Back pain is a prevalent issue among men and women of all ages – it affects 80% of the US population. Also, more than a quarter of old folks have reported back pain cases.
Back pain can be acute, lasting for a few weeks, or long term, which lasts for more than 14 weeks. Back pain can also vary across different demographics due to various risk factors. They include age, genetics, fitness level, weight gain, and occupational risk factors.
The two major causes of pain are:
- Heavy lifting, which causes stress on the back.
- Degeneration of the spine as people age.
If you’re experiencing back pain, here are six effective recommendations that can help you relieve and prevent it:
1. Consider Electronic Nerve Stimulation
One of the ways to reduce back pain is by using TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). TENS is a technological solution that works by delivering mild electric pulses to the nerves to block incoming pain signals. TENS units are considered better than pain medications since they don’t have adverse side effects.
Moreover, they’re small, portable, and convenient, which means you can carry them with you anywhere. To learn more about TENS, click here.
2. Sleep Better
When you sleep better, your back muscles tend to be more relaxed and in better shape because the body tends to auto regenerate and repair during the sleep cycle.
Here are several things you can consider to improve your sleep:
- Get a medium to a firm mattress. Sleeping on a soft bed pushes your spine out of alignment.
- If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your legs as you sleep to reduce the pressure on your back.
- If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees as you sleep.
3. Maintain The Right Posture
A lot of people rarely maintain the right posture in their day to day activities, like walking, sitting, standing.
Here are some tips to maintain the right posture:
- When sitting, avoid slumping over your desk, and maintain an upright position with your back parallel to your chair’s back. If your work involves sitting still for long periods, you can also get an ergonomic chair.
- Take breaks during your work cycle, and move around. The breaks will be valuable in getting the pressure off your back.
- When standing, make sure not to bend your back in any direction. Instead, your ears should be above your shoulders, and your shoulders should be aligned with your hips in a straight position.
3. Wear The Right Footwear
Did you know that footwear has a significant impact on back pains? Wearing uncomfortable shoes may shift pressure on your back and cause back pains. Thus, it’s important to use the right footwear for the right activities.
Take note that wearing shoes with a low heel is also very beneficial and keeps your back relaxed. Wearing high heeled shoes for a long time usually shifts the weight on your back, hence causing back pain
4. Reduce Stress
Stress tends to make back pain worse. Stress has a big impact on how we perceive pain. Reducing stress helps reduce back pain.
Take a break, treat yourself well, avoid overscheduling your days, and take some time to rest.
5. Stretch More Often
Stretches are a proven way to reduce and ease back pain. Stretching helps improve muscle flexibility and gets the blood flowing in the back area.
Stretches don’t have to be complicated. You can do simple stretches in your house, either in the morning or a few minutes before your sleep every day. Stretches can be as simple as bending sideways, backward, and forwards.
6. Avoid Heavy Loads
As mentioned earlier, carrying heavy loads is a major cause of back pain. For instance, carrying a bulky laptop bag and a heavy load of groceries or a suitcase can cause a strain to your back.
There are several things to avoid this:
- If you don’t need it, leave your purse at home. You can carry your identification and cash in your pockets as you head out.
- Shift the weight on your back from one shoulder to the other.
- Consider carrying less.
- Utilize rolling carts for carrying groceries.
You can take these simple steps to have a healthy back. A healthy back will ultimately allow you to work unhindered and get on in life with ease.
Don’t ignore the small telltale signs that your back might give in to back pain, like fatigue and spasms of pain. Instead, take action. Consult your doctor and get pain prescriptions if you have to.