Do you suffer from low back pain?
If so, you're not alone. Low back pain is one of the most common health problems in the world, affecting more than 80% of people at some point in their lives.
Everyone tells you what you should be doing to prevent back pain - exercise more, drink more, rest more/ rest less, but there are also a bunch of things that you should NOT be doing to help manage low back pain.
In this blog post, we will discuss three simple things that you should STOP doing if you want to prevent low back pain. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your back healthy and pain-free.
1. Stop Sitting for Long Periods of Time
Sitting for long periods of time is a major risk factor for low back pain. When you sit, your muscles in your lower back and core are not working to support your spine. This can lead to muscle weakness and strain, which can eventually lead to pain.
Here are some of the reasons why sitting for long periods of time can cause low back pain:
Your spine is not designed to be in a seated position for long periods of time. When you sit, your spine is in a flexed position, which can put strain on the discs and ligaments in your back.
When you sit, your core muscles are not working to support your spine. This can lead to muscle weakness and strain, which can put more stress on your back.
When you sit, your circulation can be restricted. This can lead to muscle fatigue and pain.
If you have to sit for long periods of time, be sure to take breaks to stand up and move around. Get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes, or try to stand up and do some light stretches every hour. You can also try using a standing desk or a treadmill desk, which can help to keep you moving while you work.
Tips for preventing low back pain from sitting:
Use a supportive chair. Your chair should have good lumbar support and should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor.
Keep your back straight. Don't slouch or hunch over when you sit.
Take breaks. Get up and move around every 20-30 minutes.
Exercise regularly. Strong core muscles can help to support your spine and reduce your risk of low back pain.
2. Stop Lifting Heavy Objects The Wrong Way
Lifting heavy objects the wrong way is another major risk factor for low back pain. When you lift something heavy, you put a lot of strain on your back muscles. If you don't use proper lifting techniques, you can easily injure your back.
Here are some of the reasons why lifting heavy objects improperly can cause low back pain:
When you lift with your back, you put a lot of strain on your spinal discs. The discs are the cushions between your vertebrae, and they can be easily injured if they are put under too much stress.
When you lift with your back, you are also more likely to twist your spine. This can put stress on the ligaments and muscles in your back, and can lead to pain.
If you lift an object that is too heavy, you may not be able to control it properly. This can lead to you dropping the object, which can further injure your back.
Tips for lifting heavy objects without hurting your back
Bend your knees and keep your back straight. This will help to keep your spine in a neutral position and reduce the strain on your back muscles.
Use your legs to do the lifting, not your back. Your legs are much stronger than your back muscles, so they are better suited for lifting heavy objects.
Keep the object close to your body. This will help you to maintain your balance and control of the object.
Lift slowly and carefully. Don't try to lift too much weight at once.
If you are unable to lift the object on your own, ask for help. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are experiencing low back pain after lifting something heavy, it is important to rest your back and avoid further lifting. You may also want to see a doctor to rule out any serious injuries.
Additional tips for preventing low back pain from lifting:
Warm up before lifting. This will help to loosen your muscles and reduce your risk of injury.
Use proper footwear. Shoes with good arch support can help to protect your back from injury.
Wear gloves. This will help to protect your hands from blisters and other injuries.
Take breaks. If you are lifting heavy objects for an extended period of time, take breaks to rest your back.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking is a major risk factor for a number of health problems, including low back pain. Smoking can damage the discs in your spine, which can lead to pain and instability.
Here are some of the reasons why smoking can cause low back pain:
Nicotine can constrict blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to the discs in your spine. This can lead to the discs becoming dehydrated and more likely to tear.
Carbon monoxide from cigarettes can damage the collagen in your discs. Collagen is the protein that gives the discs their strength and flexibility.
Smoking can also weaken your bones and muscles. This can make it more difficult for your body to support your spine, which can lead to pain.
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. Quitting smoking can help to reduce your risk of low back pain and improve your overall health.
Tips for quitting smoking:
Talk to your doctor. They can help you to develop a quit plan and provide support.
Set a quit date. This will give you something to work towards.
Tell your friends and family that you are quitting. They can offer support and encouragement.
Get rid of all cigarettes and tobacco products in your home. This will make it less tempting to smoke.
Find healthy ways to cope with stress. This could include exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time with loved ones.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of quitting smoking and improving your health.
Additional Tips for Preventing Low Back Pain
In addition to the three tips listed above, there are a number of other things you can do to help prevent low back pain. These include:
Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight puts extra strain on your back muscles, which can increase your risk of pain.
Eating a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help to keep your body strong and healthy, which can reduce your risk of back pain.
Getting regular exercise. Exercise helps to strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility, both of which can help to prevent back pain.
Getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for good health, and it can also help to reduce your risk of back pain.
Managing stress. Stress can contribute to muscle tension, which can increase your risk of back pain.
Low back pain can be a debilitating condition, but it is definitely a preventable one. By following the tips in this blog post you can reduce your risk of developing low back pain, or prevent future flare-ups.
Generally speaking, prevention is always the best medicine. By taking steps to prevent low back pain you can enjoy a healthier and more active life.
If you have any questions about how to prevent low back pain, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. They will have insight into your medical history and can help you develop a personalized plan to help you stay healthy and pain-free.