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Although determining the cause of back pain can be complicated, there are many different actions you can take to help alleviate your back pain or prevent it from getting worse. It's all about relieving pressure, reducing strain, protecting your spine, and strengthening your muscles. Changing a few daily habits can help you maintain a healthy, pain-free back for a long time.
Some staggering numbers and statistics about back pain:
- 80% of all Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives
- 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time
- The rate of recurrent back pain is 50% at one year after the first episode
- #1 reason for global disability is back pain
- #2 reason for visits to a doctor is back pain
Tips to prevent back pain
1. Exercise and stretch daily
Movement is medicine for back pain. Avoid extended bed rest and get active as much as you can. Discuss this with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan.
2. Lifting and bending
Always bend at your knees, squat, and keep what you are lifting close to your body, then use your legs to lift the object.
3. Know your BMI and Lose weight
Excess weight can strain your back joints and may perpetuate back pain. So, it would be the best to measure your MBI and hit the gym. Losing weight will significantly decrease your back pain.
4. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
What you eat does matter, as some foods can cause more inflammation, and some can reduce inflammation in the joints and back. For example extra virgin olive oil, berries, green tea, and ginger can reduce inflammation. Foods like gluten, dairy and sugar can cause more inflammation. Discuss this with your doctor.
Avoid slumping, and strive to sit and stand straight. If you are sitting you can put a step stool under your feet to help you sit more erect. Bad posture puts strain and stress on your back and can change the architecture of your spine. Avoid rounding your shoulders, slouching, or bending sideways when standing.
6. If you smoke, QUIT
Smoking robs the spine structures of blood supply, and perpetuates back spin, and in habits the healing process. An unhealthy, weak back is more vulnerable to accidental strains and pulls that cause back pain.
7. Check your feet
Flat feet adversely affects your skeletal structure and back. Orthotics can help get your feet in the correct position to help reduce mechanical stress on the spine and joints.
8. Decrease the amount of time you sit
Sitting can cause more pressure on the discs and joints, and is considered the new smoking. Try incorporating back and abdominal strengthening exercises into your workout at least two times per week to develop a stronger, more flexible back.
9. Check your mattress
If it’s sagging or old, it can cause back pain.
10. Consider yoga
Practicing yoga can help you with stress, breathing, and flexibility. Yoga has been shown in studies to help reduce chronic back pain.
If you have back pain and it is not getting better, consider seeing a good chiropractor. Many studies show Chiropractic Care is effective for neck pain, back pain, sciatica, headaches, disc herniations, and spinal stenosis. Chiropractors counsel their patients on diet, exercise, and help alleviate back pain through safe, gentle and effective procedures.