Back Pain: Tips For Prevention and Reducing Pain
Back pain affects millions of people and is one of the most common complaints doctors hear from their patients. Studies have found that 23% of the world’s population suffer some type of back pain, with an estimate that 84% of the population is affected at some point during their adult life. (1)
Prevention is one of the best ways to reduce the risk or severity of back pain. Exercise, working on improving posture and osteopathy work well together for prevention.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain has many causes, with an increase in a less active lifestyle becoming one of the more frequent reasons. Other common causes include muscle strain, sciatica, arthritis, injury, and slipped discs.
Back pain is more common in adults, with many adults starting to feel it in their 30s. In addition to disease, a lack of exercise is a major cause as muscles supporting the spine weaken.
A person’s weight can also cause back pain if they are overweight, which puts more strain on the back. Stress and anxiety can also lead to back pain as this can cause muscle tension.
Preventing Back Pain
One of the best ways to deal with back pain is to try and prevent it in the first place. However, many of these tips also apply when trying to reduce the pain you may currently be experiencing.
Exercise, Strength, and Flexibility
Regular exercise and work on building your strength and flexibility have a big impact on back pain. Low-impact exercises are much better than high-impact activities. Examples include:
Aim to do more active exercises for 30 minutes at least three times a week. It is helpful to incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Good stretches to learn are shoulder rolls, spinal twists, neck stretches, and upper back stretches.
Make sure to start slowly to avoid injuring yourself. The goal is to improve the strength of your core, relieve tension, and gain better flexibility.
If you have an acute back injury or long-term uninvestigated back pain, it is best to visit your doctor first before increasing your exercise levels to ensure there is nothing going on that can be aggravated by it.
Work On Your Posture
Sitting at a desk all day can lead to poor posture without us even noticing until we start to feel the effects of it, such as back or wrist pain. Set up or adjust your workstation to make it more friendly to your body.
Ensure you have good back support and sit straight. Avoid twisting or hunching over. Try to keep your hips and knees level. Make sure you have arms rests as well. Finally, make sure to get up and move every 30 minutes, even if you just stand up for a minute or take a very short walk.
When standing, be conscious of your foot stance so that your pelvis stays in a neutral position. Also, make sure you aren’t slouching.
Osteopathy For Back Pain
Combining fitness and posture improvements with osteopathy can help reduce back pain. Your osteopath will help remove tension and improve mobility. He or she will help your whole body to function more smoothly and in better balance.
For more information on LCO’s Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice leading to the qualification of Osteopathic Manual Therapist (OMT), click here