By DARION ROBINSON
Table of Contents
If you’ve ever suffered from chronic back pain, there’s no doubt that you are aware how restraining back pain could be. In fact, the pain could be so debilitating that simple tasks such as opening a cupboard, bending over to tie a shoe, or picking up a newspaper could become nearly impossible.
No matter if you are an avid athlete, a weekend warrior, or somewhere in between, statistics suggest that over 80 percent of the adult population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.
Here’s Why: The activities that we do every day such as— working on the computer, tying the shoes, creeping into the bed- could either make or break your back health. A majority of the aches are caused by the strains or sprains. One could pick any of these injuries by taking up a new activity, lifting excessively or an accident. Other times the cause of the pain could be a pinched nerve, like the one in a herniated disk.
What’s Worse? If you fall amongst the 80 percent of the population that suffers from back pain regularly, then take to heart that 1/3rd of the aches caused due to a sprain or strain are cured within a week without medical intervention whereas the remainder might even take up to seven weeks to cure.
An average person spends nearly nine hours slouched in front of a screen each day. A study by the Temple University suggests that our latest tech obsession with an increased texting on smartphones and tablets is one of the most prominent causes of aches in neck, shoulder and the back. Moreover, it is even hazardous to sit all day long as an extended sitting puts more pressure on disks and vertebrae than standing or walking.
Ease the tension with an office makeover. You can start positively with a lumbar-support cushion. Next, Adjust your seat to make sure that your computer screen is at your eye-level, arms and knees bent at a 90-degree right angle, and your feet rest parallel on the floor. Finally, do not forget to take regular break from your computer screens.
When we hear the word core, the first thing we picture is six-pack abs. But, remember your core is much more than that: It comprises of Back, pelvic, side, and buttock muscles which all work together to enable you to bend, rotate, twist and stand upright. So, your core is a crane that takes care of your movements.
Other than crunches that solely focus on the abdominal muscles, you should also practice some basic core exercises such as— squats, lunges and planks. The good news is: All these exercises strengthen all your spine-supporting muscle together at once.
Sleeping on stomach pressurizes your muscles and joints whereas sleeping on your back or side makes sure that your spine is neutral and remains elongated.
If you are used to snoozing on your stomach, then you could ease the pressure on your back and discs by sliding down a thin pillow under your hips. Moreover, you should consider using a medium mattress and a pillow that ensures both your head and spine aligned in a straight line.Research says that people with back pain who slept on medium-sized mattresses experienced lesser aches after three months than their firm-bed counterparts.
Pro Tip: Your bed and mattresses shouldn’t be too hard (this puts pressure on back and hips) and not too soft (this de-aligns your back and joints).
If you thought Cigarettes were only cruel to your heart and lungs, then you would be surprised to know that “Smokers have a higher probability of recurring back pain”. Well, the causes and effects of smoking are numerous. For instance, Nicotine limits blood flow to the back (vertebrae and disks), so it is most likely to age and break down more quickly. Moreover, smoking is also proved to reduce the body’s ability to absorb and utilize calcium, resulting in osteoporosis-related bone and back problems.
If you smoke then there’s nothing wiser than thinking for a bright future of your back health by quitting smoking. How about visiting: smokefree.gov and customizing your own smoking cessation plan?
There’s no doubt that lying down may reduce stress on the lumbar spine; nevertheless, staying inactive and papering your spine for more than a day or two could actually worsen and prolong your pain. According to the recent study from Sweden, back-pain patients who remained more active than their sedentary counterparts, recovered far more quickly and felt lesser pain and depression than those who remained on rest mode.
Low-impact activities such as walking and swimming improve the flow of blood towards the back muscles and relieve stress, pain and stiffness around the back. What else? Yoga, the ancient Indian practice, with its focus on strengthening and stretching your back muscles, could also be one of the most effective spine soothers.
In fact, a study called Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that after three months of weekly Yoga sessions, nearly 60-70 percent of back-pain sufferers reported lesser discomfort, whereas remaining were successful in cutting back on the medicines.
When you observe a sudden outbreak of pain, you could follow these rules for an instant relief:
Alternate cold and hot: In case of a back injury, it is sensible to apply a cold compress right after the injury to reduce swelling and numb the pain. Shift to heat after only after 48 hours to soothe aches and stimulate blood flow to the area.
Stay balanced: Only bend till your knees to pick up items (lightweight); Make sure you are carrying them close to your body to reduce the pressure on your back. Do not stand up or sit down too quickly.
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Last but not the least, if you are experiencing frequent or prolonged spasms in the lower back, then it’s certainly practical to get your condition checked out properly by your doctor and receive an early treatment with any delay. While a majority of cases will have a simple cause, there could still be rare instances where the muscle spasms are symptomatic a more serious disorder and it’s always sensible to be sure.
For the overwhelming majority of the people, getting respite from the back pain is relatively easier by simply following the above advices. So, if you are experiencing any pain in your lower back, simply stick to these advices, take your doctor’s opinion and be careful what you do during your day.