As we get older, the chances of developing lower back pain keeps on increasing.
Therefore to prevent it from occurring in the first place or to take remedial action, your first step should be to arm yourself with knowledge about it.
In this article, we are going to give you just this knowledge so that you can combat lower back pain effectively.
Firstly let us know about the risk factors of back pain. This will help us reduce the odds of developing this condition.
In most cases, lower back pain occurs due to a variety of factors.
However there are several risk factors which greatly increase the chance of pain such as:
Wrong exercises- It is commonly suggested that exercising relives back ache but this is not true for all kinds of exercises. Over exercising and straining yourself can lead to a lot of problems.
For those who are starting out, brisk walking is recommended as the best exercise.
Obesity is a prime cause of back pain. Being overweight causes a large amount of stress on the lower back and knees.
A Sedentary Lifestyle and lack of exercise also increase your chances of developing backache.
Genetics also plays a role in a few spinal disorders such as Degenerative Disc Disease.
The Aging Process also affects the chances of developing back pain. What this implies is that those who are above 30 have a greater risk for back pain and thus should stay alert and avoid strenuous activities which can cause pain.
Occupational hazards- People in occupations which require a lot of bending or lifting such as construction or nursing have a high chance of developing back pain.
Further, people who have to stand or sit for a long time like teachers are also at risk.
A bad posture- Having a poor posture over a long time invariably leads to developing back pain.
Some examples are crouching over a computer board, driving a bike or car in a hunched position and lifting weights improperly.
Smoking- Studies have proved that smokers have more chances to get back pain than non smokers.
Back pain makes life miserable and might necessitate visits to the doctor.
Luckily though, there are several things you can do to manage lower back pain at home and we are going to tell you all about them.
- Sleep on your back, with a pillow placed beneath your knees- Sleeping on your back will put some pressure on your spine but if you put a pillow under your knees, it will elevate your spine and relieve pressure by up to half.
- Workout your core muscles- Having strong core muscles will support your back and reduce chances of developing back injuries like strains and painful muscle spasms. You should include core strengthening exercises into your workout routine at least twice a week to see benefits.
- Eat food which is rich in calcium and vitamin D- Osteoporosis is the prime cause of back pain as we age but having strong bones will prevent you from developing this.
You can keep your bones strong by eating food rich in calcium and vitamin D such as milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, cheese, and fatty fish.
You can also take supplements but be sure to consult your physician before doing so.
- Replace your shoes- Women should wear comfortable shoes with less than an inch of elevation as high heels cause a lot of stress on the back.
- Have proper posture- Proper posture will save you a lot of pain. It reduces strain and stress and keeps the architecture of your spine perfect. Rounding of shoulders, slouching and bending sideways should be avoided.
- Take care to avoid slouching over your desk- This is very important if you are spending long hours in a sitting position at work.
A high quality chair that gives good support to your lower back will help with preventing back pain. Ensure that your knees are at a higher level than your hips when you sit.
- Try to quit smoking- You know that it’s bad for your health, and it’s bad for your back too.
- Don’t carry heavy objects– Lifting heavy objects can seriously damage your spine. Take a little weight off your shoulders. You should use a rolling cart or a bag which has wheels for groceries or other heavy loads like files or boxes.
- Do simple stretching- Sitting, standing or lying down in one place for a long time is not recommended as it will increase your pain. A few stretching exercises however will help you a lot.
You can read about how to do stretching and exercises while at your office here.
- For immediate relief– You can get some over-the-counter pain medication. Before doing this, consult your doctor to see if the pain medicine will interact with any other medications you are taking.
Here are some future directions to help you manage your back pain:
Visit a chiropractor- Chiropractic help is well known to help with back pain and might be just the thing that you need.Well trained chiropractors can almost guarantee that your back pain will be gone after their treatment.
Consider using a back-belt– Back belts have both pros and cons.
They can limit movement after a back injury, stabilize the back and ease pain. However long term use can weaken your back muscles and increase problems. Depending on the condition you are in, short term use of a back belt might be beneficial combined with physical therapy.
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