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Back to Basics to Prevent Back Pain

By on August 27, 2011
back-pain

It’s a medical fact that more than 50% of us will experience at least one back injury during our lifetime. And a good portion will experience multiple episodes of back problems, requiring surgery. So preventing back pain can save your sanity down the road and billions in lost productivity and health-care resources to society. Because nearly everything you do requires the use of your back, and back problems are rarely the result of a single activity or accident. Healthyblackmen.org wants you to know how to take care of your back now so you can avoid future pain.

 Protecting Your Back in Bed

If you have a bed that does not offer proper back enough support, it could be the reason why you wake up with back-stiffness. Sometimes this comes from a cheap mattress, keeping a mattress past its prime, etc. Consider a new mattress every 7-8 years and if you current have back pain look into investing in a high grade mattress designed for those with back conditions. It’s worth it.

Protecting Your Back in the Car

If you live in an urban area, you might spend a lot of time in your car. And in cities like Atlanta, where the average commute is among the highest in the nation, caring for your back while driving becomes a priority. If you travel long distances, or sit in the car for long periods, make slight but frequent adjustments in your seat’s position. Even if your seat is adjusted perfectly and your back is aligned just right, locking your spine in one position for the length of the ride can cause you a lot of problems. Remember, your back likes movement. Those slight shifts keep it happy and healthy.

Protecting Your Back While Exercising

It’s a vicious cycle. If your back hurts, you will probably stop exercising. But if you stop exercising, you are more likely to injure your back. Even if your back is bothering you, it is important to get at least a little exercise. Walking may be the best activity for your spine and one of the easiest exercises to incorporate into your daily routine. When you walk, pretend that you are balancing a book on top of your head. This trick not only insures good posture during the exercise but also trains the muscles of your spine and stomach to hold you in good posture throughout the day.
When you use a stair climber machine, stand up as if you have a book on your head. Too many times you will see people slumped over forward as they perform this exercise. No good.

Diet and Back Pain

Think about it, you don’t see a lot of muscular or skinny people with back problems. Stomach muscles become weakened with additional belly fat and watching what you eat can help you decrease body fat overall. If you do not carry a lot of weight on your front, it will take a lot of strain off of your back muscles. But in addition to the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, the right foods can also prevent back injuries. If you are tired and fatigued from lack of nutrition, you are much more likely to pull a muscle or acquire nother back injury.

Try This Stretching Exercise:

While lying on your back in a relaxed, comfortable position with your legs extended. Slowly raise your arms over your head and lay them on the bed. Gently reach with both arms as far over your head as you comfortably can. Then, add your legs and toes to the exercise, pointing your toes toward the foot of the bed. Remember to stretch only to the point of mild tension, hold the stretch for ten seconds, and then allow your whole body to relax. For maximum benefit, repeat this stretch a few times. You will feel the difference.

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