Back pain affects millions of people every day. Back pain can diminish your quality of life, causing you to miss work and activities that you enjoy, and even prevent you from being able to accomplish basic, everyday tasks.
Taking care of your spine – your back and neck – will help you lower the chances of experiencing back pain.
7 Habits for Better Back Health
Adopt these habits below to improve the overall health of your back. These habits involve practicing better body mechanics when you do daily tasks and activities:
1. Lift Properly
It’s very easy to twist the wrong way and hurt your back if you do not use proper form when lifting an object. To lift correctly, stand as close to the object as you can, and use your legs and knees, rather than your back or upper body, to lift the item up. It also helps to bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the item. While doing so, be sure to keep your head down and back straight. If the item is heavy, never try to lift it yourself – always get help.
2. Sleep Well
Sleeping well is important to your overall health. Your body needs sleep to repair itself. For back health, it’s often recommended to sleep on your side, not your stomach, because sleeping on your stomach often puts too much pressure on your spine. A supportive mattress and pillow should promote proper alignment of your neck and back. Be sure to turn your mattress regularly so that it wears evenly.
Stretching maintains joint function and promotes a good range of motion. It also reduces the risk of injury.
4. Be Active
If you’re not active or physically fit, you’re at an increased risk of experiencing back pain. Keeping your body moving helps to maintain a healthy spine. The best exercise routine for your back and neck is one that includes stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Exercise, along with a healthy diet, also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight, or rapidly gaining too much weight, are risk factors for low back pain because excess weight can put added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your back.
6. Keep Hydrated
Hydration is important to maintaining soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints. Our spinal discs are vulnerable to loss of hydration and can begin to lose height. As spinal discs lose height, you become more susceptible to painful conditions such as herniated or bulging discs. Herniated discs, also known as slipped or ruptured discs, occur when a disc slips out of place. A herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica, a specific type of back pain that radiates down one of the legs. Bulging discs can also occasionally cause sciatica.
7. Work Smart
Proper ergonomics reduce a lot of stress on both the lower and upper back. If you have a desk job, make sure your workspace is set up for your height and functionality. Choose a chair that provides lower back support and allows your knees to be at 90 degrees (at about the same level as your hips) with your feet resting comfortably on the floor. Plan regular breaks to periodically get up and walk around.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you have back pain, let us help you get back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.