If you don’t have trouble with back pain, consider yourself lucky. Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, making it hard to do everything from exercising properly to sitting comfortably. In fact, half of all Americans report dealing with back pain on a regular basis, which is why you should know how to prevent back pain—even if you haven’t had to deal with it quite yet. Here are three tips for avoiding back pain.
1. Understand Proper Lifting Technique
Improper lifting is one of the biggest culprits of back problems, since back muscles endure more force when they are under pressure at strange angles. When people bend over at the waist to lift something heavy, all of the lifting responsibility is on the back muscles and spine, instead of spread throughout the muscles of the body.
In order to avoid injury, focus on lifting with your legs and not with your back. When you need to lift heavy objects off of the ground, pull the item close to you in a crouched position before using your legs to move your body upwards. It might seem awkward at first, but it could save your back.
2. Consider Replacing Your Mattress
Most people don’t realize it, but back pain can be caused by an old or unsupportive mattress. Mattresses should be firm enough to support your spine and to keep it in a neutral position, but soft enough to cushion the contours of your body. On average, mattresses need to be replaced every 7-10 years. If you like to work or watch TV in bed, you might even consider an adjustable bed that has articulation points to raise and lower the head and foot areas.
Experts warn against certain sleeping positions that don’t support your back. For example, avoid sleeping on your stomach, which doesn’t allow your spine to have the support it needs while you rest. Sleeping on your stomach can also strain back and neck muscles for long periods of time, leading to stiffness in the morning. And adjustable bed can help with this, too.
3. Focus On Diet and Exercise
One of the best ways to avoid back pain is to pay close attention to your diet and exercise regimen. If you are overweight and have a heavier midsection, that weight can pull your hips out of alignment, putting strain on your lower back. Also, exercising your back and abdominal muscles can help to strengthen your core, which also helps to support your back.
For more information on avoiding back pain, talk with your family doctor and visit Best Mattress in Henderson and other locations. By doing something as simple as making a few lifestyle changes and investing in a new mattress, you can preserve your back and limit your future discomfort.