Your everyday life - what to do to decrease back pain
There are several things you can do to keep the above factors in-check.
Your Age: Obviously your age it your age - you can't control or change that. However, you can impact all the other factors.
- Diet and Exercise: You can start eating healthier and exercise - aerobically, strength-training, and stretching. This will help you control your weight, strengthen your muscles, and increase your balance. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it is recommended for healthy adults to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. That's 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week or 25 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week. In addition, it is recommended to include strength training twice a week.
- Smoking: Quit. "Smoking reduces blood flow to your lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration and slow healing form back injuries."
What can cause your back pain at work?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several factors, including:
- Too much force from lifting or moving heavy objects. Like what I did this past weekend.
- Repetition of movements, including twisting and rotating your spine.
- Inactivity - such as sitting in a chair all day. Which is what I'm doing right now.
- Other factors - age, weight, physical condition
What can you do to avoid or prevent back pain at work?
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, pay attention to how you sit, stand, move, and lift objects while at work.
- Your posture is important. Stand with weight evenly distributed on both feet. Stop slouching. Sit in a chair that supports the curve of your back. Make sure your seat is at a level that allows your thighs to be parallel to the floor.
- Lift the right way. Tighten your core and lift with your legs. Keep object close to your body. Don't twist. And have someone help you lift those extra heavy items.
- Mix it up. Take a break to stretch and alternate between strenuous and less strenuous tasks - whenever possible. Use a headset or speaker phone when talking on the phone and typing/writing at the same time. Put down that heavy briefcase. And women, how heavy is your purse? That can be adding strain to your back.
- Change it up and listen to your body. When you feel your body tensing or getting sore. Stretch. Change. positions. Get up and walk around - even if it's just to go to the bathroom or get a drink.
If your pain doesn't go away you may want to get a massage, go to a chiropractor, have acupuncture done, or have it checked out by a doctor.
Now take a minute to stretch. Then get back to work.
Written by Lori Narewski, marketing manager at The Alpha Group