Do You Struggle From Back Pain?
Do you Struggle from Back Pain?
One in five Americans experience back pain each year, and eight in 10 will suffer from back pain in their lifetime.
Back pain is one of the most common and yet disabling ailments for the patient. Even more complex are the variety of causes, signs and symptoms an athlete/patient could display during this injury. According to research, the good news is that while complex, most cases of back pain do not involve serious or long-lasting pathologies if treated appropriately. Clinicians have developed a variety of treatment options to assist with these types of complex injuries.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, everybody has physical limitations, which can often lead to body imbalances that in turn can cause back pain. That’s why it’s important to identify problem areas and correct these imbalances through better posture, periodic exercise, strength training, and regular stretching to aid flexibility.
Guidelines for a healthier back:
- Stay mobile—There are many ways to increase mobility including daily stretches or activities that increase flexibility and get the body moving in different directions.
- Warm up before physical activity—Keeping muscles warmed up and staying mobile will decrease the chance of injury. Engage in a low-impact activity prior to participating in sports or exercising.
- Work on strength training—Improving overall balance and flexibility will reduce stress on the back. Exercises should involve the whole body, especially the core muscles of the stomach, back, hips and pelvis.
- Don’t forget cardiovascular training—Physical activity (such as walking, swimming and running) for at least 20 minutes, three times a week, increases muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness, and improves blood flow to the spine. Exercise also helps decrease daily stress that can tighten muscles.
- Straighten up—Correct posture doesn’t just look better, it feels better, too. Be sure to stand with your head up, shoulders straight, chest forward and stomach tight. Try not to sit or drive for long periods of time. When seated always remember to keep your hips and knees at right angles to one another and find a chair with adequate lumbar (lower back) support.
- Lift using your legs, not your back—When lifting objects from a position below your waist, stand with a wide stance and slight bend at your hips and knees. Tighten your stomach as you lift and keep your back as flat as possible – don not arch or bend.
- Carry with care—When carrying heavy objects, keep them as close to your body as you can. Always avoid carrying objects on only one side of your body. With more and more Americans traveling with computer bags and carry-on luggage, it’s essential to adhere to proper carrying and lifting techniques.
- Get adequate rest—Select a firm mattress and box spring that do not sag, and try to sleep in a position that allows you to maintain your back’s natural curve.
- Improve your healthy lifestyle—Obesity and smoking are known to increase the incidence of back pain and decrease overall quality of life. Live healthier to reduce back pain.
- Build in rest breaks—If you are physically active or enjoy athletics at any level, remember to build rest days and rest breaks into your weekly routine. The body needs time to recover from activity, and adding these natural breaks will rejuvenate muscles and the potential aching back that can come from overuse.