Back pain. If you have it, you know it. A throbbing back causes employers an estimated $7.4 billion/year in the U.S and results in millions of visits to the doctor’s office.
Experts say that more often than not, back pain is the result of a number of things.
Sometimes it’s caused by one event, or a complication due to disease, but more commonly it’s the result of an accumulation of bad habits.
Here are 6 of the top practices that could freeze you flat out, and how to avoid them:
1) Improper lifting
It’s common knowledge that lifting something heavy suddenly- and maybe twisting at the waist, while you’re at it- can cause your back to seize.
If you find yourself lifting larger things often during the day, remember to keep proper alignment and to bend your knees, not your waist.
Follow the example above to keep in the clear.
2) Sitting Way Too Much
Most of us sit too much- science has proven it. We are made to walk the plains and wander the hills.
And so the very fact that we’re not mobile enough can be causing your back pain. Having a desk chair at the wrong height, and hunching over a computer for hours every day also causes problems.
Make sure that the dimensions and measurements of your workstation follow these guidelines, to reduce your risk.
3) Not Taking a Break to Deal With Stress
Taking the time to exercise and stretch regularly not only keeps your heart and lungs in good health, but your posture and muscles, too.
Decompress and get the blood flowing to prevent back pain from arising.
4) Turning into a Couch Potato When Pain Hits
Once back pain sets in, if you can keep moving, it could prevent it from getting worse.
Always consult your doctor on what’s best for your particular case.
For many people, getting some simple exercise like walking and stretching can help lower back pain to go away faster. Don’t hit the weights at the gym or suddenly take up rowing, but make sure you stay out of bed, and walk around when you can.
5) Ignoring the Pain
Ignoring back pain and trying to keep on truckin’ isn’t going to make it better.
In fact, experts say it can make things worse. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and by ignoring that sign, you can create more tension and create permanent damage.
Slow down when you feel the pain, stretch, focus on it, and see your doctor or chiropractor.
6) Sleeping on a Bad Mattress
Many of us have spent long nights on a bad mattress. It hurts in the morning.
Without the proper support for you back while you sleep, your muscles can tense up as they try to compensate for awkward weight distribution.
As J. Talbot Sellers, DO a physiatrist in Wisconsin states on his website, “There is no single mattress style or type that works for all people with low back pain. Any mattress that helps someone sleep without pain and stiffness is the best mattress for that individual.”
If you think your bed is giving you a bad back, get out there and try something new. Many companies let you try the mattress out, risk free, when you buy it.
Not for you? Bring it back and try another.
Take it easy and get better.