Recent research has shown that over 80% of adults have experienced back pain at least once in their lifetime. Cases of chronic back pain have been on the rise, particularly in older adults. The exact etiology of back pain is attributed to bad posture, obesity, work habits, genetics, and poor diet. Here are some tips that will help you in preventing and managing back pain at home.
Maintain Good Posture
Back pains are associated with poor sitting, standing, and sleeping postures. While working on your desk, ensure that you maintain an upright posture. The laptop or desktop should be on an eye-level to avoid slouching or bending over during work.
Make sure that the seat supports your back and while working ensure that your feet are rested on the floor. Allocate some breaks where you will have stretch exercises or take a five-minute walk before resuming to your work station. It is also recommended for one to enroll in yoga classes.
When standing, avoid leaning on one side and slumping your shoulders. While sleeping, it is advised to sleep on your side and place a pillow in between the knees to reduce the tension on your back. Poor sleeping habits like lying on your back will cause back pains due to the pressure that is exacted on the back.
Watch what you eat
A famous quote states that we are what we eat. It is essential to eat food rich in calcium and vitamin D for healthy bones. Such foods include milk, fish, vegetables, eggs, and liver. These foods will help maintain optimum bone health, especially bones that make up the spine.
It is crucial for individuals who are experiencing back pain to exercise. Exercise tends to loosen the tensed muscles and facilitates the release of endorphins which are the feel-good hormones.
According to Robin Lusting, a chiropractor from New Jersey, overweight individuals, and physically unfit people are more likely to experience back pain when doing simple activities like bending. Moreover, research has shown that frequent exercise helps in the prevention of back pains.
Wear comfortable shoes
Research has shown that wearing heels for prolonged periods will predispose an individual to back pain. Wearing high heels puts a lot of strain on the torso of the foot and the back; thus, it may facilitate back pains. To prevent back pains, wear comfortable shoes that have a heel that is less than one inch.
Minimize heavy load carrying
Avoid lifting heavy luggage from the floor. Instead, use rollers or wheels to transport the heavy luggage. For individuals whose work involves lifting heavy loads, it is advised to minimize the strain on your back by lifting the load up using your heels and not your back.
Overly stressful conditions are associated with muscle stiffness and painful muscle spasms.it is advised that such persons engage in stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, swimming, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation through massaging the tensed areas.
Cessation of Smoking
New research has shown that smokers are more likely to develop back pains than the average population. Nicotine found in tobacco is known to cause reduced blood flow to the body, especially the spinal disks. Reduced blood flow means that hardly any nutrients and oxygen are supplied to the spine, thus predisposing the spine to injuries on small impacts and reduced rate of healing.
How do you manage back pains while at home?
The use of painkillers, such as NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen helps in the management of transient back pain. Other home remedies include the use of ice packs to minimize pain and inflammation. Also, one can use a heating pad that will help to relax your muscles and optimize blood flow to the affected area.
Research has shown that weekly back massages for ten weeks will minimize the frequency and intensity of back pains. Also, the use of Arnica containing creams and gels have proven to be effective with little or no side effects. Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that aids with swelling and pain.