Most of us take our back for granted. We lift heavy boxes and twist from side to side when carrying large bags of shopping, all without giving it a thought. I for one am terrible with my posture on a daily basis, hunching over at my desk staring into my laptop. The truth is, our bodies are not designed to bend from the waist and nor is our back equipped to cope with many years of awful posture. So if your back is beginning to twinge at the end of the day, or you would prefer to avoid the hell of severe back pain, here are some tips to help you keep your back nice and healthy.
Maintain Good Posture
Correct posture is very important. In our grandma’s day, we would have been taught to walk like a lady by way of a heavy book balanced on our head. It may sound crazy, but this really is a good way to practice good posture. Instead of slumping in a chair all day, sit up straight, and if you do a lot of driving, look at back pain products to correct your posture.
Lift Heavy Loads Correctly
Never bend at the waist when lifting anything heavy. If you do, you will be in agony within a day. Instead, bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting the item, and if it is more than 25kg, share the load with a friend or colleague.
Don’t Sit Down All Day
Sitting down at a desk, hunched over a keyboard is probably the worst thing you can do for your back. Unfortunately, this is the norm for a huge number of people. To prevent back problems, make sure you take a break from your desk at least once an hour. Stand up, stretch, and go for a quick walk. It will do your back and your sanity the world of good.
Carry Sensible Bags
The best way to carry books and other items is in a rucksack. Sling bags and handbags are fashionable, but they won’t do your back much good if you insist on carrying around everything but the kitchen sink. Buy a good quality rucksack instead, so the weight is distributed over both shoulders.
Exercise Your Back
Your back needs to be exercised regularly, just like the rest of your body. Yoga and Pilates are good for the back, but if you don’t have access to a local class, go swimming or walking instead. Swimming is especially good, as it is a non-weight bearing exercise.
Buy a Comfortable Bed
Old, worn out mattresses are responsible for a lot of mild back problems. Mattresses and beds become less supportive as they age and most modern mattresses are not designed to last more than 8 years.
Smoking is seriously bad for your overall health, but it is also bad for your back. Research has shown that smoking leads to disc degeneration, which in turn causes back pain. So quit now before you have a problem.
If you practice all of the above, your back should stay happy and healthy, but if you do start to suffer from back pain, get it checked out to make sure there is nothing else going on.