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How to Take Care of Your Back

In a majority of cases, backache is caused due to standing, sitting, or sleeping in an improper manner. In this article, you will come across some good tips on back care...
WellnessKeen Staff
Backache is one of the most common health issues many of us face. Surprisingly, about 80% of the population of America suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. Also, almost five out of every ten employees suffer from backache each year. Lack of fitness might lead to backache. Lower or upper backache could be an indication of some serious health condition too. So any kind of backache should not be ignored. In a majority of cases, people experience a pain in the lower back, since the lower back has to handle body pressure. Upper back pain, in most cases results from muscle irritation or ligament complications. An improper posture and an unhealthy lifestyle are the root causes of back problems.
Proper Posture
Having a proper posture is really important to avoid back pain and other back problems. You should always have an erect posture; be it when standing, sitting and sleeping. Do not stand or walk as if you have a hunch back. While sitting, make sure your back is straight. When working in office, remember to have a comfortable seating position with the chair and table being in alignment to your posture. You may add lumbar support to the seat using a pillow. Ensure that you change your sitting positions often. While sitting for a long time, like at work, walk around at periodic intervals. Do some stretches, go for short walks, don't sit or stand continuously at the same place and in the same position for long. A support for your feet will also prove beneficial in preventing backache problems. A proper position while sleeping is as important. Sleep on a firm surface, since very comfy beds or mattresses may give you a backache. A firm surface helps the head and back to be in the same level. Use a pillow which will maintain the alignment of your head and back.
Healthy Diet
You also need to pay attention to your diet. Backache could result from weak bones and muscular structure. Consume foods rich in calcium, proteins, iron and phosphorus to strengthen the bones. You can consume eggs, milk, cereals, green vegetables, fish, fruits and juices. Another guideline to prevent a bad back is to have a fit body, as in the right height-weight ratio. Overweight people, especially those with fat around their waist are more prone to suffering from backache and other back problems.
Daily Exercise
It is a proven fact that exercise is beneficial for a healthy body, to maintain weight, and prevent health problems. If you do not want to go to the gym, you can opt for something that you would enjoy. For example, swimming, cycling, or table tennis can be used as a substitute for workouts. Any kind of sports activity, if done daily for around 30 minutes, would strengthen the muscles and aid in physical fitness. However, do not participate in any activity for a prolonged period, as this too may lead to backache.
Other Back Care Tips
Practicing certain healthy habits does help in preventing backache, indirectly though. Research has shown that smoking has many bad effects on health, out of which one is back problems. Frequent smoking of cigarettes significantly reduces the blood flow to the spinal cord, causing backaches.
When it comes to lifting an object from the floor, the correct way is to bend in the knees and not in the waist. In addition to this, you should also move as close as possible to the object you want to lift. If the object is a bit heavy, you can increase the angle between your legs to get a good balance. Do not be in a position that will strain your back muscles.
Wearing the appropriate shoes is also crucial to avoid back problems. If a person wears high-heeled shoes, he tends to stand and walk in an improper way, which may be harmful for the back. Those having backache complaints need to wear low-heeled shoes. Wearing shoes with cushioned soles is also beneficial to the feet, thus helping the person stand and walk comfortably in an erect posture, which may eventually help in avoiding back problems.
Hopefully, following these tips will help you prevent or reduce back problems to a considerable extent. Medical experts claim that prolonged period of bed rest, say over two days, is actually bad for the spine. This is because lack of activity for a prolonged period of time can immobilize the muscles, thereby worsening the condition. Even if there is a backache after following the above tips, the issue might be serious, which is when you need to visit a chiropractic. Remember that standing, sleeping, and sitting in a proper posture is the key to prevent a back problems. With these simple tips that apply to daily living, I am sure you would be able to take care of your back.