Did you know that your lower back is the largest bone in your entire body? If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you’re probably not alone. The U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that more than 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And according to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly one in five Americans will visit a chiropractor each year for treatment of lower back pain. Moreover, the cost of lower back pain in the U.S. continues to rise, as does the demand for solutions to help prevent and treat it. Whether you have sciatica, a herniated disk, arthritis, or some other form of lower back pain, there are steps you can take to reduce its severity and improve your overall health. A healthy back is essential to your overall wellness.
What is a healthy back?
A healthy back is one that has little to no pain. A healthy back also has a neutral spine, meaning it bends evenly and doesn't bend to one side or the other.
A healthy back is your foundation
A healthy back is your foundation. Without it, your body wouldn’t be able to support the weight of your head and neck, or do many of the things that you take for granted on a daily basis.
For this reason, it’s important to maintain healthy habits, such as sleeping on a soft mattress. Keeping a good posture when you sit at work or drive can also help reduce some of the pressure that inevitably builds up in your back over time. You should also make sure to engage in regular physical exercise; this will strengthen your core muscles and improve circulation throughout your entire body, including your spine.
In addition to taking care of your body with good routine habits, you can use an herbal supplement like Vital Strength’s Herbal Pain & Stress Relief formula for natural relief from chronic pain. Made with all-natural ingredients like ginger and Saint John's Wort oil, this herbal supplement can provide temporary relief from aches and pains related to arthritis, menstrual cramps, and other conditions.
Strengthening your core muscles
One of the best ways to strengthen your core and prevent back pain is through stretching and strengthening exercises. Specific exercises that target the muscles in your back and abdomen, including bridges, bird dogs, planks, deadlifts, and squats are particularly effective at strengthening the muscles of your lower back.
A study published in the The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that people with chronic low back pain who participated in a 12-week exercise program experienced less pain as well as better physical function. Additionally, this study found that those who followed a walking-based exercise routine for a minimum of 30 minutes each day were able to improve their physical function by 40% more than those who did not participate in an exercise routine.
Stretching and flexibility exercises
The first step to keeping your lower back healthy is committing to a regular stretching and flexibility routine. Perform stretches for five minutes each day, as this will help prevent stiffness and soreness in the back.
Avoiding injury and keeping stable
It is important to avoid injury because back injuries can be very costly. What might start with an aching back could turn into long-term, chronic pain that requires medical attention and treatment.
You can help prevent injury by:
-Maintaining a healthy weight
-Walking or running for at least 20 minutes on most days of the week
-Sleeping with the spine aligned to reduce wear and tear on the discs in your spine
-Taking time off from work when experiencing back pain
Providing support for your back when you’re sitting
One of the most important things you can do to prevent lower back pain is to make sure your chair provides adequate support for your back. One way to check if your chair is providing sufficient support is to sit in it and lean forward until you feel pressure on the front of your thighs or the tops of your feet. If you feel any pressure at all, that’s a sign that the chair isn’t giving you enough back support. When you feel comfortable sitting upright in a chair with no pressure points, then it’s likely that the chair is supporting your spine properly.
Another important way to reduce lower back pain is by maintaining proper posture. Posture affects your spine and how much stress it takes when you are sitting or standing. If you want to avoid putting too much stress on your lower back, make sure to stand up straight, keep shoulders relaxed and hips aligned with knees. It also helps if you use a footstool while sitting down so that there are no added pressure points on the lower half of your body.
With these tips, you can prevent all kinds of back pain from ever happening. Even when you’re already experiencing back pain, these tips can help you get back on your feet and on the road to recovery. It’s also helpful to know about the treatments for back pain and how to use a heating pad, hot water bottle, massage or other tools to provide relief. It’s not just about preventing back pain from happening in the first place, it’s also about taking care of the pain you’re experiencing.