Preventing Back Pain

In my last post I mentioned waking up with a stiff lower back. Later that day I thought, what is the cause of the stiffness and how do I prevent it.
After analyzing my motions throughout the day I realized that in an effort to maintain good posture, I was actually bracing my back and holding it too tight. I was creating unnecessary muscle fatigue. Another observation was that I was holding my breath. Once I became aware of it, I felt my lower back relax and the stiffness has now started to subside.

Here are some other Preventative Measures for Back Pain:
Although back pain is prevalent among the general population, it can be prevented.
It is wise to plan conscious back health maintenance, and to employ a back pain prevention program.
Make this plan an integral part of your health regimen.

Preventive measures for back pain can be separated into two significant tiers:
Maintenance of a strong and healthy back through exercise and practicing proper body mechanics.
These crucial steps can help you greatly to avoid developing back pain, and prevent it from occurring again.

To keep a strong and healthy back, you need to:
Exercise:
Regular exercise is a good habit in helping to maintain a healthy and sturdy back.
Regular low-impact aerobic activities can increase the endurance and strength in your back, and allow your muscles to function well. These exercises are effective and don’t jolt or place strain on your back. Swimming and walking are good low-impact aerobic exercises.
Abdominal and back muscle exercises can build strength and flexibility. These are core-strengthening exercises that help condition your back muscles so they work together effectively. The flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bone to improve how your back feels.
Yoga, pilates and situps are very effective exercises for developing core strength.

Consume a Healthy Diet:
The bones, muscles, and other structures of your back need vitamins and nutrients, in order to support the body well.
These vital nutrients and vitamins don’t only help people with existing back pain; they will also be of great use for those who don’t have any back problems.

Maintain a healthy weight:
Being overweight or obese will put added strain on your muscles because they will have to work overtime to support the extra weight.

Quit smoking:
Smokers receive less oxygen than non-smokers. Because of this, the immune system will have a weakened response to areas of injury.
The next post will cover in more detail the exercises and dietary habits which will help you develop and maintain a strong, healthy back.

Practice proper posture:
If you sit for long periods of time, an ergonomically correct chair and desk is necessary for a healthy back. I sit on an exercise ball at my desk. This is a comfortable way of building proper posture and can relieve neck and back pain.

Lift correctly:
When lifting heavy objects, let your legs do all the work. Keep your back straight, bend only at your knees, and move straight up and down. Use your thigh and buttocks muscles more than any other muscle group.

Sleep well:
When sleeping, you need to maintain your back and your spine in a straight position. Soft mattresses do not have strong support, but firm mattresses can be uncomfortable, so find a balance that works for you. Eight hours of sleep per night is recommended for your body to have enough time to repair damaged areas.

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