Back pain, lower back pain and sciatica are some of the biggest concerns of employers, as they keep millions of people off work every day around the globe. In fact most adults will suffer some type of back pain at some point during their lives.
If you suffer from back pain, you may not realize it but you can alleviate a lot of the pain yourself easily. Even if you have received, or are currently receiving treatment, you can still help your recovery along with these 5 simple steps.
Distribute your weight evenly. When standing, don’t put your weight more on one leg than the other, as you would normally when standing with a hand on one hip for example. Also if you must carry anything for any considerable length of time, choose a backpack style bag, rather than a shoulder bag. And wear it properly! How many times have you seen backpacks thrown over one shoulder? It completely defeats the purpose! You can buy lots of purses and handbags that come in the backpack style – you don’t have to look like you’re going camping.
Relax! I learned this one when learning to drive. Often, I was so anxious, my shoulders were almost up to my ears! And I wondered why my back pain was worse than ever, when driving. Relax your whole body, and move in a fluid, rather than a ridged way. You may have to remind yourself to lower your shoulders, but once you get used to it, you will be able to do it automatically.
Improve your posture. Some people will think that this tip contradicts the last one, but you can still maintain good posture, while staying relaxed. It is when we are sitting that we tend to slump, and adopt poor posture. But a lot of chairs do not help either. Make sure your chair has a full back to it, and if it is not an ergonomic chair, add a cushion or lumbar support to keep your lower spine in the correct position. Keep your shoulders back and your head straight. You should also have your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet flat on the floor, or on a foot rest.
Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water in order to keep your muscles hydrated. Hydrated muscles are happy muscles because they are more flexible and stretchy, and less likely to go into spasm or get pulled or damaged.
Do gentle cardiovascular exercise as often as possible. Walking for around 20 minutes is the best type of low impact cardio exercise, as it is easy to incorporate into your day, and still gets the heart pumping. It gets you moving and warms up the back muscles, and if you walk slightly faster than you would normally, you will breathe better, which gets oxygenated blood to your muscles too. In fact you can still achieve this from walking at your normal pace, and simply breathing deeply.
Try using these tips regularly and you should notice a reduction in your pain. The most important thing is consistency and organization.
photo by cambodia4kidsorg