Back pain is incredibly common – 4 out of 5 people will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. There are many different ways to protect yourself, but the best place to start is by knowing the common causes of back pain.
Once you know what to look out for, you can be proactive in preventing back pain. So, we’ve compiled some of the most common causes of back pain. Keep reading to find out what they are and how to prevent them.
Improper Lifting Technique
Mastering the proper way to lift items is something everyone should take the time to learn. How do you know if you’re lifting incorrectly? Some indicators may be bending at your waist or rounding your back. As the saying goes, lift with your legs, not your back.
To lift an item properly, do the following:
- Face the item and bend at your knees.
- Grip the item and lift, ensuring your back is straight.
- Don’t twist or turn while lifting, as it can place unnecessary stress on your spine.
- Hold the item close to your body. The further the item is from your body, the more it stresses your spine.
If you’ve been paying attention to health news the last few years, you’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking. We understand the saying, but there’s one major difference; you can’t just quit sitting like you can smoking.
So why is sitting so bad for your spine? Your spinal discs are nourished by a fluid that circulates while your body is moving. When you’re sitting, the fluid is essentially drained from your discs due to the lack of movement, leaving them deprived of nutrition. Prolonged time sitting can actually lead to long-term damage and is much worse for your spine than standing or lying down.
To help prevent damage, try to take small breaks every 20 minutes or so to stretch or walk around. Keeping your body active is the best thing you can do. The next best thing you can do is choosing a chair that supports your spine. The optimal chair will allow you to rest your feet on the floor while supporting the natural curve of your lower back.
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You should also check to make sure you are sitting with proper posture:
- Sit with your back straight and shoulders back.
- Ensure your body weight is distributed evenly on both hips.
- Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, keeping the height of your knees even with your hips.
- Rest your feet flat on the floor or a footrest, if needed, to keep your knees aligned with your hips.
Weekend activities like sports and home maintenance are common culprits of back pain because they are few and far between. To help prevent any back pain, be sure to stretch before each activity. Another great way to ward off back pain from these types of activities is by strengthening your core muscles.
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Remember, knowing the common causes of back pain is half the battle. The other half is being mindful enough to take all the preventative measures. For more tips on keeping your spine happy and healthy, sign up for our monthly email newsletter below!