5 CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training
Millions of people suffer from excruciating back pain every day with little or no hope for a cure. While some of these conditions are serious and need special medical care, most back pain can be relieved with a few simple behavioral modifications.
5 COMMON CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
1. Excessive Sitting:
Do you sit for long periods of time? Sitting is hard to avoid these days. We commute through traffic in our cars, we sit for hours at our desks, and then we commute back home in our cars. Most of the population sits for at least 8 hours a day. All of this sitting could be taking a toll on your back. It is important to get up at least once every 2 hours to avoid adverse effects on your back.
Get up and take a walk around your office, or walk around the block on your break. If you are in your car all day make sure to make a stop every 2
hours to stretch your muscles. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, stand for at least 10 minutes every hour while you talk. Pay attention to the length of time you spend sitting each day, make sure that you are not sitting for long stretches at a time.
2. Back Injuries:
Do you practice proper lifting techniques? Since most back injuries occur during an attempt to move a large or heavy object, it is very important to practice proper lifting techniques.
The proper way to lift an object is to first bend your knees, grasp onto the object, and then straighten your knees while keeping your back straight
Make sure that you are not bending over at your waist, as this will put unnecessary strain on your back. Practice proper lifting techniques even when the object that you are lifting does not seem very heavy—this will protect your back from injuries.
3. Lack of Back Strength:
Do you have weak back muscles? Weak unconditioned back muscles account for many an aching back. If you don’t exercise regularly, whether in the traditional way or by being active in sports or other physically demanding activities, then chances are good that your back pain is a direct result of weak muscles.
Protect your back against unwanted pain by regularly strengthening your stabilizing back muscles.
You can strengthen these muscles by doing the following exercise right in your own home. The Superman Pose: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out on the floor (as if you were Superman flying through the air). Exhale as you raise your right arm up until it is even with your shoulder and simultaneously lift your left leg up off of the matt. Hold this position as long as you can. Repeat on the other side. For a more advanced pose, start on your hands and knees, rather than on your stomach.
4. Poor Posture:
Do you slouch? Your mom was right when she told you not to slouch! Having poor posture is another classic reason that people suffer from back pain. While sitting keep your head and shoulders erect with your feet on the ground, make sure that your lower back is supported, and that the chair is not pressing into the backs of your knees.
Be aware of your posture throughout the day to avoid slouching. If you continuously find yourself slouching place a mirror at your eye level while sitting properly, and periodically check to see if you are aligned with it or not.
5. Stiff Muscles:
Do you stretch regularly? Do you find it hard to touch your toes? Do your legs and lower back feel stiff and unmovable at the end of the day?Limbering up your tight muscles is a great way to relieve back pain. Make it a habit to reach down towards your toes to stretch out your hamstrings. You should hold this for at least 30 seconds. For another good stretch, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean forward at your waist, keeping your back straight, and reach toward your toes. Exhale and reach even further.
BACK PAIN RELIEF
Using Ice for Back Pain Relief Ice is the correct method to use if your back pain is new or if you have recently suffered a strain or injury. Ice should be used for 2-3 days to control swelling. Use ice when your injury is in an acute stage, usually the first 48-72 hours. The ice will reduce swelling and inflammation and will also help to control the acute pain.
• Use ice bags or chemical ice packs • Always apply a sheet of paper towel between the ice and your body. • Limit ice to 12 minutes with a minimum of 60 minutes between applications.
Using Heat for Back Pain Relief Heat is the correct method to use if your back pain is not new or if you’ve tried ice with no relief. Also heat will help if you suffer from osteoarthritis. The method of using heat works by increasing circulation to assist the body in healing itself. The increased blood flow brings nutrients to your injured muscles and assists in repairing them. • Use moist heat for the deepest penetration, such as a moist heating pad, shower, hot tub, bath or hot wet towels • Do not exceed 30 minutes of heat exposure • Allow your body to cool down for at least 60 minutes before re-applying heat • Never got to bed with a heating pad or other heating device. Prolonged heat exposure will do more harm than good to your injured muscles
You don’t have to suffer from back pain any more. Make the decision to change the behaviors that cause your back pain. Exercise regularly,
making sure to get at least 30 minutes of continuous activity 3-4 times each week. To gain the most from these tips I suggest that you hire an experienced personal trainer who can guide you all the way to your goals.If you have any questions or concerns regarding your back pain or other rehabilitative issues don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.