Although the overall occurrence of back pain similar in men and women, a greater percentage of men (61.1%) experience low back pain than women. Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. Here are 11 Tips on how to avoid low back pain.
Time Required: Ongoing
- Exercise and Posture
Good posture and regular exercise helps minimize chronic back conditions. Regular exercise is good but it is important not to strain your back.
- Environment and back injury
Avoid back injury by making your home and work environment as safe as possible. Attend to anything that can be tripped over, slipped on, fallen off easily, in order to minimize risks.
- If you have long-term back pain, or a spinal disorder
You can still exercise, but it is important to consult your doctor or physiotherapist first. They will be able to provide guidance to fit your exercise needs.
- Build up muscular strength and flexibility.
Your abdominal muscles and back muscles work together in order to give your spine support and strength. Strength and flexibility in your hips and thighs help towards maintaining good pelvic bone alignment.
- Regular exercises such as swimming walking and cycling allow your muscles to function better.
Remember, consult your doctor if you are at all worried about new forms of exercise.
- Avoid prolonged standing
Try to avoid standing or bending down for long periods.
- Seating and back problems
Chairs need good back support. Use chairs that are at the right height. Straining to get on or off a chair , especially if you have to twist the spine into strange positions, can cause discomfort and injury. Ergonomically designed chairs are best.
- Good bed mattresses for back problems
It is important to get a mattress that provides enough back support. Get a medium-firm mattress rather than a very firm mattress. Use pillows to support the neck, but not to the extent they push your head neck into odd angles.
- Lifting, load carrying, and your back
Poor lifting and carrying techniques are the most common and most avoidable causes of back injury and pain.
Never carry loads that are too heavy.
Work places are legally obliged to provide appropriate equipment for you to carry out your work. See your boss if you feel you are at risk.
Make sure that when you do lift you keep your back straight and bend at the knees to weight-bear.
If you think you may have trouble lifting something get help. Don't risk back injury.
- Weight gain and back problems
Maintain a healthy weight.
If you are overweight it puts a tremendous strain on the back muscles. Losing weight can make a dramatic difference to back pain and discomfort.
Losing weight makes you more energetic.
- Smoking and back problems
Smoking causes diminished levels of oxygen levels to spinal tissues. Diminished oxygen levels can hinder the healing processes if you get a spinal injury.