Believe it or not, according to the Mayo Clinic, back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. It is also true that most people experience back pain at least once in their lives. With all this back pain slowing us down, it is important that we understand ways we can curb it.
Taking timeout to practice low-impact aerobic activities can increase your strength and endurance, strengthening your muscles in your back and improving your posture. Abdominal and back muscle exercises and other core-strengthening activities will help strengthen the muscles around your spine and may help reduce your back pain symptoms.
While seated it is extremely important to maintain good posture. Keep your monitor at eye level and use a desk chair that has good back support. If you don’t have access to a good chair be sure to use a good lumbar support. Have your arm rests set so your elbows can be at 90 degrees, keep your shoulders back and make sure to take breaks every hour away from your computer.
Another leading cause of back pain is using and improper lifting technique. Bending over and lifting with your back muscles can lead to not only pain, but long term injury. When lifting, make sure to keep a wide base of support with your feet, squat (don’t bend over), and keep good posture throughout the lifting process. Make sure your head and eyes are looking straight ahead, keep your back straight, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back. Maintaining proper lifting mechanics can save your back from quite a bit of agony.
A final preventative measure to save your back is maintaining a proper and healthy weight. According to Spine-Health it has not been thoroughly studied exactly how excess weight can cause or contribute to back pain. However, it is known that people who are overweight are at greater risk for back pain, and muscle strain than those who are not.
In conclusion take these easy preventative measures to help ease your back problems.
- Exercise regularly.
- Practice good posture.
- Sit in chairs that support your lower back.
- Use proper lifting techniques.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Keep at it and maintain your progress, you’ll be back in no time.
~Sean Hogan has coached hockey at the international and collegiate levels for over ten years. He has spoken at numerous events about culture building, goal setting and healthy lifestyles. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Science with an emphasis on Coaching Education from OHIO University.