Research estimates that approximately 80% of the population worldwide experiences back pain at some point in their lives. Here are some ways to reduce back ache:
1. Stay fit.
Weakening of abdominal muscles and those supporting the spine can be one of the major causes of back ache. These muscles lack mobility due to several reasons such as deconditioning or increasing age. It is recommended to regularly strengthen and stretch lower back muscles to prevent pain as well as its recurrence. Exercise particularly involving the back, abdominal and buttock muscles strengthens and lengthens these, which provides an improved support to the vertebral column. Stretching and yoga also prove to be beneficial in reducing the risk of muscle injury, further decreasing the chances of sprains. Aerobic activities such as walking, swimming or bicycling are known to improve lower back function.
2. Maintain a healthy weight.
Excessive pounds, especially around the waist, add additional mechanical stress to the pelvis and lumbar vertebra, leading to chronic back pain in the long run. According to a research conducted in 2014, overweight individuals were more prone to develop lower backache, spine degeneration and internal disc disruption. When a person is obese, the added weight causes the spine to shift excessively inwards, which causes strain in the back muscles. Spine osteoarthritis is also common among obese individuals. Researchers believe that the extra adipose tissues cause degenerative changes in the spine by triggering inflammation, which presents as severe pain in the back.
3. Quit smoking.
Cigarette smoking is not only detrimental to your heart and lungs but also to your spine. Several studies reveal that smokers have a much higher number of backache episodes than nonsmokers of the same age. The excessive levels of nicotine present in tobacco smoke lead to backache in several ways. Firstly, it causes arterial constriction and reduces blood flow to the vertebra and vertebral discs, causing a reduction in the spin’s efficiency and mobility. This ultimately triggers pain due to ischemia or lack of blood flow. Moreover, nicotine also decreases bone density and stimulates destruction of the spinal tissue, making back ache even worse. Heavy smoking also weakens the back muscles.
4. Lighten the load on your back.
Carrying a load greater than 1.3 kg can put excessive mechanical stress on your spine, resulting in internal stress injuries, vertebral disc slip, muscle strain and chronic pain. Upper back pain is usually caused by damage to ligaments and muscles that attach to the vertebrae. This can be caused by lifting heavy weights using your hands as well. It is advised to not carry excessively heavy backpacks for longer hours during the day, and lighten your load. Moreover, carry bags that have different sized compartments to distribute weight evenly. While carrying a heavy load, opt for hip strap for extra support and remember to bend your knees while picking up heavy objects.
5. Practise back-healthy habits.
Incorporating simple habits in your routine that are beneficial for your back can greatly reduce the risk of both acute and chronic back ache. Try reducing extra pressure on your back. This can be done by supporting one foot on a small stool while performing tasks that require prolonged standing such as ironing. Furthermore, don’t remain seated in the same position for long. Stretch yourself and take a walk whenever possible. While bending from your waist, always support yourself using your hands and try not to bend excessively. Reduce your time spent vacuuming, as this can trigger back ache.
Live your life free from back pain by following these useful tips.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!