Four out of five people will have back pain at some point in their lives. If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you already know how much it can affect your daily routine. And, you probably never want to have back pain again.
Some things that cause back pain, such as accidents or the way our bodies naturally move, cannot be changed. However, you can avoid certain lifestyle factors that put you at greater risk for back pain. Here are five ways to prevent back problems:
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, you may start to develop spinal degeneration at an earlier age than if you didn’t smoke.
- Lose weight. If you have obesity or are overweight, you could be straining your muscles. The extra weight pulls your body forward, exaggerating your back’s natural curves. As a result, your muscles try to correct the imbalance.
- Get moving. Sitting around puts 40 percent more pressure on your spine than standing. It also causes certain muscles to become tight. If it’s OK with your orthopaedic specialist, try a yoga class to increase your flexibility and release tight muscles. If you sit at work all day long, set a timer to make sure you stand up and walk a bit to take a break from sitting.
- Relax! If you’re stressed, you may feel pain more acutely. And if your muscles are tight, stress can make the tension worse. Breathing exercises can help relax your muscles and clear your mind.
- Use good posture. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and down. From a side view, you should be able to draw a straight line from your ear down to your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Many times, you will notice how good it feels to stand with proper posture. Check your work station, too. Make sure your chair and desk are at a correct height. You should be able to look straight ahead at your monitor while typing at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should also be flat so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
+ Learn about The Spine Center of Hampton Roads which helps patients of all ages with back and neck pain. Our specialists use X-ray, MRI, CT, bone scan and other advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate each patient’s individual needs.