Back pain, unfortunately, is a chronic issue for many. Due to the demands of daily life, the majority may find themselves standing or sitting still for extended periods of time. Students must sit and study. Office workers must remain at their workplace desks. Sales associates may need to stand for hours at a time. Labor workers do physical labor that, at times, requires heavy lifting.
All these activities put strain on the back, causing pain and leading to higher risk of injury. You may want to consider chiropractic care to resolve these issues. Out of those who visited a chiropractor – a specialist in problems of the musculoskeletal system – from 2017 to 2018, 77% found the care received “very effective.”
However, there are multiple measures you can take on our own to prevent back pain or alleviate symptoms. It is possible to incorporate habits into your daily life to reduce strain.
Incorporate Preventative Habits
The prevention, reduction, and relief of back pain center around the reduction of pressure or strain on your spine and on the strengthening of muscles. Several habits may assist you in taking chiropractic care into your own hands.
It’s a well-known fact that bad posture does a lot of harm to your shoulders, back, and spine. Maintain awareness of your own posture. Inevitably, you may slouch when standing idle or when sitting for long periods of time. Students and office workers may struggle the most with this, as work or study does require sitting at a desk and chair potentially for hours at a time.
Stretch And Strengthen Your Muscles
Take occasional breaks between sessions of inactivity to move around a bit. Remaining still for lengthy periods of time strains the body. Take moments to do some light physical activity from simply sitting, lying down, or standing. A walk and some simple stretches for brief periods of time make a difference in improving circulation and easing muscle tension, perhaps even mental tension.
When it comes to strengthening muscles for the sake of reducing back pain, focus on incorporating abdominal exercises into your workout routine. Strong core muscles reduce risks of back-related injuries, in addition to providing other health benefits to your body. General strength and flexibility go a long way in preventing strains, spasms, and other injuries.
Avoid Improper Lifting
This doesn’t mean that you should avoid lifting heavy items altogether. In fact, incorporating weight-lifting exercises with proper form into your workout routine may do a great deal of good, by strengthening core and back muscles.
Rather, when lifting, keep your back upright when kneeling down and lift with your knees. If you lean down or bend your back with picking up items, you risk strain or injury by placing unnecessary weight on your back that is already in an awkward or uncomfortable position.
When holding items, such as backpacks, messenger bags, suitcases, or shopping bags, carry less at a time. Distribute workload evenly across your body – ie. as opposed to carrying the bulky weight of a laptop in a messenger bag on one side. If that isn’t possible, shift the weight occasionally from one side to another. This may also help to combat shoulder pain, which may occur as a result of pressure from shoulder straps or of the tension needed to hold onto heavy bags.
Adjust Your Sleeping Position
When lying down on your back, slightly elevating your legs may relieve the pressure placed on your back. An alternative sleeping position may be laying on your side instead. In this case, placing the pillow between your knees will maintain the spine’s neutral position, placing minimal strain on your back. Lying on your stomach is one of the worst positions for your back, but if necessary, placing a pillow underneath your pelvis and lower abdomen reduces some of the strain.
If Necessary, Consider Professional Chiropractic Care
Even with these preventative measures equipped, keep in mind that you may still want to consider professional chiropractic care. You can only do so much to alleviate chronic back pain on your own. Still, incorporating certain habits will go a long way in keeping you comfortable and injury-free.