Preventing Back Pain: Ways to Take Care of Your Back

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Back pain is a very prevalent condition.

It is very common that it is very likely for almost everyone to experience it at one point or another.

Possible Causes

While not everyone may be aware of it, the back is a very complex (and intricate) structure.

It is made up of the nerves, bones, muscles, and joints.

Because of its intricacy, identifying the exact cause of the pain can be very challenging.

Fortunately, it is reassuring to note that pain in the backis often not attributed to other serious underlying conditions.

Instead, minor strains and sprains, injuries, and at times an irritated or pinched nerve are considered the likely culprits.

If the pain becomes severe and persistent, visiting a back pain specialist is recommended.

The following are some of the likely culprits of back pain:

  • Carrying and lifting of heavy objects
  • Awkward twisting
  • Slouching
  • Overusing the muscles
  • Repetitive movements
  • Overstretching
  • Pulling or pushing of heavy objects
  • Awkward bending (often lasting for long periods)
  • Sitting or driving in a hunch position (especially for prolonged periods)

In some cases, back pain can also occur without any apparent reason.

To play safe however, seeing a back pain specialist should be done.

Diagnosis

While many cases of back pain are not harmful and will eventually disappear on their own there are also instances where the discomfort and pain can become severe.

Aside from physically examining the back, the patient’s ability to stand, walk, sit will also be assessed.

In many cases, patients with back pain will also be asked regarding their lifestyle, type of work, and previous illnesses and injuries.

Probable questions that will be asked can include:

  • Where is the exact location of the pain?
  • When did the pain first occurred?
  • What is the pain like?
  • Are there certain activities that can make the pain better or worse? What are those activities?
  • Have you had back injuries or any back problems in the past?

Prevention

Keeping the back supple and strong is one considered one of the best ways to effectively prevent back pain.

For starters, lifting correctly, maintaining good posture, and exercising regularly can help keep pain in the back at bay.

For those with recurring back pain, the following tips can be very helpful:

  • Refrain from performing drastic movements – this is done to help ensure strain and muscle stress is avoided.
  • Lose the extra weight – excess weight (especially in the upper body) places unnecessary strain and stress to the lower back. That being said, losing the excess pounds can definitely do wonders for the back.
  • Stay active – regular exercise like swimming and walking are deemed ideal ways to keep the back supple and strong.
  • Wear footwear with cushioned soles – doing so can help minimize strain on the back.

Exercise

Undoubtedly, exercising is considered one of the most effective ways to ease the pain and prevent back pain.

However, prior to starting any exercise regimen, it would be best to check with a doctor first.

Popular disciplines like Pilates and yoga are deemed helpful in improving back strength and flexibility.

However, yoga and Pilates should only be done under the guidance and watchful eye of a competent instructor to ensure any injuries are avoided.

Exercises that can help prevent and relieve back pain include:

  • Knee rolls
  • Bottom to heels stretch
  • Back extensions

Carrying and Lifting

Incorrect lifting and handling of objects is considered one of the most common culprits of back injury and pain.

To ensure back injury is prevented, the following helpful tips should be taken to heart:

  • Identify what you can lift safely. Don’t think twice about getting help when necessary.
  • When carrying bags or luggage, make sure weight is evenly distributed to both sides.
  • Retain balance by making sure feet are apart and the other is slightly forward. Also, squatting or stooping should be avoided.