Keep Your Back in Good Shape with These Health Tips

This is a partnered guest post.

Back_Pain_at_Work

For people with active lifestyles it is sometimes easy to push too hard and end up with back injuries. Back pain can be caused by a variety of different things, but there are many steps that can be taken to avoid or alleviate it. Doing these may even help one alleviate some persistent shoulder blade pain.

 

Posture

In order to minimize back pain it is important to keep posture in mind. Bad posture can be remedied with a few simple adjustments. If standing for long periods of time, keep one foot in front of the other with the knees slightly bent to take pressure off of the lower back. If possible, elevate one foot at a time on a small step stool or ladder. It is also helpful to keep the pelvis in a neutral position. When sitting, it is important to keep the knees level to or slightly above the hips to support the lower back. It is also beneficial to find a chair with good lumbar support or place a pillow in the curve of the back for support. If possible, periodically change positions to keep the back from becoming too strained. When using a tablet or smart phone always raise the device so the neck is not bent. Placing pillows beneath or between the knees when sleeping can help reduce pressure on the back as well.

 

Healthy Body Weight

Carrying extra weight unbalances the body’s center of gravity and puts strain on the back. It is important to stay within ten pounds of the ideal weight. This can be achieved through exercise, but it is important to find the safest exercises to practice that will not injure the back. Proper exercise, like yoga, swimming, and walking, can help with weight loss and back strain.

 

Moderation

Pushing too hard while exercising can cause pain and serious injury, so it’s important to take things slowly. Instead of exercising for several hours one or two days a week, try working out one or two hours four or five days a week. Don’t over-exert at the gym. Start slowly and work up to big weights. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

Lifting

Improper lifting technique can be very dangerous for the back. To avoid this strain try to find a partner to help lift heavy objects. If this is not possible try to push or slide the object. If lifting is the only available option, always squat down, get a solid grip on the object, and lift straight upward using the legs to do the work. Carry objects as close to the body as possible and keep the head up at all times.

 

Smoking

There are numerous health risks linked to smoking and back pain can be worsened by the habit. Smokers tend to experience more back pain than non-smokers because nicotine restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion the spine.

 

 

This article was contributed on behalf of Gulf Coast Spine Care, the number one treatment provider for spinal stenosis.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

Comments

  1. My husband sits almost all day for his job and is always complaining of back pain. I think posture is some of his problem. Also, he doesn’t get up and walk around enough. These tips are great, I will share them with him.

  2. I think I need to work on my posture

  3. I really need to work on some of these. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Thanks for the tips (I type as I now sit upright!).

  5. Posture is such a weak point for me. I have got to learn how to sit better!

  6. How timely…. my back is aching right now. And I know I need to work on my posture. 🙁

  7. My back has been hurting all week, and it hasn’t been fun! I need to definitely work on my posture.

  8. How many people read this and fixed the way they were sitting? haha I am horrible.

  9. There are definitely some of these I need to work on. Who would have thought smoking could affect your back.

  10. Great tips! The hubs has a bad back and should def do some of these

  11. Olivia Rubin says:

    I know I have been sitting too long when I stand up and have to put all my weight on one leg so I can pop my back into place. I find that when I run, al my joints feel so good

  12. I have severe back issues and these sound like they can really help with my pain.

  13. I have horrible posture which I know contributes to back pain but I never would have associated smoking with it. Interesting.

  14. I always have back issues & they’ve gotten even worse as my pregnancy progresses. I definitely need to work on my posture!

  15. My back seems to hurt quite frequently and I think my posture is definitely part of the problem. I sit for long periods of time so that could be an issue.

  16. I so have to do these as I sit at the computer all day and my back is always hurting me.

  17. I sit at the computer quite a lot. These are great tips!

  18. I have the worst posture from sitting all day.

  19. Thanks for these great tips. I did not know that last one about smoking. 🙁 Yes I am a smoker and I have tried to quit in the past and I am trying to quit again. It’s a constant struggle but one day I will not be smoking and hopefully this will help with my back pain. Thank you again. 🙂

  20. I know my posture is probably causing the majority of my back issues …. I have been trying to be better about how I sit when working to correct the problem.

  21. I really need to work on my posture. I often realize I am not sitting well and have to straighten up.

  22. Great tips, I just hurt my back yesterday so I am looking for ways to keep it from happening again! I think part of my problem is over exertion, I have been working out a lot and I guess I need to dial it back a little

  23. Great tips, I always knew maintaining a good posture was key in minimizing back pain but did’t know smoking could be linked to back pain hmm yet another reason why I don’t like smoking.

  24. great tips! I work in health care and taking care of my back is essential to my job!

  25. I need to start working out more, since I’ve been stuck at my desk a lot lately.

  26. Thanks for the tips! I have back issues so I’m going to see if these will help.

  27. My poor back. It’s all about posture.

  28. Thanks for the post and the tips! I am moving so can’t do things in moderation! My back hurts.

  29. My problem is #2, I notice when I am able to keep weight off my back feels better.

  30. These are some great tips , I really need to concentrate on my back as it definitely has been aching a lot here lately.

  31. These are some really great tips. I need to work on my posture more.