10 Tips to Help You Relieve Back Pain

  1. Exercise your back regularly by walking, swimming and cycling.  These are all excellent ways to strengthen your back muscles.  Be aware though, some exercises can aggravate back pain and should be avoided when you have acute low back pain.  Partial crunches can help strengthen your back and stomach muscles.

  2. Bend your knees and hips, not your back.  Many people injure their backs when they lift objects the wrong way.  When you get into your 30’s, you are more likely to hurt your back when you bend to lift something up or put it down.  This is because you have injured the muscles, ligaments, or disks in your spine in the past.  Also, as we get older our muscles and ligaments become less flexible.  With time the disks that act as cushions between the bones of our spine become more brittle as we age.  All of these things contribute to us being more prone to having a back injury. 

  3. Learn to lift heavy objects using the correct lifting technique.  Follow these tips to avoid compressing the spinal discs or straining your lower back when you are lifting.  Keep a wide base of support.  Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other.  Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only.

  4. Maintain a good posture.  Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back.  This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.

  5. Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.  Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.  Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees.  Keep your back straight, and don’t twist as you lift.

  6. Try to take a short break from sitting every 30 minutes.  As sitting for extended periods generates undue pressure on the spine.  Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour.

  7. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises help to manage stress.  Not surprisingly, stress is a major cause of back pain.  So, yoga, breathing and meditation would all help in this area. 

  8. Stop smoking!  It’s known that smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, and this leads to these discs degenerating over time.

  9. Lose any excess weight.  Use a healthy weight calculator to find out if you’re a healthy weight for your height.   Check your body mass index BMI.  The most important part is to cut back on sugars and starches.  When you do that, your hunger levels go down and you end up eating much fewer calories.  Your body then starts feeding off of your stored fat. 

  10. Check that your bed provides the correct support and comfort for your weight and build, not just firmness.  Orthopaedic mattresses are widely available

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