Think about the role your back plays in your life — as the foundational structure for your entire body, it’s responsible for much of your support, mobility, and range of motion. Given these duties, it’s hardly surprising that back pain develops as often as it does — in fact, it’s one of the leading drivers of missed work days in the United States.
Our team at LA Pain Doctor are highly experienced pain management specialists who understands the enormous role your back plays and, more to the point, how back pain can affect your life. With the goal of preventing the problem in the first place, we’ve pulled together five tips that will keep your back pain-free, allowing you to avoid being sidelined from life due to back problems.
1. A little support goes a long way
At the core of your back is your spine, which is surrounded by a host of soft tissue support players, such as your muscles. One of the best ways to avoid back pain is to ensure that this support system is pulling its weight and shouldering some of your spine’s burden.
We recommend that you spend a few minutes each day strengthening your core muscles, which includes the muscles in your back as well as those in your abdomen for superior back-to-front support. A great tip for tackling all of your core muscle groups is to get into a plank each day and hold it for as long as you can. Then repeat.
2. Heavy lifting
One of the leading causes of back pain is muscle strain, so you want to avoid overworking your back muscles. One of the primary culprits when it comes to muscle strain is lifting heavy objects improperly, which means reaching down and picking the object up, relying solely on your back muscles.
Instead, bend at your knees to lift heavy objects, which engages far stronger muscles, such as your quads and hamstrings, to help with the effort.
3. Position yourself for sleep
When you go to bed at night, the goal is to give your hard-working body a break. If you’re sleeping on your stomach or on your side, you may not be helping in this regard, as it forces your spine into awkward positions. If you can, try to sleep on your back, which allows your spine to assume a neutral, non working position. Better still, be sure to adequately support your head with a pillow that keeps your spine straight — one that doesn’t force your head too high or too flat.
4. Straighten up
Many of us spend hours each day seated in a chair in front of a computer, which can do a number on your back and neck if you’re hunched over or seated incorrectly. To ensure that your back can stand up to all that sitting, practice good posture in your chair, which means keeping:
- Both feet flat on the floor
- Your shoulders back
- Your head up
And to avoid muscle strain, get up frequently to stretch throughout the day — simply touching your toes can do wonders.
Americans seem to be more stressed these days, and this type of tension isn’t helping your back. A great way to maintain the health of your back, and your overall mental and physical health, is to practice relaxation techniques, including:
- Deep breathing
- Stretching practices like yoga
The last item on the list is especially great since it reduces both your stress level and the tension along your spine.
If you do succumb to back pain, rest assured we’re here to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Simply contact one of our five convenient Louisiana offices to set up an appointment.