You may consider it a by product of growing older, but suffering from a bad back doesn’t have to be in your future! You simply have to learn how to protect your back from undue stress, and incorporate preventative measures now! The lower back (lumbar spine) is usually the target of back pain, and it’s mostly because we spend a lot of time bending forward. We all tend to lean forward over the keyboard, sit hunched over our desks, slouch forward in the car, and bend at the waist (instead of bending the knees) to pick up objects. All of these movements create strain on our backs. For the sake of your back try these back-saving techniques:
Be aware of your form when you’re sitting in front of the computer or doing any sort of seated work or activities. Instead of slouching forward or sitting at a rigid 90-degree angle, lean back in your chair to about a 135-degree angle to take the pressure off your spine. Try not to remain seated for extended periods of time. Stand up, stretch and walk around at least once an hour to reduce the strain on your back.
Walk it Off
Walk instead of drive whenever you can to reduce the total amount of time that you spend sitting down. When taking long drives, be sure to stop for breaks – again, get out of the car and stretch, walk about and get that blood moving!
It is easy to pull a muscle, or tweak your back doing something as simple as trying to grab something that’s out of reach. Use a step stool instead, and if you feel like the item may be too heavy, leave it well alone until you have some help getting it down.
Learn to Lift
Follow proper lifting techniques, and the appropriate rules for lifting. These will protect your back while you lift and carry heavy loads. Keep objects close to your body, move your feet instead of twisting at the waist and keep your spine in a neutral position.
Work it Out
Prevent back injuries and bone density loss by working out regularly. Core strengthening and weight lifting exercises go a long way in helping your back become and remain strong, fit and toned.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: Strong By Maria Georgeieva. Used under a creative commons license.
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