7 Simple mistakes making back pain worse
Back pain can be complicated. Causes can range from a particularly active weekend of intense physical activity to a constant pain you’ve endured for a long time. For many people, it often gets progressively worse and may take months if not years requiring you to see multiple specialists to find the most effective treatment. Anyone who has had the displeasure of experiencing chronic back only wants quick relief addressing the pain. But could it be possible you could be doing certain lifestyle habits that keep interfering with your back pain relief?
Here’s a look at 7 common mistakes you could be doing without knowing just how exacerbating and aggravating it is to your back undermining your ability to have a pain-free back:
1. Resting your back too much
Granted, a serious back injury does require some rest. However, too much rest can also make back pain worse. Anytime anyone has a back injury should see their doctor to be evaluated. Often, doctors will recommend rest initially for a day or two and a few hours at a time. But, don’t sit for long stretches, either. Every 10 to 15 minutes, get up and move, gently. To manage back pain, regular exercise is required along with strengthening moves to keep your bones and muscles strong.
2. Not having strong core muscles
Never underestimate the value of strong core muscles. They are an important key to managing and preventing chronic back pain. The core muscles include your abdominal muscles, your back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis. One of the best exercises for strengthening this part of your body is to do planks. Planks work the entire core muscles and will be one of the most beneficial moves to do daily. To know the correct form for a plank, watch this video.
3. Using poor form when lifting a heavy object
Many an individual has begun battles with back pain due to improperly lifting a heavy item. Don’t be that person. Knowing the correct way to lift heavy items can be a lifesaver when it comes to avoiding back pain. Here’s the correct way to lift something large or heavy: Keep your feet wide apart without bending at the waist or using your back muscles to do the lifting. Instead, bend at your knees and use your core and leg muscles to lift the object. Also, do not twist as you straighten up. Once you have lifted the item correctly, carry it close to your body. Holding it out, away from your body, puts extra strain on your back.
4. Waiting to see a doctor believing the pain will go away
If you’ve injured your back you may decide to see if the pain will go away on its own without a doctor’s help. Sometimes it does but if your back pain has not gone away within a couple of weeks or if the pain becomes progressively worse, see a doctor. You could have injured it more seriously than you believe or may reinjure making it even worse. Not waiting and seeing your doctor can get you started on the right treatment plan to ease your symptoms. Over-the-counter or prescription medication may be suggested to manage the pain along with lifestyle changes and exercises bringing back relief to your back.
5. Gaining too much weight
One very important way to avoid chronic back pain is to maintain a healthy body weight. Once weight is gained, this puts a lot of strain on your spine and muscles which can eventually result in back pain. To lose weight and keep it off, exercise at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes each time. Eating a nutritious diet low in fat and calories consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy, lean meat and fish, can also be an excellent start to avoiding excess weight gain.
6. Poor posture
While at work, you slouch in your chair as you hurriedly finish a report. When you get home, you unwind by weeding in your garden with your back hunched forward or plop down on the couch slumped over. No big deal, right? First and foremost, stop slouching. One of the most common causes of low back pain is poor sitting posture. The strain on the back while sitting in a slouched position can cause excessive pressure on the joints, muscles, and discs, causing pain. You may not feel any ill-effects after sitting with poor posture for a few hours, but over time the stress poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes which in turn can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. Frequently throughout the day, do a posture check. Learn and practice good posture to bring your back a sigh of relief.
Everyone knows smoking is bad for their health but did you know it’s also bad for your back and spine? Smoking keeps your body from sending nutrients to the disks in your spine to keep it healthy. Tobacco smoke, plus the nicotine in cigarettes, causes your spine to age more quickly than normal. Smoking also makes you more sensitive to chronic pain and causes slow healing from injuries and from surgical procedures. Numerous studies have found that back pain is more common in people who smoke than in those who don’t.