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Here are just a few tips to prevent symptoms of pain in the spine and to keep from worsening your spine condition:
1. Pay attention to your posture
Practice good posture. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a chair or standing up, you should still have good posture. Your ears should be directly over your shoulders. In addition, your hips should be in direct alignment with your shoulders, meaning you need to stand up straighter if they’re not. Adjusting your posture can help reduce neck pain over time.
- Also, make sure you draw your arms in close to your body when you’re sitting at the computer or a table.
- It also helps to move your limbs so they are parallel to the floor when you’re sitting. That is, your arms and wrists, as well as your thighs, should be parallel to the floor, not angled up or down.
2. Get rest and exercise
Your body needs to heal after every day, so a good night’s sleep is critical, especially those hours before 12 am. Sleep deprivation actually worsens your pain tolerance and reduces your strength. In turn, make sure you exercise. One of the most important things you can do for back pain prevention is to get up and get moving. Why does exercise prevent back pain? Muscles are meant to move. If you aren’t in good shape, you’re more likely to hurt your back and feel pain when you do even simple movements, such as lifting an object from the floor. Additionally, exercise helps keep your joints fluid. Another reason exercise prevents back pain is that exercise helps you keep your weight down — being overweight, especially around your stomach, can put added strain on your back. Walk at least 30 minutes a day to improve your strength, heart health, and flexibility.
3. Stay Hydrated
It is often found with people in pain, that their diet aggravates their pain and their lack of water “dries” out their tissues. It is very important to avoid processed foods and fried foods, which increase inflammation in the body. Of course, eat more vegetables, fruits and lean protein as well. Don’t forget to keep a glass or bottle of water with you and refill it during the day so you stay hydrated!
4. Lift properly
Improper lifting techniques result in unnecessary strain on the back and the surrounding muscles. To reduce strain on your back, it is essential to plan every lift in advance. Stop and think about the following:
- How much does the item weigh? Is it bulky?
- How far will the item be moved?
- Will you need help? Be honest when assessing this question.
- Are there any hazards that could be removed?
- Is there equipment available that could be used safely to assist the lift?
This seems like a lot to consider, but after addressing these questions:
- Align your body correctly in front of the object.
- Squat down by bending your knees, not your stomach and back.
- Grab the load tightly using both hands. Bring the object as close to your body as you can. This helps to distribute the weight of the object over your feet, making the move less difficult.
- Slowly unbend your legs until you are standing upright while keeping your back straight.
- Make sure that the object is not blocking your line of sight, and walk slowly. If vision is impaired and you need to look around the object, turn by moving your feet. Do not twist your back to see where you are going.
- If you are placing the item back on the floor, squat down as you did before (bending at the knees) and place the object out in front of you while keeping your back straight.
5. Reduce Stress
You probably don’t realize how much stress can impact your back health. Stress causes you to tense your muscles, and constant tension of this kind can cause neck and low back pain. Any activity that helps you reduce stress will help prevent back pain. Stress reduction activities can include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, deep breathing, tai chi, and guided imagery.