5 Simple Ways to Reduce Back Pain!

We’ve all been there!  A twinge, an ache or an all out back attack.  Whatever form it takes, back pain  is no fun and can be a real hindrance to your everyday activities.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million workers suffer back injuries each year and back injuries account for one in every five workplace injuries or illnesses.  And those are just the reported cases.

So, whether your back is cranky from the way you sit, stand, lift or move, here are some strategies to keep your back healthy and to keep you feeling great!

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight.  Carrying around extra weight increases the load on your spine which in turn can put extra pressure on the tissue around your vertebrae.  It can also increase the natural curve in your lower back (lumbar area), which can distort the natural shape of your spine.  No more back pain is a great incentive to lose and manage your weight along with the numerous health benefits that go along with being fit and trim.

woman practicing four-limbed staff pose2. Strengthen Your Abs & Legs.  You may be wondering what strengthening your stomach muscles has to do with keeping your back healthy.  The muscles in your abdominal area, otherwise known as your abs, act as the front anchor of your spine.  In short, if your abs are weak, then the muscles and other structures supporting your back will be out of balance and wind up working harder, which can lead to back pain.

Your legs also play a pretty big role in keeping your back healthy.  Think about it, strong legs can aid you when bending and lifting and help to ease the burden on your back.

3. Lighten Your Load.  If you find yourself lugging around a huge purse, heavy laptop case or tend to sling your backpack over your shoulder, think again.  Carrying bags that are in excess of 10% of your body weight can cause distress to your back, hips, shoulders and neck.   Rethink what your essential items are and only put those in your bag.  If you must carry a lot of things (i.e., laptop, files, gym clothes, etc.), try using a bag on wheels.

4. Be Aware of Posture Zappers.  We all know that posture plays a vital role in back safety, but the causes of poor posture are not always so apparent.  So, be on the look out for these common pitfalls that can be instant posture wreckers:

  • A chair or work surface that is too high, low or far from your work
  • Inadequate lumbar support
  • Monitors that are too high, low or off to the side
  • Documents that lie flat on your desk
  • Not sitting/standing directly in front of your work
  • Fatigue
  • Poor Vision
  • Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder
  • Poor lifting and bending techniques
  • Tight Hamstrings
  • Lack of flexibility and stretching

5. Straighten Your Pelvis.  When you sit and stand, the angle of your pelvis will ultimately determine how healthy your posture is.  When the top of your pelvis tilts backwards, your spine automatically rounds which causes slouching.  When the top of your pelvis tilts forward, you will find yourself overarching your spine which is very taxing on the muscles in your midback.  Over time, slouching and overarching can cause trouble for your the vertebrae and discs that make up your spine.  Sitting and standing with a neutral pelvic tilt allows the natural curves of your spine to stay in tact which will result in good posture.

If you have a remedy for back pain or strategies to prevent back pain, please share your ideas with us by leaving a comment below!

Here’s to your healthy back!

Vivienne & Andrew, PBE Co-founders

For more information check out our website www.pbergo.com for onsite and online solutions.

 

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