Back Pain is one of the leading causes of disability around the globe. It is also the most common reason due to which people mostly visit a doctor, miss work and their daily life activities are disturbed. At least once in a lifetime, everyone faces the issue of back pain.
If the back pain comes suddenly, either when you fall or lift a heavy object and last for a few days to six weeks then it is “acute back pain”. While if it lasts for more than three months, it is “chronic back pain”. Back pain can often emerge without any clear signs or cause, so you need to visit the doctor, to get it properly diagnosed.
Back pain can be as a result of any activity, injury or any medical condition. The conditions which are linked to the back pain are
- Bulging or Ruptured Disks
- Muscle or Ligament Strain
- Skeletal irregularities
The chance of developing back pain, especially lower back pain increases when people get old. This is either due to their previous occupation or any degenerative disk disease. Anyone can be the victim of back pain even the children and teenagers.
Here are the factors that can put you in the “higher risk factor” for developing back pain.
- Age – Risk of back pain increases from the 30-40 age group.
- Lack of Movement Activity or Exercise- Unused and weak muscles lead to back pain.
- Obesity or Overweight
- Disease- Such as cancer or arthritis can lead to back pain
- Mental Health or Psychological Issues- People suffering from anxiety and depression have a higher chance of developing back pain.
- Smoking- It reduces the healing process and blood flow in your lower spine, so fewer nutrients are reached to the disks in your back which leads to back pain.
- Improper or Unbalanced lifting of things- If you are using your back and putting extra pressure and on the legs, it can lead to the back pain.
- Other genetic factors
However, luckily, you can opt for various measures to prevent and get relief from the back pain. Apart from medications there are many back pain exercises, and home remedies or a slight change in opting healthy lifestyle would heal your back pain in just a few weeks and you won’t be needing any extra medical treatment. Surgery for the treatment of back pain is rarely needed.
7 Simple Lifestyle Tips to keep your Back Strong and Healthy
1. Stay Physically Active
Regular exercise especially “Low- Impact Aerobic Activities” that does not jolt or strain your back is really good for your back. It increases your endurance and provides strength to your back allowing your muscles to perform better. Swimming and walking are also good options for staying active. Certain Stretch exercises also proved to be good for your back. If you have chronic back pain. You need to consult your Doctor or Physiotherapist for more exercises and activities to help you in back pain relieve.
2. Do Deep Breathing Exercises
There is this one particular exercise that your physical therapist or doctor would recommend you and mostly in case of inflammatory back pain. It is “Deep Breathing”. It is a simple breathing exercise that involves, deep inhaling and exhaling repeatedly. This exercise reduces the inflammation in your joints ribs that connects the spine with ribs but also increases the lung capacity. This exercise is extremely beneficial because in case of inflammatory back pain when the rib cage capacity is disturbed and lungs don’t work properly especially during any strenuous activity, this deep breathing exercise helps increase lung capacity.
3. Drive Carefully
Driving is a strenuous activity. It can worsen your back pain especially “inflammatory back pain”. If unfortunately, you get into an accident, then your back pain issue can increase the risk of you getting a severe injury, even spinal fractures. A light impact, in this case, would be extremely dangerous for a person. Accidents can happen but if you are suffering from back pain, you can do various things to prevent them. For example, you can avoid travelling long distances without any break. Driving and sitting can worsen your back pain, it can cause stiffness in the body as well. So while you are driving make sure, you take a break from driving and take rest. Avoid using the phone while driving, if you still need to use it then pull off your vehicle at one side and stop it first and then use the phone.
4. Create a Posture Friendly Work Space
If you are an employed person who works mostly sitting on the laptop then you can suffer from back pain or worsen the already present back pain by continuous sitting without taking any break or exercise. This risk would increase more when you reach the age of 40. Therefore, to reduce this risk and to avoid back pain you need to consider some changes at your workplace. You can opt for an “Ergonomic Chair” or “Standing Desk” or both. This would help you in alternating between the sitting and standing rather than just sticking to one position. It would be a good practice in improving your body posture.
In order to reduce the strain on your back and especially on your spine, you need to position your smartphone, computer or laptop and even keyboard in such a way that you do not bend over your table. You should sit straight and upright and choose chairs that have a good “Low-Back Support”. Also, avoid sitting for too long and take a break in between.
5. Learn to Keep Balance
Staying physically active is good for the back pain but lifting heavy objects isn’t. In fact, keeping your balance would be more important in this activity. Your doctor and physiotherapist would definitely advise you in lifting heavy objects as it would put an extra strain on your body. And if still, you have to lift anything, it should be lightweight, but lift it properly as per recommendation by your physiotherapist. You should put stress on your back, while you should use your legs more than the ones in your back for lifting heavy objects.
6. Choose the Right Mattress
The mattress is not only important for good sleep but is also necessary for your back pain relief. The right choice of mattress does not necessarily mean that it’ll cure your back pain, however, it’ll help you in maintaining good posture while you sleep or take rest. The mattress should neither be too soft nor too hard. Sufficient sleep is good for overall health and studies to have shown that poor sleep can enhance the issue of back pain.
7. Make your Home Fall Proof
You should make your home fall-proof. This means that you should avoid using slippery marble to avoid falling and getting serious injuries and worsening the back pain. Your house should be “Trip-free” i.e. the rugs used in the rooms should be rolled up. You also need to be careful in the washroom, if the floor is slippery. Non-slip rugs or other floor mats are good options for your kitchen and bathroom.
Last, but not the least you should avoid smoking and maintain healthy body weight, as being overweight or obesity can lead to chronic back pain.
In case of severity of back pain, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.