The Top 36 Ways to Avoid Back Pain
Back pain is one of the biggest problems in the United States. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, anywhere from 60-80% of American adults suffer from pain in their lumbar spine. It is also one of the leading causes of missed work every year. There are TONS of ways to treat this issue, but we are here to tell you how to avoid it all together! Check out the top 36 ways to keep back pain away:
36. As this weight lifter can probably tell you, avoiding lifting heavy objects is the best course of action. Putting too much strain on your back can really do more harm than good.
35. When working with heavy objects use the squat lift. Get your body as close to the object as possible, plant your feet shoulder width apart, squat down, wrap your arms around it, and stand up, using the power of your legs.
34. When you are lifting something heavy and can’t use the squat lift, use the “crane lift”. Stand with your knees shoulder width apart, as close to the object as you can get. Bend at the hips, sticking your buttocks out behind you. Grab the item and lift, pulling it as close to your body as you can as you lift up. Put it down the same way.
33. For small objects, like a dropped coin, use the “golfer’s lift”. Instead, put all your weight on one leg, and using the opposite hand, brace yourself with one hand on a desk, chair, or other sturdy object. Then bend straight from the hip, letting the non-weight-bearing leg come off the ground a little behind you as you pick up the object.
32. You’re not a superhero. I know we all like to think we are, but Know your limits. There are some things you just can’t lift.
31. No matter what occasion, make sure you are wearing the right shoes. You may need a specific type of shoe to support your spine whether you are working out or in the office.
30. Get up and walk around a bit! If you sit at a desk all day set a timer. You should take a moment to stretch and walk around a bit ever 45-50 minutes.
29. When you sit down, sit with your spine in a neutral position and your knees at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your middle and lower back are supported. Don’t waste your money on an expensive ergonomic chair. Just make sure you’re sitting properly.
28. Your computer should be at eye level. If it is too low you will naturally slump forward in your chair, and it’s no better if it’s too high. Then you will be straining your neck as you raise your line of sight.
27. Using a footrest to support the balls of your feet can take some of the load off of your spine.
26. Is it party time? Company parties can be great… or they can be awkward. Either way, don’t stand or sit too long in the same place. Move around! Mingle a bit. Maybe you’ll be the life of the party! Just avoid that guy.
25. Stand and sit up straight. As hard as it is, slumping does more harm than good. Plus, when you stand and sit straight you strengthen the muscles in your spine.
24. This is easier said than done, but try to avoid stress. When you feel stress you tend to tense your muscles. This constant tension can cause back, shoulder, and neck pain.
23. While we’d all love to see this in our back pocket, it’s important to keep only the necessities in your wallet. Sitting on an overstuffed wallet can increase discomfort and pain. And if you are going to be sitting for a long period of time? Try taking your wallet out of your pocket all together.
22. Be selective in hand bags and briefcases. Having a wide adjustable strap that can reach over your head is ideal. By wearing the strap cross-body and distributing the weight of your bag more evenly, you can avoid pain in your shoulders and back.
21. If your clothing is too tight and interferes with bending, sitting, or walking then it can aggravate your back pain. Try something a little looser, or more flowing.
20. Avoid high heels. As pretty as they are, they can shift your center of gravity and strain your lower back. Try to keep it under an inch. If you have to go higher, bring another pair of flats to slip into if you become uncomfortable.
19. Use the tools you have at your disposal. Things like knee pads when working close to the ground, extenders for paint rollers and dusters help keep you from lifting your arms awkwardly overhead, step ladders to reach high places.
18. Buying a new car? Bigger is usually better. They allow you to make more adjustments to your seating.
17. Set your seat properly. Don’t set it so far back that you have to lean forward to reach the steering wheel.
16. Find out where you need support before buying a pillow for your car. Some people need support higher between their shoulder blades and others need more support in their lumbar spine… Or maybe just some good old-fashioned beads are more your speed.
15. ROADTRIP! Nothing says freedom like the open road, but it can also mean some serious discomfort in your back. Make sure you are stopping every 2-3 hours to stretch and walk around a bit. It will make a world of difference!
14. Needing to stand for a long period of time? Switch the side of your body that is holding your weight. Rest one foot and then the other. This will keep the tension from building up on one side.
13. Are you carrying around some extra weight? Being over-weight can put extra strain on your back. That strain causes pain, and we all know that’s no good.
12. Do back strengthening stretches and exercises at least 2 or 3 times a week.
11. Along with strengthening your back, strengthen the rest of your core. This will help provide a more stable support system for your spine.
10. Physical activity on a regular basis can also be important. It has been shown to help ease inflammation and muscle tension.
9. Are you a smoker? Smoking restricts the flow of blood to the spinal discs which can cause inflammation and back pain. Give quitting another try!
8. Stay healthy and eat a balanced diet. When your body and mind are healthy they can work harder for you.
7. Do you sleep on your stomach? Did you know that this is the worst sleep position for easing back pain? Give sleeping on your back a try, or better yet, sleep on your side with your knees inclined toward your chest.
6. If you are going to sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your feet or knees. This helps to ease the pressure in the lower back. By doing this you can reduce the amount of pain you experience throughout the night.
5. Are you an early bird? A morning person? Well, instead of hopping right out of bed when you get up take a minute. Stretch your muscles and make sure they are ready to handle what you’re going to throw at them. This will help any undue strain or tension when you start the day.
4. You should also have the right mattress. Every body is different, so you may need a firm mattress, or a softer one. It’s important to find out what works for you.
3. Keep your mattress in good shape. It won’t do you any good to have the right kind of mattress if it is worn out and broken. Check with the mattress manufacturer and see how often they recommend you replace it.
2. To avoid a more serious, pain-causing disease like osteoporosis, take in more Calcium and Vitamin D. This disease can be a major factor later in life, especially in women so do what you can to prevent it now.
You’ve been waiting and the time has come for you to find out what the number 1 tip for avoiding back pain all together. So here it is:
1. Get regular chiropractic adjustments. Your spine houses your spinal cord, the information super-highway of your nervous system. If you have vertebrae that are misaligned then it can irritate the nerves that feed the rest of your body. A Chiropractor is uniquely trained to correct the misalignments in your spine and keep you feeling healthier.
There are even more benefits of regular chiropractic care than avoiding back pain. Take a look at some of our other informational posts to find out what else it can help with.