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Every day, millions of people suffer from various forms of back pain that range from mild to severe to debilitating. However, most back pain can be easily treated and even prevented if you take the right steps. Since most episodes of back pain involve the muscles, a combination of exercise, posture and common sense can avoid many potential instances pain in the spine, particularly in the lower back where it is quite common. In fact, many causes of minor muscle back pain occur when a person is when the muscles “catch” after an unexpected move and then stiffen. The result is back pain with stiff muscles that can take a few days to fully relax and return to normal. Quite often, over the counter pain medication along with heat and massage can loosen up the muscles and shorten the time of recovery. What follows are some simple steps you can take to reduce and prevent instances of back spasms which cause pain and discomfort. The key is to go slow at first to let your body acclimate to the new conditions. After a while, employing these methods becomes second nature so you can live free of most episodes of back pain.
Exercise your muscles
Arguably the best way to avoid back pain is by exercising the muscles in the back so that they become stronger and more flexible. Muscles that are toned are far less likely to spasm when caught in sudden or unexpected movements. Of course, the trick is to find the right type of exercise that best fits your needs. Here is where talking to your physician can be very helpful in finding the right exercises for your current physical condition. Lose Weight: The more overweight you are, the more pounds are pulling on your back muscles in terms of support. This additional strain is what causes a large number of back issues. By reducing your weight, you reduce the pull on your back muscles which puts them under less strain. Plus, eating a diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals can improve the overall health of your muscle groups as well. Walking & Swimming: These are two excellent exercises for the back as they are low impact and work the back muscles indirectly. Plus, they loosen up the back muscles as well, which means that they help avoid potential back spasms when walking or swimming correctly. Strength Training: Either through weights or resistance exercise you can build both the abdominal and back muscles so that they become stronger. Exercises that strengthen your core muscles so that they work together help improve your posture and align the body properly. Plus, they can add more flexibility in your hips as well. Your doctor or a physical therapist can help you in choosing the best strength exercises that can tone and build your muscles without putting them under any undo strain.
The old lessons of good posture and proper position apply even more today than when they were first learned way back when you were a child. In terms of proper posture and mechanics in how you move, lift and carry yourself can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding back pain issues. What follows are some simple body mechanic techniques that can help you achieve better positioning so that your back muscles are not overly strained or stretched while performing common tasks. Lower Back Support: When sitting, be sure that the chair you use has good lower back support, arm rests and a swivel for a base so you can sit properly and still move around. Consider adding a small, rolled up towel or pillow to your lower back to maintain its proper shape. By keeping your knees and hips level, you can reduce the strain on your back as well. Plus, be sure to move around or change positions at least once every 30 minutes. Sitting in one position for too long, even when done properly can strain your back over time. Stand up Straight: We’ve heard this advice from our parents over the years and it really works. By standing in the proper manner, you reduce the workload on your back muscles. If you have to stand for long periods of time, get a low footstool so you can alternate your feet and take some of the load off of your lower back. Also, try moving around or walking a bit every 30 minutes to reduce the stress levels as well. Lift with the Knees: Another bit of old fashioned advice that can save you from experiencing back strain. Lifting properly consists of keeping the back straight, using your legs to elevate the load and holding close to your body while moving it. Do not lift and twist your body at the same time, instead, reposition your feet and turn your body naturally. If an object is heavy or large and awkward to lift, find someone to help you. By following these tips, you can greatly reduce the chances of experiencing back strain.
Since back pain is arguably the most common ailment, there are a number of products available that promise to either alleviate the pain or prevent it from occurring in the first place. From special shoe inserts to back supports to furniture designed to support the back, none of these have been proven to work in helping to prevent back pain. Your first goal is to find what helps you feel comfortable, then use the proper body mechanics and move around when possible in order to minimize the chances for getting back pain. Ultimately, preventing back pain comes down to losing weight, exercising and using proper body mechanics in order to keep the back in proper position at all times. However, even the best of measures cannot alleviate all instances of back pain. If you do experience pains in the lower back, a combination of heat and over the counter medication as simple as aspirin can help relieve the pain in a shorter period of time.