A statistic from the Cleveland Clinic states that 80% to 90% of people in the United States will experience back pain in their lives. And, on any given day, 2% of Americans are on disability compensation for their back pain. While these numbers seem to promote the idea that back pain is inevitable in some way, shape, or form, there are some tips to help you avoid back pain, at least for the foreseeable future.
Many people have the idea that pushing through the pain is a good course to practice when, instead, they could be exacerbating the problem even more. It’s this type of mindset that causes most of us to have more intense pain, stress, and tension in our backs. In the long run, not taking care of yourself is going to cause you more harm than it will reward your pride at the moment.
Read below to find out some tips, tricks, and guides to follow that will help you avoid the pain (maybe not altogether, but hopefully for the most part) in your back. As a warning, these are guidelines and not given by a doctor. They are pulled research from accredited sources; if you experience back pain or any other type of pain, it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately to avoid harming yourself or your injuries further.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise, yoga, healthy food, and regular doctor visits will help you remain calm, cool, and collected against tensing muscle stretches and weight-related back problems. Try to work out your back muscles at least once a week during a regular workout routine. This routine will help keep your back muscles strong and resistant against many of the stressors that come with back-related injuries.
Practice Good Posture
Good posture shouldn’t be something your grandmother chastises you about. Keeping your back straight and your spine upright will train the nerves in your spine where they should be and build stronger muscles.
Practicing will train your muscles on where they should be and how they should hold themselves. This action will help you in the years to come when hunching might be the cause of a back problem.
Lift Heavier Items Properly
Everyone can be a good lifter and be tough when you lift heavy items properly. The common terminology is to lift with your legs and not your back. This action is harder than it sounds because our habits prevent us from thinking first and acting second. Train your mind and your body that lifting with the legs is the proper way to act when dealing with any items that need to be carried. This way, when heavier items come across your path, your brain and body will be ready to lift from the legs and leave the other notion behind you.
Return to Activities as Soon as You Feel Ready
While this item can be used to avoid back pain or prevent back pain from getting worse, it is worth mentioning. When you are injured or even may tweak your back (just a bit), giving yourself time to rest is an okay idea. Don’t push yourself, but don’t coddle yourself. It is a fine balance on what to do when, and the idea can be a bit frustrating and overwhelming because, how do you avoid doing either action?
Listen to your gut. Your instincts, if they are cared for and listened to well, will give you the right idea of when you are ready to move and when you should take it slow.
This idea comes from the practice of self-care and not a place of boosting your ego. When your ego needs to be boosted, you can walk a dangerous path to take and it can lead to more injuries and loss prevention. Listen to what is right for your body. You do not have to prove anything to anyone else.
Self-Care Can be Key
Self-maintenance, self-care, and self-assessment not only keeps us honest with others but also keeps us honest with ourselves. Making sure to take a rest or to spend some time by yourself in a relaxing environment each day—yes, every day—will allow for the reduction of stress, reduction of tense muscles, and reduction of injury.
It also allows you to get to know yourself better. When you know yourself, you trust your instincts, and that is a good way to know when you need to take it easy or when you can push it a little more.
Taking time every day for yourself doesn’t have to mean yoga or meditation. You can get whatever kind of activity speaks the most to you but allows you to get inside your head for a minute and listen to your thoughts (although not all thoughts are good ones, you can just let those float onward).
Stretch it Out
Stretching every time your workout is over definitely helps your muscles avoid tension and the possibility of deep rips that will cause back pain or back injuries. Stretching after a workout is different than stretching when you are waking up from a night’s sleep. Making sure to remember not to do the same stretches when your muscles are cold versus when your muscles are heated with the help, you bypass the back injury and keep on moving with a jaunt in your step.
While it is not possible to always avoid back pain take note that most injuries heal themselves within two weeks or less. If this is the case for you, great job! You may be doing the proper maintenance for your body to work properly. If it takes a little longer for your back to heal, that’s okay too. Just make sure to see a medical professional when the pain lasts longer for two weeks or is incredibly intense.
Proper maintenance for your mind, body, and emotional wellbeing is a great way to divert back pain altogether. When you can divert that form of pain, chances are you are taking some other very good precautions to ensure that you take care of yourself in a complete way.