Did you know that your habits play a role in developing joint and back pain? Chronic back pain can result from poor posture or injury. The pain can range from mild to debilitating, making it impossible to perform simple tasks. Luckily, you can do a few things to prevent chronic back pain. These actions can also help alleviate existing chronic back pain. It only takes a few mindful changes to keep the pain at bay so you can enjoy your day. Here are six tips you should keep in mind in your day to day activities.
Take time every day to exercise. Creating a routine and sticking to it will improve your overall health and reduce aches and pains. If you have an instructor, enlist their help in creating a workout routine that strengthens your core muscles daily. Try some low impact cardiovascular exercise. Some people find it easier to start with water therapy. Set small goals and increase your targets at manageable intervals.
2. Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
We spent a lot of time seated on furniture at home or work. Seats that are not designed to support parts of your body will stress your back and lead to chronic stress. Ergonomic chairs support and align your back for better posture when working. Keeping the correct posture is also a significant part of keeping your back in working order. Placing a small rolled-up towel in the small of your back gives your back much needed support. A stand-up desk is designed to let you work while standing to take the weight off your back for a portion of the day. Get yourself a stand-up desk as soon as you possibly can.
3. Lift with Your Knees, Not Your Back
When you go to the gym or have to lift heavy materials, let your knees take most of the tension instead of your back. This will prevent you from injuring your back.
4. Avoid Adding Stress to Your Back
Tasks like shovelling snow, opening heavy garage doors, and using vacuum cleaners should be done in the correct posture to avoid stress on the back. The vacuum cleaners should be held out in front of the body and moved in small circular movements. Garage doors should be opened while standing in front of the door and pulling the handle perpendicular to the body. Lastly, shovelling snow should be done using snow blowers whenever possible. If you have to use a shovel, try placing one arm on the thigh for support.
After prolonged strain on the back, you should schedule a resting period to let your back heal up. Any activity that requires prolonged bending should be followed by a resting period.
5. Stretch Your Hamstrings
Stretching your entire body, no matter the situation is critical to keep blood flowing and muscles relaxed. After you wake up, your disks are at the highest risk of herniation because they have built up pressure overnight. Take your time to move your body moving for a few minutes every morning.
6. Keep Your Overall Stress Levels Low
You wouldn't believe it, but some kinds of chronic pain can be caused by mental distress. Doctors have found evidence linking physical symptoms to mental stress from environmental factors. In the book "The Body Keeps the Score", scientists explore the long term effects that stress can have on your body. Start by identifying things that stress you out and taking them out of your life.
If you have trouble remembering these tips, you can write them down on bright sticky notes wherever they apply. A good example is placing a yellow sticky note with a message to keep your back upright right on your computer screen. That way, each time you sit down to get some work done, you are reminded to sit up. You can also use alarms on your phone to regularly remind you to perform different activities. It might seem silly but asking your friends and family to correct your posture when they notice you slouching can help. The good news is; it only takes a short time for your body to get used to the new changes as long as you stay consistent with the changes.
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