Best Ways to Prevent Back Injuries
The anatomy of the lower back makes it susceptible to injury during lifting, twisting and bending movements. Because this region of the spine has so many nerves, any injury can lead to problems elsewhere in the body, such as hip problems or leg or foot pain.
The muscles and ligaments in the lower spine can become stretched and strained. Microscopic tears can, with repetitive stress, often lead to larger injuries over time, creating painful muscle injuries and soft tissue problems.
Maintaining spine health as well as an overall healthy lifestyle is a key factor in preventing lower back injuries. Here are some of the main things you can do to keep your spine healthy.
Good posture is key to preventing back pain, particularly in the lower back. When you have poor posture, increased pressure is placed in the discs of the lower back. Over time, discs can degenerate and become very painful.
You can test your posture by standing with your heels against a wall. Your hand should be able to slip behind your lower back, and the back of your head, shoulders, buttocks, and calves should touch the wall. Standing posture can be improved by wearing proper shoes. If you stand for long periods during the day, wear flat shoes that have good arch support.
Your posture while you are sitting is very important too. You need a good chair that can support your hips, and that cradles your lower back. Many people use lumbar cushions for extra postural support. Chair height matters as well; your feet should rest flat on the floor, and your forearms should naturally rest on the work surface.
Core Strength and Exercise
When you strengthen your core abdominal muscles, you strengthen your spine. Keeping your back muscles and your core as strong as possible is one of the best measures you can take to stop back pain. Do back and core strengthening and stretching at least twice per week.
Other exercises that focus on cardiovascular improvements actually increase blood flow to the spine. When more blood flows to the spine, nutrients flood the area and the lower back structures become more hydrated as well. However, it is imperative that your cardiovascular exercises be low impact to avoid jarring of the spine. Walking is always a great bet to get your blood flowing with low injury risk.
If you don’t exercise regularly, start slow with small goals. Just get yourself moving in some way, perhaps by walking short distances or walking up a flight of stairs. Once you get started and get stronger, you can increase from there.
If you sit for long periods, be sure to walk around at least every hour. Set a timer to remind yourself and try to stand up and work or do phone calls whenever you can.
Improving your overall health benefits your spine, so do anything you can do. Get more exercise, drink more water, eat a healthy diet and minimize your alcohol intake.
It is very important to never lift more than you can. If you must lift a heavy object, make sure you are lifting correctly. Don’t underestimate; just because you are strong, you can still injure your back. When lifting, bend your knees and keep your back straight, allowing your powerful leg muscles to – literally – do the heavy lifting.
Getting the right kind of sleep and enough of it is important to overall health and spine strength. You need deep, restorative sleep to help your spine heal.
Did you know that tight hamstrings can cause low back pain? It’s true, but not well known. Do simple hamstring stretches every day to reduce the pressure on your pelvis which will, in turn, provide relief to your lower back. If you already have an existing back injury such as a herniated disc or vertebral fracture, check with your doctor for appropriate hamstring exercises for your injury. Some exercises are not appropriate depending on the injury.
Avoid Lower Back Pain
Short-term acute back pain can easily turn into chronic long-term back pain if you do not take proper care of your spine. Acute back pain is typically short-lived, lasting for a few days or weeks, and is usually caused by improper lifting, a fall or another injury or accident.
If you have back pain, it is best to seek a chiropractic opinion and chiropractic treatment. Schedule your initial consultation or treatment with Dr. Apps here: https://appschiropractic.com/make-appointment