Back injuries are common at work, home, and during playing sports. They may happen as a result of accidents or improper lifting techniques. Unfortunately, several jobs, such as nursing and construction, usually put great burden on the back.
Your back is usually susceptible to developing many problems, and this is because of its great strength and flexibility. One of the earliest signs of back injury is pain. Trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, may result in back pain. However, it most commonly happens as a result of incorrect body movements or use.
The good news is that back injury prevention isn’t all that difficult, often requiring just a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle. If you are experiencing a back issue, tell your doctor about your symptoms and ask what to do to detect and treat the cause.
5 Proven Tips to Avoid Back Injuries
No matter the cause, back injury can be prevented by common health practices. Prevention is better than cure. You can use these tips to prevent back injuries:
Strengthen Your Muscles
Strengthening and supporting your muscles throughout the trunk are crucial to boost your spine. Exercises to increase your muscle strength include:
- Low-impact cardio exercises, such as walking, which helps stretch muscles and increase blood flow to the spine
- Aquatic therapy, which provides you a great range of motion, especially for exercises that are based on lifting the legs
- Stability ball workouts, such as using the ball for stretching or sitting
If exercising is impossible for you to do, set small goals, such as going up and down stairs or walking with a friend in a park, to help you keep moving.
Protect Your Back While Lifting
A common cause that may result in back injuries is improper lifting. Common daily activities, such as unloading things from your car or lifting your child, may cause back issues.
If your back is bent or twisting while lifting, this will probably result in a sudden back injury or chronic tissue damage from repetitive injuries.
If you are lifting a heavy object, try to be near the object, bend your knees, and stiffen your belly muscles. Support your body while you stand up using your leg muscles. Put the object near your body. Preserve your back natural curve and avoid twisting while lifting. Ask someone to help you if the object is too heavy to lift.
Dissipate Stressors During Everyday Activities
Stress can lead to muscle tension, and constant tension may result in back pain. Activities to reduce stress may include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery.
Exerting stress on the complex structures of your back, even in small amounts, can accumulate, leading to degeneration and pain eventually. Here is an example on how to reduce everyday stress and therefore, protect your back:
- If you are shoveling snow or doing some work in your garden, try to put one arm on your thigh while bending your knees slightly to prevent prolonged stooping and putting significant burden on your back.
Pay Attention to Posture and Use Ergonomic Products
While standing, try to balance your weight evenly on your feet, and don’t slouch. People usually slouch over their computers and phones when texting, not realizing how much damage they do to their backs. Practicing good posture will greatly maintain your natural back curves and help keep it strong. Avoid putting your wallet or phone in your back pocket when you are sitting in order to reduce extra pressure on your buttocks or back.
With modern advancements, many ergonomic products are now available in the market. You need to be assured that the tools, furniture, and equipment you use would make your proper posture and positioning much easier. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be ergonomically correct. Desks and chairs with proper height are common ergonomic products.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
Improving your overall physical and general health will greatly benefit your back. There are some simple measures that reduce your chances of developing back injuries or exacerbating your existing problem, such as:
- Being active
- Drinking water regularly
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Getting enough restful sleep
- Quitting smoking
- Managing mental and psychological stress
Having excess weight, especially in your belly, greatly aggravates your back pain through changing your gravity center and putting great load on your back.
The best position for you to sleep is on your side. You should avoid sleeping flat on your back. If you have to sleep on your belly, put a pillow under your lower abdomen to avoid stress on your back. Using a supportive mattress and pillow are also vital for your head support.
Experienced Spine Doctor in New Jersey
If you live near the Dover area in New Jersey, go see our professionals at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. Our well-trained physicians and surgeons are happy to provide you the best remedy option for your back issue.
Contact us today at (973) 989-0888 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to helping you with your back problem.