Thursday, January 13, 2011
Reduce Back Pain - 5 Tips
#1 - Get up and get moving
The most important thing you can do to keep your spine healthy, and the rest of your body, is to exercise. The best way to start is to think of an activity that you enjoy, and do it!! Your goal should be to exercise at least 30 minutes each day (or on most days of the week). Whatever activity you choose, make sure it gets you breathing a little harder than usual. This is good for your circulation. Also, include some strength training to keep muscles healthy and strong.
#2 - See your doctor
Regular checkups with your doctor are really important, no matter what your age. Make a plan to see your physician at least once a year to make sure all your systems are working smoothly. If you are experiencing back pain, and can't seem to find any relief, it's definitely time to see your doctor. Today there are many treatment options available so you don't have to live with back pain.
#3 - Lose weight
It's estimated that over half of all Americans are overweight. It's important to know that obesity contributes to the development of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and back pain. While the spine is designed to carry and distribute the body's weight, excessive weight can strain the spine. Eventually, the spine will begin to wear out.
Give your spine a break by shedding those unwanted and unnecessary pounds. Don't know how to start? Talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find a weight loss and exercise plan that best suits your needs.
#4 - Good posture
You may think that slouching when sitting or standing is relaxing your muscles. But actually, it makes your muscles work harder. Good posture, which involves standing and sitting in a balanced and neutral position, is the best way to avoid straining your spine.
#5 - Rest easy and properly
Sleep is an essential nutrient for our bodies and where we sleep can make all the difference. If you are having trouble sleeping or find that you wake in the morning more tired than when you went to bed, you may need to take a good look at where and how you sleep. A good mattress allows you to maintain the same natural spinal alignment that you have when standing. When your body is allowed to rest in its natural position, muscles are relaxed and sleep is more refreshing.
While you may not be able to avoid some occasional back pain, keeping your back healthy will go a long way to keeping you in good shape!
Source: Mark R. McLaughlin, MD