortunately, we have the top 10 tips to follow that will help you keep your spine healthy and happy.
Tips for a Happy and Healthy Spine
Our spine is a column of bones that extends from the skull base to the pelvis. It protects the spinal cord and provides support for the body. The spine also allows for movement, such as bending and twisting.
To perform all the said functions, movements and more efficiently, without your spine cracking several times, we have accumulated the top 10 tips for preventing back pain.
1. Maintaining a Healthy Exercise Routine
Exercising is one of the most excellent habits you can adopt for maintaining a healthy spine. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, and it also helps keep the discs between the vertebrae healthy. A healthy disc can absorb shock better, which reduces the risk of injury.
When it comes to strengthening your spine, there are a few things to consider. The first step is to concentrate on core-strengthening exercises such as the abs and back muscles. These muscles help support and protect the spine. Second, avoid any activities that put further strain on your spine. Activities like football or weightlifting can put too much pressure on the spine and cause problems.
Finally, it's crucial to stretch before any exercise program. A decent warm-up can assist in promoting blood flow to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine, preventing harm.
2. Lift Weights Carefully
If you're going to lift weights, you must do it carefully. Lifting weights that are too heavy can strain the spine and cause injuries. When lifting, always use your legs to lift the weight, not your back. This will help you avoid unnecessary strain on your spine.
It's also important to be careful when carrying objects. If an object is too heavy, it can cause strain on the muscles and ligaments in your back. Make sure to lift with your legs and not your back. Moreover, keep objects close to your body to avoid putting too much strain on your spine.
3. Correct Posture
Another essential thing you can do for your spine is maintain good posture. Poor posture puts strain on the muscles and ligaments in your back and can cause pain. On the other hand, good posture helps take the pressure off your spine and can prevent pain.
Make sure that you're sitting up straight and avoid slouching or hunching over. While standing, try to keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet; it's better to avoid standing on one leg for too long. Third, bend at your knees instead of your waist when lifting. This will help you avoid any strain on your back muscles.
4. Walking and Staying Active
Walking has several benefits, and a daily walk is one of them. Walking tones your core while also nourishing your spine and keeping you upright. It also helps improve flexibility and bone structure strength.
Before beginning a walking routine, see your doctor or chiropractor first. A specialist will advise you on the amount of time you should spend walking each day.
Related Article: Can Walking Help You Lose Weight?
5. Try Water Exercises
Water exercise is the most incredible exercise that you can do for your spine. It is a natural way to reduce pain and inflammation while promoting healing. Water exercise is an excellent way to get the benefits of exercise without putting strain on your spine.
Some great exercises to try in the water include walking, jogging, swimming, and biking. These all help strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your spine. Water aerobics classes are also a great option often offered at local community centers or gyms.
6. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is another excellent option for reducing pain and inflammation in the spine. Heat can help loosen up the muscles and ligaments, making them more flexible. This, in turn, can reduce the pressure on the spine and relieve pain.
There are a few different ways to apply heat to the spine. You can use a heating pad, take a hot bath, or use a heat wrap. Apply heat for 20-30 minutes at a time.
7. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is an excellent way to reduce stress and tension in the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine. Massage can also help improve circulation and promote healing. Massage therapists are trained in how to massage the spine properly, so be sure to find a reputable one in your area.
8. Better Sleep Posture
The way you sleep can have a significant impact on your spine. Sleeping in the wrong position can strain the muscles and ligaments, leading to pain. To avoid this, it's essential to find a comfortable sleeping position that doesn't put unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Usually sleeping on your back is considered the best position for your spine. This allows your head, neck, and back to rest neutral. If you experience pain when sleeping on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to relieve some pressure.
Sleeping on your side is another good option for people with spine problems. This position helps take the pressure off the spine by aligning the body from head to toe. If you experience pain when sleeping on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees to help keep your spine in alignment.
If you're not used to sleeping in these positions, getting used to them may take some time. But it's important to persevere, as they will ultimately help reduce pain and improve your overall spine health.
9. Enroll In a Yoga Class
Yoga is an excellent way to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your spine. Many different yoga poses can help improve spine health. Some of the best poses for the spine include cat/cow pose, cobra pose, camel pose, triangle pose etc.
As with any exercise, it's crucial to listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable. If you experience any pain, stop immediately and consult a doctor or physical therapist.
Related Article: 6 Yoga & Exercise Poses To Warm Up Your Body Before Deadlifts
10. Taking Care of Your Diet
Nutrition is critical for maintaining a healthy spine. Consuming calcium-rich foods and vital minerals, as well as multivitamin supplements to achieve your nutritional goals, may help prevent spinal problems such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Related Article: Vitamins and Minerals That You Should Take Daily
There are many different things you can do to take care of your spine. Exercise, heat therapy, massage therapy, and yoga are all great options for reducing pain and inflammation. Proper nutrition is also essential for maintaining a healthy spine. Sleeping in the right position can also help reduce strain on the spine. If you experience any pain, be sure to consult a doctor or physical therapist.
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- ‘Chronic Back Pain’. Health Policy Institute, https://hpi.georgetown.edu/backpain/.
- Deyo, Richard A., et al. ‘Back Pain Prevalence and Visit Rates: Estimates from U.S. National Surveys, 2002’. Spine, vol. 31, no. 23, Nov. 2006, pp. 2724–27. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1097/01.brs.0000244618.06877.cd.