Did you know that 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes? It’s the leading cause of missed workdays and job-related disability. Although it’s incredibly common and potentially debilitating, the good news is that most cases of low back pain originate from mechanical causes, which means they aren’t caused by a disease and can be prevented with healthy habits. If you want to keep your back healthy, take these six tips into consideration.
1. Don’t Slouch. Poor posture puts a great deal of strain on your back. Be mindful of your posture whether you’re sitting in an office chair at work, driving, or texting on your cell phone. If you’re unsure of what proper posture looks like, watch this video that covers proper sitting posture.
2. Don’t Be A Couch Potato. People with sedentary lifestyles tend to have more occurrences of back pain. Sitting for prolonged periods of time contributes to many different ailments, including low back pain; so challenge yourself to move your body more often throughout the day.
3. Don’t Smoke. Studies show that smoking increases your chance of having low back pain. If you want to quit, SmokeFree.gov can help.
4. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach. This position places excessive stress on your spinal joints and muscles. A better option is to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with a pillow between your knees. This keeps the spine elongated and neutral. View our sleep posture tutorial video here.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Core. Weak abdominal muscles can contribute to low back pain. If your core is weak, then your back muscles have to work harder to support your movements. This extra work often contributes to strain and injury. We commonly prescribe the Dead Bug, Bird Dog, and Side Bridge exercises to help build core strength. If you have back pain, be sure to check with us before starting.
6. Don’t Avoid Going To The Doctor. Treating your back pain symptoms with ice and/or heat is a good self-care option for the short-term, but any back pain that persists longer than two weeks should be examined by a professional. A visit with your chiropractor can help determine the underlying cause and develop the most effective treatment plan to get you back to feeling yourself again.
Re-Printed via Permission of ChiroUp
Cliff Atwell, B.S., D.C.