Back pain is something that a lot of people have to endure on a daily basis. It is one of the most common reasons that people visit a doctor and it is becoming a leading cause of disability worldwide. It can be debilitating and limit a person’s functions and cause a lot of stress and worry.
There are many reasons that a person can develop back pain. Some of them are:
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Bulging or ruptured disks
- Skeletal irregularities
Back pain that lasts less than six weeks is considered to be acute while pain that lasts longer than that is considered to be chronic. Either way, there is no doubt that a person suffering from back pain shouldn’t ignore it but take measures to treat and alleviate it. Most often rest, proper body mechanics and simple home treatment will heal a painful back within a few weeks. However, it is always best to consult your doctor to rule out complications.
- Standing- keeping one foot forward of the other, with knees slightly bent, takes the pressure off your lower back.
- Sitting- sitting with your knees slightly higher than your hips provides good lower back support.
- Reaching- stand on a stool to reach things that are above your shoulder level.
- Moving Heavy Items – pushing is easier on your back than pulling. Use your arms and legs to start the push. If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
- Lifting- kneel down on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor as near as possible to the item you are lifting. Lift with your legs, not your back, keeping the object close to your body at all times.
- Carrying- two small objects (one in either hand) may be easier to handle than one large one. If you must carry one large object, keep it close to your body.
- Weight Control- additional weight puts a strain on your back. Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.
- Quit Smoking- smokers are more prone to back pain than nonsmokers because nicotine restricts the flow of blood to the discs that cushion your vertebrae.
Paying attention to these simple tips will help you take care of your back and yourself. After all no one else is really going to have your back except you!
Information sources: mayoclininc.org and knowyourback.org