There are different causes of back pain. While most are unknown, some are brought about by muscle strain due to weight gain, accidents, or injuries. Having a desk job that requires you to work on the computer and sit for almost seven to eight hours a day would already give you these problems, but they are treatable. If you think that things are on the severe side, you can ask your physician if you already need treatment for scoliosis or degenerative disc. You may be advised to go on therapy or go under the knife.
Back pain can be debilitating and hinder your daily activities. This will hold you back from doing your tasks properly. So before it even develops into a chronic condition, you should protect your spine the best way you can. The key is to maintain your proper weight by exercising and a proper diet and consciously watching on your posture.
Proper Posture and Position
This may often be neglected, but never underestimate what a correct posture can do to prevent back pain. The important thing is to train yourself on how to stand, sit, or lay down in such a way that supporting muscles and ligaments receive the least amount of strain.
If you want to know the ideal posture when standing, find a wall and lean your back onto it. You want your butt, shoulders, and the back of your head to touch it.
While in a sitting position, make your buttocks touch the end of your chair to maintain the curvature of your spine. Many people tend to slouch, and this puts a lot of pressure on your lumbar area. If neglected, you could experience neck pain and headaches. This is because your upper spine is bearing much of the weight of your head, which the lumbar is supposed to help with. This same principle applies when you are lying down, but you have to make sure the mattress is still firm enough to uphold and maintain the right curves of your backbone.
Stretching and Exercise
Stress and having a sedentary lifestyle are big contributors to back pain. The former will have your muscles all tensed up, and you will feel like your shoulder area has been tied into a knot. If you lack exercise, your muscles will soften and will have a hard time adjusting to sudden movements and mobility in general. These are exercises that you can try, and they specifically target the problem points in your upper body. It may not look much, but doing these can alleviate the pain you are feeling.
- Neck stretch — This is basically just stretching your neck in various directions. Hold your position for several seconds when you have extended as far as you can.
- Shoulder blade squeeze — You can do this whether you are standing or sitting. Slowly pull your shoulders back to squeeze your shoulder blades in. Hold this for five seconds and repeat about three to five times.
- Arm stretch — Raise one arm, then fold it behind your head, and then have your other arm pull it inwards.
Walking, biking, and swimming can do wonders for you as well. These are activities where the movement of your limbs will either stretch your back or force them into the correct position.
One can never stress enough the importance of a proper diet. This will not only help you improve and strengthen your back, but it will also be beneficial to your overall health.
Everyone knows that calcium helps strengthen your bones. Other than milk, you could also find it in leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli. This is great for those who are lactose intolerant, and it also broadens your choices. Building muscle can also help give you a healthy back, so make sure that you get your regular dose of protein from various meats and fish.
Your weight can be the main culprit of your back pain. If you are on the heavy side, that can bring too much tension and strain on your spine because it practically is carrying your whole body. This is why you should have a healthy diet and keep fit. Having a lean body is not just for aesthetic purposes; it helps you take care of your back, too. Do not forget about fiber-rich foods, for they can also help you shed some pounds. Aside from that, they aid in your digestion and can flush out harmful toxins, leaving your gut cleaner than it was before.
Having a bad back can also be brought about by bad habits. You can be active and disciplined with your diet, but you could be doing things that could hurt your spine in the long run. One prime example is using your smartphone while lying on your bed. Doing this will make you crane your neck forward, which is the same as being slouched in a chair. Not being mindful of ergonomics is another. Do not be complacent with the positioning of your computer monitor. Make sure that it is just within eye level. Otherwise, you will make your head position itself at an awkward angle, resulting in back pain later on.
Your backbone or spine is one of the most important parts of your body. It is responsible for propping you up and houses all the major nerves. Take good care of it if you want to keep functioning well and stay free from pain.