Back problems can be an annoyance for some people and totally debilitating for chronic back pain sufferers. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, around 4 million Aussies (that’s about 16% of the total population) suffer from some form of back problem. Spine and lower back issues can affect people of any age. It’s not something reserved only for the elderly. Far from it.
Whether you currently suffer from back problems or not, this article is going to be offering up useful tips and advice on how to care for your back, helping you to avoid causing back issues and giving you a better quality of life.
Always Lift With the Correct Posture
One of the most common causes of back complaints is due to incorrect lifting techniques. The load you lift doesn’t even have to be heavy to twinge your back but if it is heavy, there’s, even more, need to lift objects in the correct manner.
Whenever possible, always keep a straight back and squat down to lift an object from the ground. Use the power of the legs to do the heavy lifting. Bending the back to pick something up is a sure way to cause lower back issues or disc problems. Larger, heavier items should only be lifted with the help of another.
Invest In a Decent Bed and Pillows
As we all spend a lot of time in bed, it only makes sense to sleep in a quality bed with pillows that are conducive to providing good neck and back support. Many spinal issues and muscular back pain can be caused by sleeping in a bed that’s just not up to par.
If you’re unsure about the best bedding options for you when it comes to looking after your back, do some online research or even consult with a chiropractor for advice. If you know someone who suffers from back problems, they might be able to recommend something to you as well.
Core Strength Is Vital To Protect the Back
Your core muscles need regular exercise to strengthen them. A solid core helps you to maintain correct posture, and strengthens your abdominal muscles and your back muscles. The stronger your core is, the better chance you have of avoiding back issues altogether. The core will support the spine and relieve pressure on the lower back.
Just going through everyday life generally doesn’t do enough to strengthen the core. Instead, specific exercises that target the core are required on a regular basis for optimum results. Some examples of exercises to strengthen the core include:
- Standing ab workouts
- Leg raises (standing or prone)
- Abdominal crunches
- Bicycle crunches
- Glute bridges
- And more…
Simply go online to find examples of these exercises. YouTube is also a great source for exercise videos for core strengthening, so utilise that platform as well. Strengthen the core by exercising it regularly and you’ll be doing your back (and your life) a massive favour.
Always Maintain Correct Posture
Poor posture can easily cause back problems, especially in the lower back. Continued bad posture can even lead to developing spinal and disc problems, something you will definitely want to avoid.
Most people are guilty of poor posture when they are seated. Some people are sitting down in front of a desk or a computer all day while at work and bad posture is sure to result. After a while, you find yourself constantly slouching, back bent, stomach protruding, shoulders slumped. It’s natural.
It takes a conscious effort to fight against bad posture but it can be done. Strengthening those core muscles is one thing that will help with this. You could also purchase an office chair that’s specifically been designed to promote good posture. Another option is to work at a standing desk, at least some of the time.
Invest In Quality Footwear
Cheap shoes or footwear of inferior quality can certainly add to back problems. The shoes support the feet, the feet support the legs and the legs support the spine and core. If there are problems with your footwear, it can cause all sorts of problems with your body, including your back.
Orthopaedic shoes or placing orthopaedic insoles in your shoes can help correct issues, as can purchasing quality shoes in the first instance.
Getting a Massage Can Do Wonders For Your Back
If you’re currently enduring back issues and back pain, having a massage can not only relieve that pain, it will also loosen up knots in the muscles that can be causing pain or pulling the spine out of alignment. Massages also increase blood flow and will help to repair damaged tissue such as injured muscles. It’s recommended to get a massage that is considered moderate in intensity, rather than a light massage that’s relaxing only.
Try and Maintain Your Ideal Weight
Being overweight places added stress on your entire body and can certainly be a major contributor to back problems. If you are overweight, focus on a diet and exercise program that will help you to shed those extra kilos and make reaching your ideal weight your ultimate target.
Not only will diet and exercise improve back problems and help you to avoid them, but it will also improve your health and fitness on every level.
If you follow the tips in this article, you can avoid back problems and improve any existing conditions you may have. It’s also an idea to consult with a chiropractor for treatment and advice on looking after your back health.
Ashley writes the articles and posts for MyMedici and other websites. He has a background in digital marketing and provides services through www.websitestrategies.com.au and www.ashleybryan.com.au. He lives on the Sunshine Coast, QLD with his family.