How many of you have googled ‘preventing back pain?’
We’ve all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, sitting, a sports injury, but did you know that you may be making a common mistake in your daily routine that might be encouraging back pain?
We’ve identified 3 things that you can change today that may help alleviate your back pain.
Being overweight can have a great impact on your health and your back pain. If you are overweight then you are putting extra pressure on your back.
An example of this can be shown where we store sugar. When we eat sugar, any energy that we don’t use gets stored in our body as fat. This fat tends to collect around your belly and love handles. Extra weight up front and around the sides puts extra pressure on you back and your knees.
Now think of all that excess weight being carried by your back from excess sugar and an overall poor diet-is it surprising that a bad diet can lead to back pain?
To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar and processed foods and choose more natural foods. Eat more greens and organic foods and monitor your sugar intake. Read the labels on your food before you make a purchase.
Remember, any energy you don’t use will be stored as fat in and around your belly, hips, internal organs and back.
LACK OF EXERCISE
I know this is obvious, but it can not be stated enough. Lack of exercise and lack of flexibility exercises can put you at risk for back pain. Many people will be active by going for long walks, playing sports and going to the gym.
But how many people actually put time aside to increase their flexibility, or even associate this with exercise?
Movement is medicine! A little warm up before exercise and stretches to cool down after exercise can help with flexibility and overall mobility.
If you are someone who is noticing stiffness more frequently after exercise and stretches, then you will really benefit from yoga.
We tell all of our clients with back pain that Yoga is a great exercise to add into your daily routine. Yoga may include stretches that you are already familiar with, however yoga is so much more than a few stretches.
Yoga helps you focus on your breathing, making you feel less stressed, can ease tension as the movements relax the muscles and it increases your flexibility.
We recommend that our clients try yoga on a daily basis because of its amazing benefits – and I recommend you give it a try too!
Sitting is the new smoking. The Mayo Clinic has reported that research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels, all of which can make your more prone to having back pain.
So if you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re probably sitting in your car on the way to work, sitting at your desk when you get to work, sitting down to eat lunch and then getting back in the car for your commute home. What happens when you get home? You sit down for dinner and then you sit on the couch to unwind from a long day at the office.
All of this sitting tightens the muscles in the front of your legs and weakens the glutes and muscles of the core. Some studies actually show that all of this sitting actually causes you to lose muscle mass and cause your bones to soften. Finally, when we move, soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when we sit for a long time, discs are squashed unevenly and this can often lead to bulging and herniations.
To prevent all of the bad side effects of sitting, we recommend you get up and move every 30 minutes. Take frequent rest breaks and stand and stretch. You can even try sitting on an exercise ball instead of an office chair at your desk. Many of our clients are even trying standing desks at work! Take a short walk after lunch to improve digestion and mobility, both of which you back will thank you for!
Having a healthy diet is more important than just getting the correct nutrients for your body. It also helps ease any pressure to your joints and muscles.
And as nice as it is to sit down and relax after a good meal or tough day at work, incorporating 20 minutes of flexibility exercises such as yoga into your daily routine can make a great difference to your back pain.
Not many people seem to notice these problems in their lifestyle and often ignore them because they don’t see how what they eat, how they exercise and what they sit on can have a big impact on their back pain.
So please, don’t make the mistake that so many other people make and implement these into your daily routine today. Get up and move! Movement is medicine!