Since 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from back pain at some point, it pays to tone and strengthen the area before you golf, grill or simply enjoy summer living, so you can remain pain-free.
Whether you’re sitting in front of your computer, waiting in line at the farmer’s market, playing your favorite sport, or toiling in the garden, keep your back in action. Keep moving – in order to sidestep back pain and strain. A little intelligent planning and exercise will free you for unrestricted movement and full enjoyment of whatever you get into this summer.
Smart Moves Help Prevent Back Pain
Chronic back pain can be debilitating and depressing, and there are ways to ease the aches and prevent pain from starting in the first place. Light body sculpting, power walking, simple stretching and proper body alignment will boost your posture and prevent back pain for the long haul.
People who spend long hours sitting in a car commuting – or typing away at their computers for many hours a day – are looking at some potential back trouble in the long run, according to the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
A strong back and strong, supportive abdominal muscles can help relieve or even sidestep most causes of back pain, especially the most common type which is caused by soft tissue injury or back muscle strain.
Lose Weight for a Strong Back
Obesity also causes the muscles, joints, ligaments, bones, and organs to work harder in order to support your body. It’s because of this that people who are overweight tend to have chronic back, knee, and overall body pains.
Breakthrough research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) across nine countries indicated in 2016 that potential risk factors for back pain include obesity, aging, being female and increased physical demands – especially the “weekend warrior” variety that aren’t preceded by adequate training.
Obesity has been linked to back pain for multiple reasons, including poor posture and added stress to the vertebrae in your spine.
To battle excess flab, back pain sufferers should perform at least 30 minutes of low-impact cardio activity 5-6 days per week in addition to regular strength training and core conditioning exercises, according to the NIH. Low impact activities include using an elliptical trainer, riding an exercise bike or rowing on indoor trainer.
8 Tips to Help Prevent – and Heal – Back Pain
1 During a long commute, try a posture-check every few exits: Don’t hunch forward over the steering wheel, and keep your head pressed gently against the headrest. Press your lower back firmly against the seat, contract your abdominals, and breathe deeply.
2 If you’re already hurting, physical therapy, occupational therapy or some type of chiropractic massage may be prescribed for your back pain based on your health practitioner’s advice. Make an appointment, connect with your therapist and your body may begin to heal soon.
3 Rather than jutting one hip out or hunching both shoulders forward as you stand in a long line, bring feet hip-width apart, bend knees two inches and consciously contract your abs. Start paying a lot more attention to your posture – just like Grandma told you.
4 Try sitting on a large stability ball instead of an office chair for several hours each day. This position prevents you from crossing your legs, which throws off body alignment, and the large ball mildly engages your abs, leg muscles and hips.
5 Avoid wearing high heels if your back really hurts since heels change your center of gravity, tilting the hips backward so your lower back muscles work harder to stabilize you, and may therefore become sore.
6 Hire a personal trainer who specializes in orthopedic injuries and start strengthening the areas that need it the most – which may include hip stretches and butt builders in addition to moves for your back muscles.
7 Use a heating pad on the area that twinges. Heat tends to be more soothing than ice for chronic pain and helps tight muscles relax and become more pliable. In addition to heating pads, therapeutic heat might include a hot bath, whirlpool, sauna and/or steam room.
8 Try home fitness equipment to strengthen and stabilize core muscles in the convenience of home. There are incredible options for preventing injury and pain: Dedicated stretching machines, rowers, whole-body vibration units and multi-purpose strength units that feature abdominal and low back exercises.
Premier Fitness Source services the Atlanta area and surrounding communities as well as the Savannah, GA region. We have options available to fit any unique challenge or budget, so our experts can guide you to the perfect solution for your needs – whether a simple and inexpensive stability ball will do the trick or you want to outfit a complete home gym with the latest technology.
We look forward to discussing your individual situation and providing the equipment and workout advice that will best serve you. Stop in to one of our locations or visit us on the web at PremierFitnessSource.com.