Back pain is fairly common. In fact, about half of the workers in America experience symptoms every year, and experts say that about 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And now that most of us are stuck in our homes due to the ongoing pandemic, these statistics are in danger of increasing. It’s easy to fall into sedentary lifestyles, which definitely doesn’t do our backs any good. Fortunately, there are simple ways to lessen and prevent back pain. Here are some tips.
Fix Your Sleeping Position
Certain sleeping positions can reduce the benefits of restful sleep. Sleeping on your stomach, for example, is hard on your back and can lead to neck pain as well, since you’ll have to turn your head to the side to breathe. On the other hand, sleeping on your side with your knees slightly pulled up or on your back is advisable. Having a pillow between your legs aligns your hips, also helping to lessen back pain.
Make It a Point to Exercise
Exercising builds strong and flexible muscles, so you’ll be less prone to injury and body aches in the long run. Yoga is a good way to gently stretch your body. It helps enhance blood circulation and increase spine flexibility. Other forms of exercise you can do for your spine are strength training, like bridges and pelvic tilts, and aerobic activities, such as stationary biking. Ideally, exercise or yoga should be done in the morning so you can loosen your spine from sleep and reduce stiffness in your body.
Mind Your Posture
Prolonged sitting is bad enough, but prolonged sitting with bad posture is especially harmful. You’ll have to pay attention to your joints and muscles, especially those in your spine and hip. Make sure that neck, shoulder, and back alignment are correct to prevent stress from building up too fast on your spine. Even if you feel yourself tiring from sitting for too long, don’t slouch or lean forward. Instead, stretch and move around to loosen your back and reduce the built-up stress in your spine.
Invest in Lumbar Support
Sometimes, minding your posture isn’t enough — especially if you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long periods. An ergonomic chair can help support your correct posture. However, not everyone can afford to invest in this piece of furniture. Fortunately, you can opt for a lumbar support pillow, which is also designed to encourage proper sitting posture and provides your back with support to maintain good posture for longer. Plus, it also improves circulation and digestion.
Consult Your Doctor
If your back pain does not decrease regardless of the adjustments you do, you’ll have to consult a doctor. Chronic back pain doesn’t just affect your back either. Other symptoms may include progressive numbness or weakness in the legs, unplanned weight loss, and worsening pain despite rest. But you don’t need to wait for symptoms before seeing a doctor. You can also go for a visit if you feel like something’s not right with the kind of back pain you have, or if you just want some professional advice regarding what you can do.